Asian foods are really amazing as they are very delicious as well as nutritious. Their calorie content is very low and the healthy ingredients used in Asian dishes have made them very popular all over the world. And one such Asian recipe that gained huge acclaim throughout the world is the California roll. California roll is a Japanese sushi variant, which is very popular in the western countries.
Although this dish did not originated in Japan, it became one of the most famous and preferred sushi type in America and other western countries. California roll is an inside-out sushi, in which the layer of rice remains outside the nori sheet. Common fillings used in California rolls are crab meat, avocado slices and cucumber sticks. California rolls are often coated with sesame seeds or Tobiko to make them look more attractive. This is a really amazing dish and it is prefect for all age groups.
Difficulty level: Medium
Yields per recipe: 3-4
Time required for preparation: 45-55 minutes
Time required for cooking: 1 hour- 1 hour 20 minutes
1 rice cooker
1 flat-base wooden bowl
1 large bowl
1 wooden flathead spoon
1 small bowl
1 sushi rolling mat
1 sharp knife
1 handheld fan
2 tablespoons + ½ tablespoon of Japanese mayonnaise
3 cups of sushi rice
½ avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
½ cup of crab meat
3 nori sheets
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
Tobiko (flying fish roe) or ikura (salmon roe), for serving
Wasabi, for serving
Pickled ginger, for serving
For the Sushi Rice
3 cups of uncooked short grained Japanese rice
½ teaspoon of salt
3 cups + ½ cup of water, at room temperature
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of powdered dashi
½ cup of rice vinegar
Method of Cooking
1. Put the uncooked short grained rice in a large bowl and fill up the bowl with enough water. The water level should rise above the level of the rice. Once filled, swirl and massage the rice grains with your fingers to take out the dirt from them.
Discard the water from the bowl once it turns murky. Fill up the bowl once again with fresh water and rinse the rice in the same way. Continue rinsing the rice until the water remains almost clear even after rinsing the rice in it. Once that happens, drain off the water and let the rice rest for 1 hour.
2. Once the resting time elapses, take the rice and put it in the bowl of a rice cooker. Fill the bowl with as much water as stated in the rice cooker bowl or use at least ten percent more water than the quantity of the rice you are using. Swirl the rice in the water to submerge the grains and then place the bowl in the rice cooker. Set the rice cooker accordingly and let the rice cook.
3. While the rice is cooking, take a saucepan and pour the rice vinegar in it. Add the sugar, salt and powdered dashi to the vinegar and then stir the mixture to mix everything nicely. Now light up the flame and place the saucepan on the hob.
Set the flame on extreme low and cook the mixture until all the added ingredients melt and get incorporated into the rice vinegar. Stir the mixture continuously while cooking it and don’t let the mixture come to a boil as that damages the dashi. Once done, turn off the flame and let the sushi vinegar cool down.
4. Now take a wooden bowl and damp its inner wall and base with a wet kitchen towel. Once you are ready with the rice, take it out of the rice cooker and transfer it to the large flat-base wooden bowl. Now take a wooden flathead spoon and spread the prepared sushi vinegar all over the rice.
Break the lump of rice by cutting it with the help of the wooden spoon. Then try to detach each rice grain from the other by simply cutting or slicing the smaller lumps of rice with the spoon. But make sure that you don’t mash the rice with the spoon.
5. Use a fan to fan over the rice while you try to mix the sushi vinegar with the rice grains. This helps to make the rice glossy and also speeds up its cooling process. Once done, cover the rice with a damp cloth and then let it sit for some time or until it comes to the room temperature. Now take the avocado and cut it in half.
Remove the pit and then peel the avocado. Finally, take the avocado and slice it thinly. Once done, transfer the avocado slices to a bowl and drizzle some freshly squeezed lemon juice over them to prevent them from turning black.
6. Now take a bowl and combine 1 teaspoon of vinegar with some water. Dip your hands in the vinegar-water to work with the sticky rice. Next, place one of the nori sheets shiny-side down over a sushi rolling mat and place a large ball of rice at the center of it.
Make sure that you place the sushi rolling mat over a firm surface; otherwise, you won’t be able to roll it firmly. Then spread the rice all over the nori sheet, so that you cover each side and corner of it with rice. Leave out about 1-inch space at one side of the nori sheet as it helps to roll the sushi properly.
7. Once the nori sheet is entirely covered with the sushi rice, turn the nori sheet. Spread a little bit of mayonnaise and some of the crab meat horizontally at the center of the other side of the nori sheet. Top the row of crabmeat with 2-3 sticks of cucumber and 2-3 slices of avocado.
Then pick up one of the sides of the sushi rolling mat and roll it above the filling along with the nori sheet. Tuck the nori sheet at the meeting point and then slowly but firmly slide the mat over the sushi to complete the roll and to secure it.
8. Once the California roll is formed, pull it out of the mat and set it aside. Now spread some tobiko on a plate and then roll the California roll over the tobiko. Coat the California roll evenly on all sides with the tobiko and then set it aside.
Prepare the other two California rolls in the same way and then roll them with the tobiko as well. Now take one of the California rolls and then cut it with a knife dipped in water. Once done, cut the remaining two California rolls in the same way. Once done, you can either top the sushi with ikura or keep them as it is. Once done, serve the California rolls with the pickled ginger and wasabi.