California Rolls – Sushi

I have never understood the gefilte – fish that is. It’s a mish mash of all sorts of fish, and then it’s boiled. It’s not that appealing. There isn’t much flavor going for it. Yet it’s so popular. I like serving fish on shabbat – especially when I have company over. I want to serve something that I enjoy eating as well. Salmon is a nice treat, but it’s too much of a main course dish to serve as an appetizer. I recently decided to carry on my dad’s tradition of shabbat sushi.

One weekend last summer, I asked him for some shabbat sushi guidance. He suggested I cook the rice on Friday, right before shabbat, season it, and then keep it covered until you are ready to use it. Keeping it room temperature in the pot, keeps the rice ready to go. It worked out well. Everyone loves sushi and thinks I worked my tushy off to make it. It really is super easy.

To make the rice:
2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. salt

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. I like to use a strainer to do this.

Put the rice in pot (only wimps use rice cookers). Cover the rice with the water. Turn the heat on high.

When the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Keep the pot covered. No peeking. Let it sit for another 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking and cooling.  Mix up the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat it. Do not let it boil. Stir it up. Let the sugar dissolve.

Mix the vinegar mixture into the rice mixture with rice paddle. Let the rice cool down.  I like to keep my seasoned rice covered.

For the California Rolls
Cooked and seasoned sushi rice
Surimi (fake crab sticks)
Seedless Cucumber – julienned
Avocado – sliced thin, lengthwise (sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning)
sriracha (I like my sushi spicy)
black toasted sesame seeds

Cover your sushi rolling mat with plastic wrap. 

Cut your nori sheets in half.

Lay your sheet of nori on the mat.

Take a handful of rice and spread it out on to the nori. Sprinkle it with the sesame seeds and flip over.

Place a bit of the veggies and surimi in the middle of the sheet. Squirt a bit of sriracha on it if you like it with a little heat.

Hold on to the edge of the sushi mat (the edge near you). Start rolling, keeping the filling in place with your fingers. Roll and Shape with the mat. Set aside that sushi roll and make more rolls.

Slice the rolls up with a very sharp knife.  Enjoy your sushi with wasabi and soy sauce.  Enjoy!

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