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Old 04-21-2005, 10:52 AM   #1
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ISO California Rolls

Not sure if they are called that everywhere.
I know that they have the fish, some kind of rice and then seaweed?
These are the only kind of sushi that I can handle. Not sure on what type of fish is used either.

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Old 04-21-2005, 10:57 AM   #2
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The California rolls I have had use either real crab or crab flavoured polluck. They also have cucumber slices. Have you ever made sushi before? The rice is prepared a bit differently. You need to put a couple tablespoons of vinegar and sugar in while it is hot and then let it cool before rolling your sushi. The nori paper (seaweed) is usually in a groceries Ethnic section. Basically you put down a layer of the rice, then make a line of your crab and cucumber and roll it up. Let it set a bit, then slice it into the rolls you see. Hope that helps.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:38 PM   #3
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No, I havent' made sushi before. Thank you for your help.
Now that you know that I have never made them, any more advise that I might need?
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Old 04-21-2005, 03:19 PM   #4
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I am certainly no expert, but I found it pretty easy. I am sure someone more expert than I will be along soon to share some words of wisdom. I will share what I have learned though.

-find a recipe for sushi rice to get the right ratio of water to rice and for the vinegar and sugar amounts
-short grain rice works best.
-get a sudare mat (little mat made of what look like long toothpicks) it will be easier to roll the sushi
-leave about 1/2 inch at the top and at the bottom of the nori paper so that when you roll it the nori can stick to itself (does that make sense?)

Sorry, I can't think of anything else right now. I am going to put a note out there for kitchenelf, I know she is a sushi addict too. Hopefully she will have more good tips for you.

OH, and welcome to the site, I don't think I said that when you arrived.
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:58 PM   #5
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Thank you, Alix

I appreciate your welcome!!
I think I can probably figure out the sushi, thanks!!
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:01 PM   #6
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Texasgirl - if you will give me some time I have a whole bunch of information on sushi that I have saved over time. I can work with you on this when you are ready. I think I posted some stuff on here already and I will look for it and give you the link/s to anything already discussed.
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:07 PM   #7
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texasgirl - get some sushi rice by Sushi Chef (or anything labeled sushi rice). Just follow the directions exactly.

What you will need initially as far as hard goods and initial soft goods are:

sushi mat for rolling

rice paddle for cooling
roasted nori sheets
rice vinegar
soy sauce (get the green bottle (low sodium) it has a much better flavor
wasabi (tube or powder and then mix your own)
sesame seeds (which you can toast all at once and let cool completely then return to bottle)
masago if you can find it - you can keep it in your freezer for a long time

then the rest of what you need depends on what you make

Don't put the rice in a metallic bowl to cool. Use a wooden bowl or a crockery bowl. Add the vinegar/sugar mixture after it's in the bowl. Fan the rice with a magazine (or something that will fan and it's better if someone else fans while you fold). Then as someone is fanning fold the rice from the outside to the middle until the rice is cool. It takes awhile and you just have to be patient.

Cover your rolling mat with a piece of plastic wrap. Unroll a length long enough to go completely around the length of the mat. Lay mat on top of plastic, pull one side up over the mat, pull the sides up on each side and press, then pull the other side up and press to securely seal. Now your mat is ready.

Place a piece of nori rough side up on the mat so you can roll it starting closest to you. Short end at your stomach. Now wet your hands in a bowl of water (not dripping wet but wet enough) and gather up about a baseball size of rice and compact it to form a firmer ball.

Now, place the ball in the middle of the sheet of nori and use your fingers to work the rice to the outsides and corners of the nori. Just use a walking type motion - smooshing too hard does just that, smooshes the rice into a paste. You may have to wet your fingers again to keep the rice from sticking. You will soon find out why they call it sticky rice! lol

Now, once the rice is completely covering the nori (here is where you can gently push some sesame seeds on the rice if you want) turn it over so the rice is UNDER the nori and place the ingredients you want closest to you on the nori. Place some imitation crab legs on there, some cucumber that has been peeled and cut into thin sticks, cream cheese (but if you want cream cheese put that on before anything - just spread it from side to side with your fingers on the end of the nori closest to you). Avocado slices are also good on it.

