I have a present for you all. I am kicking off my “12 Days of Appetizers” today. Whether you need some creative ideas for holiday appetizers or for that great Super Bowl party, these recipes are for you. Appetizers have become a annual part of our Christmas celebration. Several years ago I started a tradition with my family of having just appetizers for Christmas Eve dinner. It seemed like the perfect menu with everyone gathered at home, wrapping presents, watching Christmas movies, and just relaxing after the last rush of preparing for Christmas. Over the years, the appetizer menu has evolved as we each picked our favorites and also tried new recipes to add to the spread. So, I wanted to start out with my favorite, Homemade California Sushi Roll. Don’t be scared. You can find most of the ingredients at your grocery store or Oriental market. Many book stores also carry Sushi Making Kits that give you all the tools and additional tips you will need.
I LOVE sushi. Thanks to my dad for getting me hooked on it, I always want some sort of Sushi on the Christmas Eve appetizer menu. I often order a platter from my favorite restaurant, but that can get a little expensive. One year I decided to be brave and try and make a sushi roll myself. And surprisingly it was not that hard. With a little patience, a few special tools and some imagination, you will be making your own sushi roll for your next event. So, on this First Day of Appetizers, Dianna is bringing to you…a Homemade California Sushi Roll.
- 2⅔ cups Sushi Rice (This is a short grain rice, not regular white rice. I used Nishiki brand)
- 2 ½ c. water
- 3 T. rice wine vinegar
- 2 T. sugar
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 8 oz package Imitation Crab Sticks
- 1 English cucumber, sliced thin lengthwise into 3 inch strips
- 1 avacado, sliced into thin strips
- 2 spring onion, sliced down the middle, and cut into 3 inch strips
- 1 jalapeno, cleaned and sliced into match sized strips (optional)
- Soy Sauce
- Wasabi paste
- Pickled Ginger
- 1 package Seaweed wrappers
- 1 bamboo rolling mat (You can find this is the Oriental section at most grocery stores or at a specialty market)
- Place rice in a colander and wash with cold water until the water runs clear.
- Place rice and 2 ½ cups water in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it boils, turn to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- After the rice is cooked, place in a glass or plastic bowl. Cool to room temperature.
- In a small sauce pan, stir together vinegar, sugar and salt. Heat over medium until sugar dissolves. Let cool to room temperature.
- When rice is cooled, pour liquid into bowl and stir until all the rice is coated.
- Place bamboo rolling mat in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. This is optional but will help keep your mat clean.
- Lay one seaweed wrapper on the covered mat. Place ½ cup cooked rice on the seaweed wrapper.
- Wet your hands and press out rice to edges of the wrapper, leaving a ½ inch space at the top of the wrapper.
- Place filling ingredients on the rice in a thin strip on the edge closest to you. Using the bamboo mat, roll the filling into the rice, keeping the rice and filling tight until the roll is completely finished and secure.
- With a sharp knife, slice each roll into 8 pieces. Repeat with the remainder of the ingredients to make additional rolls. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.
One of the tricks to making a beautiful roll is to ensure the rice is pressed down firmly, all the way to the side edges of the seaweed sheet and not too thick. Also placing your filling ingredients all the way up to the edge closest to you. Again, do not over fill with ingredients. Less is more, and it will make the roll easier to assemble.
There, you did it! Now have fun creating your own signature Sushi roll! Happy Appetizering!