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
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.