Now, start to roll up your mat until it reaches a stopping point. But while you are rolling (you will have to practice to get the right amount of pressure) use some pressure all across the roll to compact it working your way from the middle to the outside as you are compacting. You can sort of squeeze and work both your hands towards the outside. Lift your mat and roll again compacting the same way. Your mat is bendable so the end that was closest to you will be working its way away from you.

Once rolled remove sushi roll and cut in half. Place the two halves side by side and cut those pieces either into thirds or fourths. Traditionally it's thirds but sometimes we put so much stuff in our rolls we have to cut them in fourths.

This may seem like a lot of work but it's really not. You can use chives, the green part of spring onions, matchstick carrots, I have even used cream cheese and strawberries.

Another thing I like on my rolls is fresh cilantro. LOVE it with raw salmon. If you want some more ideas on ingredients let me know and I'll be thinking. Once I read this after it's posted I may need to edit it - I could have left something out or I just need to add something.

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:25 AM   #8
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WOW!
Thank you so much. I'll to find a store that sells all of these things.
This town doesn't sell much. They still live in the past and haven't gotten too modern yet. I may have to go into town 20 miles away. But, it should be worth it.
So, raw salmon is a better fish to use?
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Old 04-22-2005, 09:54 AM   #9
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Thanks kitchenelf! I knew you would have all the right stuff for her! I completely forgot that california rolls are "inside out", I mostly make what would be "inside out inside out" california rolls.
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Old 04-22-2005, 10:16 AM   #10
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Alix - I prefer pretty much all of my rolls to have the rice on the outside - I like to work my way towards the nori versus having that as the first flavor I get in my mouth (picky I know! lol)

texasgirl - Salmon would be a good one to start with - just take a cooler with you so you can keep it cold on the way home. Stick in freezer for at least 24 hours, thaw (takes very little time, especially if you cut slices while it is still frozen) and use in your roll along with whatever other ingredients you want. I LOVE cream cheese, salmon, and cilantro together.

Another good fish to start with would be sashimi grade tuna. No need to freeze this. Just get a piece that is either wrapped in the heavy-duty plastic already or if it's not, make sure it doesn't look soft and squisy - you want it to look firm - I think you'll be able to tell when you see both examples. I like tuna with cucumber, chives (and a lot of them! lol) and some eel.

The eel is cooked and is in a sweet sauce and is VERY good. You can buy it frozen in a lot of Asian markets. Thaw the eel and cut in larger pieces to serve on top of a quenelle (for lack of a better word but will give you an idea) of rice wrapped with a strip of nori - or slice it in small strips and add to any of the above-mentioned rolls. We like to get our money's worth when we make it at home and end up putting everything in a couple rolls (tuna, salmon, eel, cilantro, chives, cream cheese, cucumber, avocado....open wide though!!!! lol)

Any leftover raw fish wrap in plastic wrap and then put in baggies and place on top of a bowl of ice. I have kept my fish like this and eaten on the 4th day I had it - but I wouldn't really recommend using it after the 3rd day to be on the safe side. I usually buy enough to last this long because I'm going to go to the trouble to make the rice (not that it's that hard) but I make extra so I can eat sushi for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack for a couple days It goes quite nicely with coffee!! lol

This is a picture of the eel - but most times it is darker and "saucier" and is always heated a bit before using. This can be done in the microwave or if you heat the whole piece at once in the oven or toaster oven but this is the way I wrap mine with the strip of nori in the middle

You can also do ANY of the fish like this. It's good also to put a little dab of wasabi on top of the rice before you put the fish on top.

This is a picture of a California roll not showing the sesame seeds on the outside but some masago then the rice, nori, and whatever you put on the inside.

Also forgot to mention you need a small dish (can be found at any Asian market) for your soy sauce. You can use anything to get by but when you get into it you'll enjoy the whole dining experience with it.

And if you ever wondered what happened to Nemo?


