Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cucumber Roll Sushi

Sushi Rice
1 cup short grain rice
1 cup plus 3 tsp cold water
1/4 cup sushi vinegar
cold water for washing rice

To Wash Rice: soak rice in a bowl of cold water. Stir the rice around in the bowl with your hands. After the water becomes cloudy, strain the rice by pouring the water and rice mixture into a strainer. Put the rice back into the bowl and add fresh cold water, repeating process until the water is no longer cloudy. Finally, leave the "washed" rice in the strainer for 30 to 60 minutes.

To Cook Rice: place rice in a heavy small-sized pot. Add water and cover tightly. do not lift the lid at any point until the rice is finished cooking, or steam will escape and it will not cook properly. Place over medium-high heat until the rice steams (7-10 minutes). Turn heat to high and cook 2 minutes. You may notice a white foam around the lid and the lid jiggling up and down. (I had no foam, or jiggling, but rice was perfect) Next, reduce heat to medium and cook another 5 minutes, until the foam stops and you hear a crackling sound. (no foam, no crackling, just a timer for me) Turn off heat, and let stand, covered, another 15 minutes, as rice steams. After rice is finished steaming, remove the cover and, using the bamboo paddle, fluff the rice. (this rice was already sticky at this point) Wrap the cover in a cloth towel and return cover to pot. Let stand another 15 minutes.

To Season Rice: With rice paddle, gently spread the hot rice in a shallow, large-bottomed nonmetallic bowl or platter. As the steam is escaping, sprinkle the sushi vinegar over the rice and with quick horizontal motions, scooping back and forth along the bottom, toss the rice with the sushi vinegar. Immediately start to fan the rice to cool it. A piece of cardboard or a paper fan, if one is available, are fine to use. The cooling process should last about 2 minutes. Cover the rice loosely with a clean wet towel and let it stand for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is at room temperature. Keep the rice covered with a damp towel. Rice can be prepared earlier in the day, and covered in damp cloth until ready for use. Do not refrigerate rice prior to making roll. After rolls are made, it can be refrigerated.

Cucumber Roll
1/2 cucumber sliced into thin strips
1 avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
prepared sushi rice
4 Nori sheets
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

bowl of water/vinegar solution (6 Tb water plus 2 tsp water)

Toast Nori sheets in skillet, shiny side down over high flame. Place Nori on bamboo mat. Dip your hands in the water/vinegar bowl and scoop up some sushi rice. Spread it evenly over the nori, but leave a margin of 1/2 inch at the far end free of rice. Moisten your hands when needed, but don't make the rice soggy. Create a narrow groove in the center of the rice and place cucumber strips, avocado slices and toasted sesame seeds.

Grasp the mat in both hands, thumbs underneath, and pressing lightly on the cucumber with index finger of both hands, lift the mat so the edge of the nori closest to you meets the near edge of the rice-free margin of nori at the far end. Press straight down on the sides of the mat, not on the op of the roll. Lift mat slightly and finish rolling the roll, so that the rice-free edge of nori adheres to the roll. Carefully remove the mat. Place roll on cutting board, seam side down. Dip the knife in water/vinegar; then slice roll in half. Clean knife with a towel, dip again and cut each half in thirds. Serve with wasabi paste and soy sauce.
sticky rice, very sticky.
cucumber, avocado, and black sesame seeds.
that's the way we roll!
with some wasabi and soy.

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