We are going on a Culinary tour of California for this month’s International Food Challenge. Our host for this month, Joanne T Ferguson who blogs @ What’s on the list picked some amazing dishes from California. As Joanne says there are no “official” dishes of California. California cuisine is based on fusion foods, from many cultures and recipes that were adapted throughout the history.
Personally I feel California is a country in itself. One reason being it is one of the largest states in US (FYI: 3rd largest in US and when compared to New Jersey which is in the 47th place, California is HUGE) and the most populous US state. From my working experience in compliance for many years, I know US as a country has many regulations, but California as a state has many many many more complicated regulations.
Coming back to today’s dish, I picked a relatively easy dish from the list. Sushi has been on my to-make list for a long time now. In fact I bought all the ingredients a while back, but never got around to make them. One of my dear friends makes excellent sushi (even her 8 year old is a sushi enthusiast) and I wanted her to teach me to make some sushi rolls, but that didn’t happen either.
So finally I decided to make them myself and found out they are not really that difficult. I made simple cucumber & carrot rolls, California style which is nothing but the rice layer is outside instead of the more commonly available sushi which has the nori seaweed layer outside. Served with spicy dipping sauce, these rolls are very addictive.
Recipe adapted from here:
Cucumber & Carrot California Sushi Roll
For the Rice:
For the Sushi:
- Cook the Sushi Rice: Wash the sushi rice under running water until the water runs clear. Add 11/4cups of water to the rice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Let the rice cool a little.
- Add the rice vinegar and salt to rice, mix well. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Make the Sushi Roll: Cover the sushi mat with plastic wrap on both sides. Place the nori seaweed shiny side up on the mat, place about 1/2cup of rice on the seaweed. Spread it evenly with the back of a spoon or wet fingers.
- Now carefully flip the nori sheet so that the rice side faces down. Place the veggies lengthwise making sure that you fill them out the entire nori sheet.
- Here comes the fun part; rolling the sushi. Pick up the nori sheet along with the mat and roll it over the veggies covering them completely, now tuck and squeeze to make a tight roll. Continue rolling using the mat as a guide till you reach the end. Give the roll one final squeeze before removing the mat. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the roll,
- Using a sharp knife cut the roll into equal pieces. Clean the knife with a damp paper towel between each cut, to get nicely cut sushi rolls.
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Use as needed.