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by Sarah Steimer

I had a few friends over and it had been very, very hot out. There was no part of me that wanted to be standing over a grill or an oven, so I decided to do sushi and vegetarian spring rolls. It took a little prep time, but turned out to be a really nice spread.

  • prepared sushi rice (recipe and directions here)
  • 1/2 of a small sweet potato, peeled and cut into french fry-sized strips
  • olive oil
  • 3/4 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 4 sheets nori paper
  • Sriracha

Simmer the sweet potato strips in a small sauce pan until soft. Remove the sweet potatoes, allowing to drain and come to room temperature.

My whole “too hot to cook” matra worked itself into the crunch, too. Instead of doing a tempura batter in hot oil, I just sautéed some seasoned panko crumbs.

Heat olive oil in a small saute pan. Add the bread crumbs and cook until golden brown. Add the sweet potatoes a handful at a time, tossing until covered in the crumbs. Set the sweet potato strips and extra bread crumbs aside.

Distribute about 2/3-3/4 cup of rice on a prepared sushi mat. Press the sheet of nori paper on top of the rice. About one-third of the way up the mat, from the bottom, add a few strips of the sweet potato strips and red pepper strips. Roll from the bottom up, pressing firmly at the end. Directions for rolling sushi can be found in this previous post.

Cut and arrange the sushi. Top with the leftover panko crumbs and a few drops of the Sriracha sauce.

 

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by Sarah Steimer

I got Bill and I sushi-making classes for Christmas, which we took back in January. This was, admittedly, the first time we’ve made them since, but I’m happy to report that we forgot nothing.

For the rice

  • 2 cups sushi rice (MUST be sushi rice)
  • water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Rinse the rice about three or four times, or until the water is nearly clear.

Place the rinsed rice in a medium pot and add two cups of water. Without a lid, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat as far as possible and cover. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the head and let sit for 10 more minutes.

Microwave the vinegar, sugar and salt for 30-45 seconds. In a wooden or glass bowl, combine the rice with the warm vinegar mixture. Fold gently so all the rice is coated in the vinegar. Let the rice sit until it reaches room temperature before use.

For the rolls

  • 4 sheets of nori paper
  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • crab – can use the imitation crab sticks or real crab, which is kind of expensive but very delicious

Start by getting all of your ingredients ready – you’ll have sticky rice fingers while you work and won’t want to be grabbing for everything after the fact.

Avocado, lump crab and cucumber.

You will need a sushi mat for rolling. We covered ours in plastic wrap because this makes it easier to clean after (picking rice out of all those little crannies could be a pain).

Keep a small bowl of water handy to dip your fingers it, this keeps the rice from sticking to your fingers TOO much. Use a cup of rice or less for each roll. Place the rice in the center of the mat and use your wet fingers to lightly flick the rice toward the outside of the mat. DO NOT mash the rice down, flick gently to distribute.

Chef Bill demonstrating the rice distribution for us. try to get as close to the edge of the mat as possible.

Once the mat is covered in rice, place the nori paper on top of the rice, with the rough side facing down. Press the nori down gently, but firmly.

Nori paper on top of the rice.

Add the “inside” ingredients in a row, being careful not to add too many. Arrange these in the upper one-third of the square.

Get those ingredients all the way to the edges.

Working from the top, start your roll by carefully lifting the mat and rice/nori over the inside ingredients, pressing firmly as you go. As you continue to roll down, pull the mat away from the roll as you go, you don’t want to roll the mat itself up into the roll. Once the maki is fully rolled up, give it a good press with the mat before removing it.

If you made the rice well, it should very easily lift away from the mat as you roll.

Finally, use a very sharp knife to cut the roll into eight even pieces. Start by cutting the roll in half, cutting those halves in half and so on.

My very fancy Japanese knife (by Shun). Ironically, Bill got the knife for me as a Christmas gift at the same place we took our sushi class.

Serve with wasabi, soy sauce and any other dips you would like.

By the way, the special pink sauce we put on top of our rolls was Bill’s invention. He just mixed together a lemony mayonnaise we had with some sriracha sauce, adjusting for spiciness.

The end!

Makes four servings: one roll per person, with eight pieces per roll.

Rice recipe from Alton Brown via the Food Network

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