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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sushi-Chef

I admit it...I love sushi...and not just regular, non-fish related sushi. I love sashimi as well...they of the raw fish, Tobiko (flying fish roe), Uni (sea urchin), et al. I love it all. There is something clean and satisfying when eating this way, and the taste factor is wonderful as well. So...as you know, about once a week, I like to treat myself to a lunch that is a little bit of a treat. Something out of the ordinary, something that keeps my skills intact. On this day, I decided to make a California Roll.  So, if you'd like to follow along on this particular tune, gather the following ingredients...


Clockwise from left to right; medium-grain rice (don't worry, you do not have to have "sushi rice"), Nori sheets of seaweed, mayonnaise, pickled ginger, horseradish (I was out of wasabi!), a piece of cucumber, avocado, canned crab meat (of course, you may use fresh). Just don't use that Krab-type stuff...off with their heads! Vegans and Vegetarians can modify by leaving out the crab, and using a veggie-friendly mayonnaise substitute.

Cook one cup rice in two cups water and begin to let it cool down...


Then, spread out into a large container, and find ye some rice vinegar...mine is this brand..


Spread the rice out (I used a large round baking dish), and sprinkle on 1/4 tsp of sugar, and a little of the rice vinegar...then, fan the rice a little bit with a sushi paddle, or whatever you have handy to fan air onto the rice, and get it ready to be in the sushi roll. Here is mine, at the beginning of fanning & sprinkling with the vinegar..




I continued, this fanning and sprinkling just a bit of the vinegar until the rice was the perfect texture to wrap...sticky but not clumping, and with the grains dried and cooled. Now comes the fun part...starting your California Roll! First, take a sheet of Nori seaweed from the packet. It will look black and shiny..like this..



Then, using tongs and being careful not to burn yourself, hold it over a gas flame set on low, or an electric burner set on high....to toast it. Here's mine in progress..


You will know that it is done, when it turns a dark, emerald green. Don't worry if a corner or two catches on fire, (not that I would know, um...really!), just blow it out like you would a campfire marshmallow. Here's my sheet of Nori all toasted and emerald green...


Then, take a half of a can of crab meat (use the other half for a crab cake for tomorrow's lunch!), and strain it to remove all the liquid.


Then, mix it with a little mayonnaise...just until creamy enough to spread...


Now we're ready to begin assembling the California Roll. Place a sheet of plastic over your sushi mat, which will keep it clean, and help you to roll the Roll...not to be redundant or anything :)


Alright...now..take your sheet of Nori, and place it onto the plastic, then, place your rice onto the Nori..about 1/4 inch thick, and out to 1/4 inch away from the edges...like so...



Then, I like to sprinkle mine with white and black sesame seeds..



Now, take your creamy crab mixture and place it in a nice line down the center, like this...



Then, take your piece of cucumber, and seed it, by running a teaspoon down the center. Put that mush down the disposal, or better yet, into your compost!


Cut a few thin strips to place in the center of our Roll, and crunch on the rest with some salt on top...you are hungry by now, I'm certain. Place the cucumber in the Roll, like so...


Cut your avocado in half, and sprinkle with some fresh lemon juice right away, to prevent oxidizing and browning of the avocado. Cut some strips, and lie them in the roll as well...


As you can see, I placed mine right on top of the crab mixture...remember, that is the center of the roll you are building. I want all my fillings to be bound tightly together in the center. Now...take a deep breath...and beginning from one of the short sides, roll the sushi...pulling back the plastic as you go, and keeping firm but gentle pressure on it. Here's mine mid-roll...



Now, when you get to the seam of the roll, press gently to encourage sealing...wrap the plastic back around the whole thing, and twist the ends, tootsie-roll style, and place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm everything up, and make sure your crab mixture is still safe to eat (there's mayo in there!). Here's mine on the way to the big white chill-chest...


I let it stay in there approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, while I cleaned up a bit. Then, I dipped my sharpest knife it very hot water, and (holding my breath) began to cut the roll...


Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have achieved SUSHI!  I was surprised by how good the regular horseradish (vs. wasabi) was with this! A nice little plating with some pickled ginger and the horseradish, and here you have it!


Another shot? Why sure, don't mind if I do!


The creamy crab and avocado filling, the crunch of the cucumber and the refreshingly chewy nori were outstanding! The ginger and horseradish were perfect companions! My only gripe was that there was so much of it, I could not eat it all! In fact, paired with some edamame (soy beans), this was my afternoon snack!




Eat well, my friends and stay tuned for Pixie-Pastry Chef! And no, I have not forgotten that we have one, count 'em ONE chicken breast left from our amazing Rubber Chicken. Hmmmm. how on earth am I going to turn that into dinner for two? Perhaps I'll go and ask Kitchen Angel.  Love and kindness to all,

                                                                          Pixie

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