Posted by Lauren
After Saturday’s light (but still strenuous) 6-mile walk + lunch + nap, Kyle and I woke up ready to eat again. Surprise, surprise. To me, Groveland is all about sleeping and eating, while Yosemite is the hiking/outdoorsy/scenery medium.
Our Valentine’s Day plans included homemade sushi, but after a long day at work and heavy 101 traffic, the idea of an easy sit-down meal at La Morenita was a simple alternative. We moved homemade sushi to the back-burner… And our laid-back evening in Groveland seemed like the perfect opportunity to get the sushi rollin‘ :)
We followed Sur La Table’s Sushi Kit instructions. The kit, which was a generous Christmas gift from Nicole, contains a 8″ rice paddle, 9.5″ rolling mat made from natural bamboo, and 20-page instruction booklet. We followed the sushi rice instructions to a “T”
Yield: 3 cups cooked rice – enough for 4-5 rolls
- 1 1/2 cups Japanese-style medium-grain rice
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 5 mins: Put rice in a large bowl and add cold water to cover. Swirl the rice around with your fingers and then carefully drain the rice in a strainer over the sink. Return the rice to the bowl, add fresh water to cover, stir, drain again. Repeat until the water runs clear. (I did this about 7 times because our rice was unbelievably old!!)
- 15 mins: Transfer rice to large pot and add water. Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes (until surface of the rice is dimpled and all the water has been absorbed). Meanwhile, make the rice vinegar by stirring the vinegar/sugar/salt in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve.
- 5 mins: Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- 5 mins: Rinse paddle with cold water and transfer cooked/hot rice to large, shallow bowl (preferably wood). Gently fold the rice repeatedly with one hand, as you use your other hand to fan the rice with a square of cardboard/magazine/real fan?
- 5-10 mins: Continue to fold the rice gently, splashing about 1 tablespoon of the vinegar rice seasoning into the rice at a time. Evenly distribute each splash before adding more. Finish with 5 minutes of fanning, or until the rice has a glossy sheen.
- 5 mins: Cover the rice with a kitchen towel and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to 2 hours. Do not put foil, plastic wrap, or anything that might cause condensation to form over the bowl of rice. Definitely do not put the rice in the refrigerator!
Tip: to prevent sushi rice from sticking to your hands, keep a bowl of 1 cup water + 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar nearby. Keep your fingers moist (TWSS) while you form the rolls.
While I focused on timing the rice, Kyle sliced the jalapeno, avocados, and salmon filet. I put the claw crab meat in our a food processor and added chili sauce to the finished product to create “spicy crab.”
K, time to roll!
For a rice-on-the-outside (futo-maki?) roll, lay a sheet of nori on top of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Moisten your hands with hand vinegar and gently press + spread 1/2 cup of rice over the nori. We left a little space at the top, but you don’t have to. The rice should be 1/4″ thick.
Carefully pick up the nori and flip it over, rice side down, onto another piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Start adding your fillings end to end in the middle of the nori.
Use your fingers to lightly hold the filling in place. Pick up the bottom edge of the bamboo mat using both thumbs and roll the nori over the fillings to enclose them. Grasp the roll firmly with your fingers and press firmly on the mat to secure the roll. Continue rolling forward until you’ve rolled all the way and then carefully remove the bamboo mat.
Let the roll sit for 3 to 5 minutes before cutting to allow the moisture in the rice to soften the nori. Using a very sharp slicing knife, moisten the blade with water, and cut the roll into 6 or 8 equal pieces (your first cut should be in the middle of the roll).
Dress as desired. :)
The two rice-on-the-inside rolls were saucy – one had an avocado/chili sauce/soy sauce and the other had a peanut sauce.
A side of boiled + baked edamame was the ideal side dish!
It took us about 2 hours to get everything ready before we could eat. Oye! I’m so happy we followed a sushi guide! We would have been lost without the precious instructions for sushi rice. The four jam-packed rolls were more than enough for the two of us. That being said, Kyle and I agree that sushi tacos (a la Ashley) might be our next foray into this type of meal!
You’ve got to admit, they looked pretty good though, right?
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