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Course: Mains
Keyword: Appetizers, Asian, California Roll, Japanese, Seafood

California Roll

ACTIVE TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 8 appetizer servings
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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Sushi Rice

  • 2 cups sushi or short-grain rice
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

California Roll

  • 1/2 medium lemon, juiced
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
  • 4 sheets nori
  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchstick-size pieces
  • 4 crabsticks, torn into pieces
  • Pickled ginger, for serving
  • Wasabi, for serving
  • Soy sauce, for serving

Specialized Hardware

Bamboo rolling mat
ACTIVE TIME: 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 8 appetizer servings


Sushi Rice

  • Place the rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water, pour off, and repeat until the water is clear, 2 to 3 rinses.
  • Combine the cleaned rice and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice to a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine, coating each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi.

California Roll

  • Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado to prevent browning.
  • Cover a bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap. Cut nori sheets in half crosswise. Lay 1 sheet of nori, shiny-side down, on the plastic-covered mat. Wet your fingers with water and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds. Turn the sheet of nori over so that the rice side is down. Place 1/8 of the cucumber, avocado, and crab sticks in the center of the sheet. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder. Pull the mat away and set aside. Cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until all of the rice has been used. Cut each roll into 6 pieces. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce.
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