I was in the mood for Japanese cuisine and it's been a while since I've made sushi rolls. They really are not that hard to make and you can put whatever you want inside. These are stuffed with crab, avocado, carrots and cucmbers.
Of course the most important aspect of sushi is the rice. Unfortunately I didn't have a great sushi rice on hand but at least I had a sticky shorter grain rice. Actually it was too sticky and became a bit gelatinous, but it was ok. Sushi rice preparation is something that is almost an art in Japan. Right out of the steamer, while still hot, the rice is seasoned with rice vinegar usually sweetened with some sugar. The rice is traditionally cooled by fanning by hand. I like to lay out a thin layer of rice about 3/4 of the way up a sheet of nori. It helps of you wet your hands with some water to prevent the rice from sticking.
Simply lay your ingredients in the middle of the rice. Here are the cucumbers and carrots.
Next, the avocado and crab.
Real sushi chefs can roll these by hand without the aid of a rolling mat, but mine turn out best if I use a mat. The idea is to roll the sushi pulling it in tight to make a firm roll. The edge is sealed by wetting with a little bit of water.
Here is the roll all ready to be sliced.
You can slice them however thick you want them. I like a pretty good mouthful myself.
Along with the sushi I made an Asian-inspired soup. I started with a stock pot filled with kombu (seaweed), dried shitake mushrooms, garlic and ginger. This was simmered for about an hour until the mushrooms and seaweed were tender and the broth was flavored.
The broth was strained and flavored with some soy sauce, clam dashi powder, a splash of mirin and a dash of sesame oil.
The mushrooms and seaweed were sliced finely and placed back in the soup.
Served with soy sauce and wasabi, the sushi was really tasty. The soup was very satisfying with a full robust flavor yet lightness that went well with the delicate flavors of the sushi.
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