Tips and Tricks for Making California Rolls

Over the past month, Akshaya has discovered a new love for California Rolls which I normally buy ready-made from the sushi counter of The Real Canadian Superstore or Metro. Two nights ago, I tried my hand at making California Rolls, and it turned out to be a huge success! My first attempt didn’t turn out as neat or pretty as I would have like it to but my second attempt proved that practice really does make perfect.

Here are 10 tips and tricks, as promised, to help you make your own:

1. Sushi Rice is a must! I used Organic California Sushi Rice. First, I rinsed 1 cup of rice in cold water until the water ran clear. Then I let the rice soak in cold water for 30 minutes before bringing it to a boil with 1.5 cups of water. Once the rice came to a boil, I turned the heat down to low and covered the pot. The rice took 15-20min to finish cooking. This amount of rice was perfect to make three full sushi rolls which is equivalent to 24 pieces.

2. Opt for seasoned rice vinegar. It’s easier to use rather than figuring out how much salt, sugar, and rice vinegar to add to your sushi rice. Once the rice had finished cooking, I added 2.5 Tbsp. Kikkoman seasoned rice vinegar to the hot rice and mixed it well.

3. Nori (roasted seaweed) sheets and roasted seasame seeds can be found in the International foods section of most local grocery stores. I found both at the Real Canadian Superstore.

4. A bamboo mat specifically made for rolling sushi is essential to make neat rolls. It can also be found in the International foods aisle right next to the Nori sheets. Use plastic wrap to cover one entire side and secure it in place with tape. This will ensure that the rice does not stick to the mat when rolling.

5. Cut the Nori sheets in half prior to use. The rice is always placed on the rough side and the veggies (or seafood if using) on the smooth side.

6. Cut your veggies into thin long strips. Choose an avocado that is soft rather than firm for better overall flavour.

7. To assemble your California Roll, place a half sheet of Nori on your bamboo mat, smooth side facing down. Using hands dipped in water to prevent sticking, evenly spread a third of the cooled rice mixture onto the entire sheet. Sprinkle with roasted seasame seeds and carefully flip over. In the centre add your veggies. lengthwise. Carefully roll and press gently as you go.

8. Once the roll is formed, clean up the edges but tucking in any veggies that might be sticking out, etc. Cut into 8 even pieces with a sharp knife dipped in water.

9. Serve with Kikkoman naturally brewed soy sauce and Sriracha mayo or condiments of your choice. To make Sriracha mayo, simply mix some mayo with your desired amount of Sriracha sauce.

10. Keep refrigerated in a air-tight container to maintain freshness.

Please let me know whether these tips and tricks were helpful, in the comments below.

NOTE: 

Most soy sauces sold in grocery stores are not made the traditional way. Instead they are made by boiling soybeans at high temperatures for a day, and then adding artificial colours, flavours, and even MSG or an additive similar to MSG such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein. 

If soy sauce is a part of your diet, it is best to choose fermented soy sauce such as Kikkoman naturally brewed soy sauce because it is generally healthier. Fermentation is a natural process which doesn’t destroy the nutrients in the soybeans unlike in non-fermented soy products. Furthermore, fermentation makes the soy protein highly digestible.

To learn more about soy, check out this post: Is Soy Good or Bad for You?

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