The lazy cook’s California rolls

April 29, 2008

DIY California Rolls

 

I’ve decided to feature my children’s favorite meals this week, starting with my daughter’s.  She has always had a fairly sophisticated palate, choosing an aged Asiago over American, a hard crusty Italian bread over Wonderbread, chorizo before a hot dog, and freshly steamed hard shell crabs over fish sticks.  So what does this little foodie say is her favorite meal?  California rolls.  Ok, I know California rolls are to sushi lovers what beefaroni is to pasta gourmets, but she’s seven.  And I serve it family style, meaning everyone makes their own, which she adores.  I offered to make the real deal for her birthday, rolling and cutting into the traditional individual pieces.  Nope – not interested.  She wanted to make her own, as she always has done.

Serendipitously, this also happens to be a no-cook dinner (other than the rice, which I don’t even count as cooking since I have a rice cooker).  You do have to season the cooked rice, and the only other “cooking” is the miso soup, which I usually serve with California rolls.  You can buy the dry soup packets and just add boiling water.  I make my miso soup with miso paste, water, tofu and a garnish of scallions – it takes all of 3 minutes.  Once you cut up the cucumbers, imitation crab meat, avocados and nori, dinner is ready! 

 

Make your own California rolls

(serves 4)

2-3 ripe avocados

8 oz. imitation crab meat sticks (about 10)

1 English (seedless) cucumber

8 sheets of nori

2 C. seasoned sushi rice

soy sauce for dipping

prepared wasabi for soy sauce

 

Cut avocados and cucumbers into strips about 3 inches long, 1/4 inch wide.  Shred or cut crab meat into about 3 pieces per stick, also about 1/4 inch wide.  Using scissors, cut nori sheets into quarters.  Place each ingredient (avocado, cucumber, crab meat, nori, and rice) onto its own plate.  Everyone takes their own nori, puts a bit of rice, one piece of cucumber, crab and avocado on it.  Roll it up and dip in wasabi soy sauce.

 

Seasoned Sushi Rice

2 – 2 1/2 C. cooked Japanese or Korean rice

3 Tbs. rice vinegar

2 Tbs. sugar

1 tsp. salt

Once the rice is cooked, let cool slightly.  Mix in rice vinegar, sugar and salt.  Mix well and serve in California rolls immediately.

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One Response to “The lazy cook’s California rolls”


  1. hi came across your blog via the korean food tag. nice photos!
    my mom used to make this for us — almost exactly like yours but she added omelet strips. i now make my own DIY version substituting grilled or raw salmon for the crab and i leave out the omelet.


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