If you're eager to get rolling or don't have a rice cooker, this quick microwave method will produce tasty Sushi Rice in just around 45 minutes. Be sure to have plastic wrap and aluminum foil ready when the timer sounds so that the least amount of steam escapes before being tightly covered.
Sushi expert Trevor Corson reminds us that despite the name, the California roll was not originally created for American tastes. In the early 1970s, early sushi bars in Los Angeles catered mostly to traveling Japanese businessmen. When the fatty belly of blufinn tuna, toro, became scarce, one chef combined crab and avocado to create the feel of tuna belly on the tongue. The name California roll was given to honor the plentiful, local Californian ingredient--the avocado.
Did you know that kappa is not the Japanese word for cucumber? It is the name for a mischievous, mythical, turtle-like creature that guards bridges often demanding a toll for safe passage. However, cucumbers are said to be among their favorite prizes, hence the name for this thin roll.
One of the things I love most about a great bar mitzvah (or bat mitzvah, for that matter!) is the thought and creativity that often goes into their planning. Ive always considered it an honor to be asked to create kosher versions of sushi for these events. Never have I minded the mashgiach, a rabbi, or other supervisor versed in kosher law, looking over my shoulder at my every move. After all, even rabbis like to pick up a few good sushi-making tips!
Don't be put off by the total time needed to complete this version of Sushi Rice. Most of it is hands-off time. For your patience, you will be rewarded with perfectly flavored rice that spreads easily.
The use of a long grain rice may seem counter intuitive for preparing sushi. But then again, so does using brown rice. Just after the rice is tossed in the dressing it may seem overly sticky. This is okay. Once the rice cools to room temperature, the stickiness reduces greatly and it becomes a more willing participant in the sushi
In sushi school, one of the skills we worked on daily was learning to cut vegetables into long, thin continuous sheets that could be used as wrappers. It requires a special kind of knife as well as a special kind of patience. These cucumber-wrapped rolls offer a similar flavor without all of the headache by using a spoon to hollow out the cucumbers.
If you can't find the pomegranate seeds or arils already prepared, use this easy method to take them from the whole fruit Slice the pomegranate in half, then break the halves into pieces over a large bowl of water. Working with one piece at a time, continue to break the pieces into smaller ones in the water. Pull the arils away from the pulp. The seeds should sink as the pulp floats. Discard the pulp and store the arils in fresh water in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Store-bought ponzu often contains bonito flakes to enhance the flavor. This vegetarian version relies on a variety of citrus juices to keep the sauce flavor balanced. If you have access to the juice of yuzu fruit, a uniquely flavored Japanese citrus, use it in place of the lemon juice.
For faster preparation, use a package of pre-boiled, pre-peeled eggs.
Furikake is a seasoning for steamed rice. It also adds variety to seasoned sushi rice. Try any of the variations over sushi rice, on plain tofu or on salads. Furikake also makes a fantastic seasoning for french fries.