As the name implies, California Roll is an Americanized variant of sushi, made primarily with ingredients widely adopted in California-style cuisine. The taste takes on the traditional flavours of sushi with the nori seaweed and seasoned rice, with the refreshing taste of cucumber and avocado. Finally, the imitation crab is mixed with a bit of Japanese mayonnaise, making the roll complete with a good balance of sweet and savoury, and crunchy and soft. No, California Roll is not a member of authentic Japanese cuisine, but it does adhere to the principles of Japanese food with the fresh ingredients and light seasoning. To top it all off, the end product is delicious.
Fresh and delicious
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 English cucumber
- 200g imitation crab meat
- 2 tbsp Japanese mayo
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 sheets nori (seaweed)
- Black sesame seeds (garnish)
- Wash 1 cup sushi rice 2-3 times until the water is not murky. Add in water and cook according to the instructions from the rice. Usually, this will be around 1.8 cup water for every cup of rice.
- Cut the ends of the cucumber to create a length that is slightly longer than the width of a sheet of seaweed. Remove the seeds and then cut into thin strips around 1cm x 1cm in cross section.
- Cut the imitation crab meat into small bits. Ideally, you use the imitation crab meat that takes the form of rolled up sheets, as they’re less starchy, easier to work with, and taste better. These are more common in Asian supermarkets. Unfortunately, in the video, you can see that I didn’t have that available.
- Transfer the imitation crab meat to a bowl and mix in the mayo until it forms a thick paste. Add more or less mayo as needed to adjust for texture and preference.
- Peel, de-pit, and cut the avocado into 8 wedges.
- When the rice is done cooking, dissolve the salt and sugar into the rice vinegar and then mix well into the rice. Let cool until it’s not too hot to touch.
- Divide the sheets of nori in half along the horizontal and set aside.
- Wrap cling wrap over the bamboo mat so that the food doesn’t get the bamboo mat dirty. Also, prepare a bowl of clean, cold water to wet your hands during the process of making the rolls so that the rice is not so sticky.
- To make an inside-out roll, place a half sheet of nori onto the mat, with the long edge parallel to the bamboo rods. Then, put around ¼ of the rice onto the sheet. Using your hands, press down and distribute the rice evenly over the mat. Wet and clean your hands during this step to make your process easier.
- Sprinkle some black sesame seeds over the rice as garnish, and the flip the sheet of rice and seaweed over. I.e. the seaweed is now facing up and the rice facing down.
- Place on one of the cucumber strips, 2 wedges of avocado, and 2-3 tbsp of the imitation crab mixture onto the seaweed. Spread out the imitation crab horizontally, but keep everything in the first 3rd of the length of the sheet.
- Roll up everything on the mat, careful to keep all the fillings inside, and to lightly compress by squeezing the mat. This step is a bit hard to describe, so please watch the video for more details.
- Slice the roll into 8 pieces. You may find that wetting the blade of your knife occasionally will make the slicing smoother and easier.
- To make an outside-in roll, follow steps 9 to 13, but do not flip the sheet over or add sesame seeds, and instead place all the filling onto the layer of rice.
- Serve with wasabi and soy sauce. Enjoy!