Cali Cucumber Nori Rolls

 Eileen’s favorite food is sushi, so after watching an episode of Giada making sushi on the food network, I decided it looked easy enough. 
 
This recipe is courtesy of Epicurious and you should purchase:
 
Sushi Zu:
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Rice:
  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 3 cups water
Sushi:
  • 1/2 sheet of seaweed (nori)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared wasabi
  • 3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced into long thin strips (matchstick size)
The Sushi Zu can be used as either a dipping sauce or poured a top the finished product.  It adds a sweet tang which is almost necessary with the wasabi spice and plain flavor of the cucumber and rice mixture.  To prepare the sushi zu, in a pot boil together the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.  Set aside for later.

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Cook the rice according to the package by boiling 2 times the amount of water ratio to rice and then simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until just all the water has evaporated..  You want a very sticky, formable consistency.  It is best used in the sushi when it is cold.

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I purchased a simple bamboo mat to roll the sushi with, and strips of seaweed. I highly recommend buying large sheets of seaweed, as these were often too small to close and when cut into strips for the Tamago recipe, the strips didn’t reach entirely around the rice and egg.  Definitely consider spending a little more on sheets of seaweed that you can cut up to a desired size on your own.  This also allows you to make several at once.

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To make the sushi, slice up the cucumbers into matchstick pieces to be placed lengthwise is you are using sheets of seaweed.  If you are using these smaller one sushi roll sized seaweed, chop the cucumbers to a small manageable size.  I found the easiest way to form the rice into a rectangular clump was to use a spoon and squish the rice with my hands until it was almost a solid mass.  Place the rice piece onto your waiting seaweed (which I was able to make four at a time on the bamboo mat I purchased).  You want to make sure to leave enough of a visible edge of the seaweed as these will allow the sushi roll to close later on.  Sprinkle a light coating of sesame seeds on the rice and top both with a very light amount of wasabi.  Too much wasabi in one bite will ruin the sushi, but just the right amount adds a nice flavor and kick of heat.  Next, add your cucumbers and gently press them down. 

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Holding the cucumbers back as much as you can, begin to fold the seaweed pieces supported by the bamboo mat in half. Pull back just the bamboo mat and find the ends of the seaweed that are now meeting each other.  Press the together to form a round roll and again pull the bamboo mat over your sushi balls.  This last revolution will help seal the seaweed edges and push the innards into a tighter cylinder.  image

The California Cucumber Nori Rolls are on the outer edge of the plate below.  They are simple enough for beginners to start getting their tongue accustomed to the distinct flavor of seaweed without adding a fishy taste.  If served with the Sushi Zu sauce, the seaweed becomes less pungent from the tang of the rice vinegar and sweet aftertaste left from the sugar.  I also left pickled ginger out to cleanse the palate after eat bite or for a differential punch to the rolls.  Cucumber pieces allow for a clean, light sapidity and adds crunch.  The Sushi Zu sauce also paired decently well with the Tamago (in the middle and a previous recipe of mine).  Eileen was my taste tester as I made these and ate the ones I stuffed to fat and couldn’t close into a roll with the seaweed. She was content with the outcome.  I was surprised that people at the bridal shower actually tried the sushi and enjoyed it enough to eat most of the three plates I made.  

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1 Comment

Filed under Appetizers, Food, Gluten-Free, Lunch/Dinner

One response to “Cali Cucumber Nori Rolls

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