Do you want to hear the saddest little story (and see the most epic photo montage?)
Not once during the entire 4 months I was a camp counselor in Japan did a sumptuous piece of sushi ever cross my lips.
Sushi. In Japan. Where it was friggin’ invented.
I could smack my little 19 year old self in the face! What were you thinking? I’d like to ask her! How could you sit at all those conveyor belt restaurants and let the freshest sushi on the planet whiz right past you while you ordered…Miso Soup?!
How could you nearly barf after learning your roommate was savoring raw salmon from what you now recognize as the most delectable looking sashimi platter you have ever seen?
Luckily I came to my senses somewhere around 21, and enjoyed a healthy amount of briny, sweet, fresh, melt-in-your-mouth sushi when my Mom and I returned for an unforgettable Mother/Daughter trip a few years later.
I’ve had a love affair going with all things raw and rolled ever sense.
I used to make sushi all the time a couple years ago, but fell out of the habit because, let’s be real, it’s kind of a pain in the butt.
Pressing out the rice for the inside of the rolls is super sticky, and I find myself not even hungry by the time I get a platter all ready to go, since I’ve eaten all the ends and mistakes along the way.
This weekend I randomly got a craving to give it another go, though.
Knowing I wouldn’t have the patience to spend time churning out rolls on a weeknight, I transformed my standard recipe for a California Roll into a California Roll WRAP!
I started by rinsing 1 cup sushi rice in water,
then cooked it according to package directions.
Into the hot rice, I drizzled 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 heaping Tablespoon sugar and a dash of salt that I had nuked in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Sushi rice is tre delicate so I mixed it up by making big “X’s” in the cooked grains with a wooden spoon.
Folding it every now and again to get it all mixed up.
I poured the hot rice on a platter to cool down, then got to work cutting up the rest of my California Roll Wrap ingredients:
Cucumber, imitation crab, avocado,
toasted sesame seeds,
and sliced nori.
I have found nori (the outside of a sushi roll) everywhere from Dahl’s to Super Walmart and specialty Asian Stores. I think it’s key to getting that classic, sushi flavor.
To assemble the California Roll Wraps I started with a large lettuce leaf. Any kind’ll do.
I spooned on some sticky, seasoned rice,
then layered on cucumber,
sliced nori and sesame seeds.
(millions of less disturbing pieces, anyone?)
Drizzled with a little soy sauce,
Enjoyed with a side of laughter.
I think I inhaled some sesame seeds – HACK!!!
Ohhh, good times.
Totally loved this din-din. Less hassle, but all the classic flavors of that smooth and creamy California Roll. It’s great for sushi beginners too because there’s no raw fish!
In other news, I’m off to run some errands tonight, then tuck in to watch Most Eligible Dallas. When did Bravo become my favorite television network?!
If you could tell your 19 year old self one thing, what would it be?