(sorry)
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Old 04-22-2005, 10:28 AM   #11
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*Glaaahhhh! Drool!* You are killing me here! I LOVE the salmon rolls, and sashimi tuna...mmmmmmmmm! A little warning on the tuna though, if it is not amazingly fresh it will taste quite fishy and nasty. I personally have not had much luck with tuna, but I live on the prairies. Tough to get fresh stuff in the market here.
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Old 04-22-2005, 11:17 AM   #12
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I know Alix - I want sushi really, really bad now!!!!!!!!!! Where I live I have never had bad tuna - you want me to send you some of ours? That should make the postal service happy!!!
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Old 04-23-2005, 11:30 AM   #13
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I, too, live on the great plains. When a neighbor and I threw a sushi party together, we only used cooked fish, raw being suspect when you are so far from the ocean. I've never had a California roll that wasn't "inside out", and agree that I like that best. We were surprised at what a hit the sushi party was, our only comment (to us, many of our guests had never had sushi so had not much to compare with)(we've lived in Hawaii for many years, our neighbor loves all things Japanese) was that the nori was a little wet and rubbery. We've since been told we should have toasted the nori for a few seconds in a hot oven. I love tuna sashimi, but don't get it often because of our location. In Hawaii there was always a plate of it at every potluck gathering, buffet, etc, and we miss it something terrible, but even in Florida I seldom found the "fresh sashimi-grade tuna" that I could buy in stores lived up to what I like. Funny, I'm not fussy about anything else in food, but am about seafood, especially if I'm eating it raw.
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Old 04-23-2005, 12:54 PM   #14
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Claire - I understand what you mean about rubbery nori. Sometimes even buying the toasted nori doesn't help.

I'm not sure you have a gas cooktop but I hold a sheet of nori with a pair of tongs and wave it over the flame on each side - it really helps!

Forgot to mention that you can also use nova salmon in sushi.
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Old 04-24-2005, 05:40 AM   #15
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... and we did. Use nova salmon, that is. The kind that comes in a sort of bacon-looking package in the grocery store. I can never remember the exact words (I used to have a huge chart of different kinds of sushi to help me, but that was years and miles ago). But we put it in both the rolled sushi and the kind where you form a rectangle of rice then top it. It was probably the most popular (the latter). Hey, for the small town midwest, it was pretty darned good. The one I'd like to get the skills down for is the california roll because it doesn't matter if the nori isn't perfect, it doesn't have raw fish (difficult to acquire the right quality in the midwest, plus the cultural bias against it) but it is the hardest to do.

By-the-way, if you're thinking of a sushi party, but wonder if your group can handle it, I made negemaki which was great for those who wouldn't eat the sushi -- thin, pounded pieces of steak or roast (I think I used an eye of the round) wrapped around julienned bits of carrot and scallion, toothpicked in place, then sauteed. when cooked the toothpicks can come out, the rolls will hold up without them. Then a sauce of soy, saki, water and sugar (I think its 2:2:1:1). The rolls are small enough to be eaten easily in a bite or two and is finger food, like sushi. But what probably made the party was that half the people had never tried saki or plum wine before. :)
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Old 04-24-2005, 11:37 AM   #16
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cold smoked salmon... like Norweigen lox is a great alternative to raw salmon. I love raw salmon, but I'm worried about the freshness of it from my Kroger store (local grocery store).
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:53 PM   #17
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I don't know much about sushi, but this looks like a no-no.

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Old 04-28-2005, 02:18 PM   #18
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Those are hand rolls - same ingredients as sushi only you roll up like an ice cream cone. Really good! Here's another picture of some hand rolls

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Old 05-11-2005, 02:28 PM   #19
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My daughter and I are going to try out hand at California rolls today. This is our first time trying this! Only problem is I couldnt find the rolling mat, so we'll try it with foil this time around.
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Old 05-11-2005, 02:32 PM   #20
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another good type of sushi for the novices are salmon skin hand rolls. the skin is cooked until crispy, and has a nice flavor to go along with the textures of the nori and rice...
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