Pretty California Rolls At Home


California Rolls Made Easy

If you’ve been following along, you know that my daughter Lori guest blogged about Korean food. And she made some of the prettiest sushi type rolls I’ve ever seen. Yes, she gained the title of the greatest sushi roll maker in the house.

Welllll… I take the title, kind of. I made the prettiest California Rolls this weekend, but I have to admit to cheating. But it’s a cheat I suggest everyone get their hands on if they want to make sushi rolls at home and just have no talent for the construction. I think this is fairly foolproof, since the first one turned out totally perfect.

Scattered here and there around the Lower Mainland of BC are these Korean markets called H-Mart. Lori loves going to them. I was in downtown Vancouver for a writing thing, and near one, so I stopped in to look around. In the kitchenware section, I saw these cool, and very cheap, plastic contraptions for making sushi rolls. For $3.99 I had to get one! I also purchased a plastic rice paddle for 99 cents, because using my hands with the rice just makes a mess, no matter how wet I keep them. For those who do not have Asian markets within reach, I found them on Amazon. Simply search “Sushi Molds” there’s a set for around $5 that comes with two sizes. I have the large one.

Lori’s favorite sushi roll is a California. Mine’s a Dynamite, but I’ll have to try that some other time since I had no straight tempura shrimp hanging around my house. *grin

So I picked up the veggies at the supermarket on the way home, had the sushi rice already, and the imitation crab was in my freezer. This recipe made 3 large cali rolls.

  • 1 cup imitation crab, chopped very, very fine
  • Mayo, just enough to very slightly moisten the crab to make it just a tiny bit sticky. We are not a fan of actually tasting mayo in our cali rolls.
  • 1/4 English Cucumber – cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 Avocado, thinly sliced
  • Cooked sushi rice
  • 2 Tbls rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbls mirin
  • Nori sheets (seaweed sheets for rolling)
  • Sesame seeds

Make rice about an hour ahead of time so it can cool.

To make the rice. Make a single serving, according to the directions on the bag. Mine takes 1.5 cups rice to 2 cup water. Bring it to a boil on the stove, stir, turn down to very low simmer, cover, simmer for about 20 min.

While it’s still hot, add the vinegar and mirin. Mix well and set aside to cool. I usually toss it in the fridge to hurry it up.

While the rice is cooling, prepare veggies.

Then, following the picture instructions on the package for the sushi maker because I don’t read any Asian languages very well, I made the perfect rice rolls filled with the crab, cucumber and avocado. Lay the nori sheet on top of the sushi rolling mat and carefully set the perfectly formed rice roll on top, and roll it up, squeeze it tight to make sure it’s well formed and won’t fall apart. ALL DONE!

Well, almost. The cutting of the sushi roll is harder than making it. Use a very, very sharp knife (I actually use a filet knife) and keep the blade wet. That part takes practice to get it right, but I achieved that goal too.

Once cut and laid out on the plate to show the pretty centers, sprinkle with a pinch or two of sesame seeds.

So easy, so fast, and everything can go in the dishwasher afterward. I like making sushi rolls now. I’ll never be grumpy about it again.


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