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California Love

Posted Apr 01 2010 4:05pm

Guys, I love sushi. I could eat Japanese food every day for the rest of my life and never get bored. I’m super excited about my garden this year because I was given EDAMAME seeds to plant! These seeds are very special- it’s difficult to get edamame (soy bean) seeds that are organic, and not genetically modified and the seeds I recieved are just that- pure, and organic! I can’t plant them just yet, but I’m looking forward to the day that I can go out to my garden and pick fresh edamame pods to steam. I’ll take some pictures of my garden soon (it’s all covered in net right now to keep the bugs and neighbourhood cats away). I’ve planted a ton of romaine lettuce already, as well as arugula, radicchio, mesclun greens, and salad bowl lettuce. We also planted red onions, TONS of sweet walla walls, white onions and green onions. We have enough cilantro growing that we could feed a small country, and we have plenty of other herbs growing throughout the year. My rhubard is beginning to pop up, and my two little strawberry plants survived the winter! Along with the edamame, I will be planting a couple of other kinds of beans, and, get this- personal cantaloupe! My garden has evolved quite a bit from when it began last year and that’s just what I want! Self-sustaining, baby- woohooooooo!

Wow….I went a little off track there. What I meant to say was that I made sushi. Yes, I attempted the art of sushi-making for the 2nd time in my life. I’ve now come to understand why Nobu was not even allowed to pick up a knife for the first three years of his apprenticeship- Japanese food is ART!

I made some great, authentic tasting sushi rice, using instructions from here . I also used there instructions on how to make a California roll (the rice is on the outside, and the seaweed inside), which got a bit complicated and I ended up reverting back to normal sushi-rolling methods.

Sushi Rice

Prepare a mixture called Tezu- Mix together 250 ml of water, 30 ml of rice vinegar and 5 ml of salt.

  • 500 ml Sushi Rice
  • 600 ml Water
  • 60 ml Rice Vinegar
  • 30 ml Sugar
  • 5 ml Salt

Wash the rice several times until the water runs fairly clear when draining.

Heat rice and water on the stove until boiling, cover tightly and simmer at lowest heat allowing the rice to steam for 18 minutes. You must leave it covered… no peaking!

Remove your pot from the heat and let stand covered for another 15 minutes.

Mix the vinegar, sugar and salt together in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let your sushi vinegar cool to room temperature.

Moisten your bowl with a cloth dampened with your tezu mixture.

Put the hot rice into your mixing bowl and add 1/4 of the sushi vinegar solution. Mix with a folding motion and repeat until all sushi vinegar is used

California Rolls

  • 1 avocado, sliced into strips
  • lump crab meat (I don’t recommend using imitation crab…)
  • 1 English cucumber – remove seeds and cut into strips – 10 cm long and 1/2 cm thick (skin on)
  • nori sheets
  • sushi rice
  • wasabi to mix with mayo (to taste. I used vegenaise, as I don’t eat regular mayo)
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Place a sheet of cellophane wrap – same size as your rolling mat on your bamboo rolling mat.
Dip your fingers in your Tezu  and take some rice with your finger tips (10 cm round ball). Place the rice ball in the center of the wrap and gently distribute the rice the width of your nori sheet and 5 cm longer then then your sheet of seaweed. Don’t work your rice too much.

Center your nori sheet on the sheet of rice. Place a row of avocado wedges in the center of your nori sheet. Your nori should cover the entire rice sheet side to side and towards you. The extra 5 cm rice should be open along width-wise away from you

Put the cucumber strips alongside your avocado and do likewise with your crab sticks. Lay a strip of the wasabi/mayo mixture.

Roll the side nearest you to form a center core of ingredients surrounded by nori (there should be that 5 cm band of rice left after your nori).

Pull out your wrap at the end of your roll and overlap your ingredients roll over the last band of rice. By pulling and lightly squeezing your mat, form your roll circular or triangular-wise (gently hold your ingredient in on the ends while manipulating your roll).

Cut your roll into 8 pieces. Your knife must be very sharp, and dip it into the Tezu before you cut it, to keep the rice from sticking to it.

Garnish with sesame seeds.

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