California rolls with salmon, avocado and cucumber. This simple step by step guide will show you how to make your own California sushi rolls at home. Usually served without raw fish, this sushi roll is a great option for sushi-newbies, kids, and anyone who really can't stand uncooked fish.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, party food, Side Dish, Snack, starter
1 bamboo mat ready to roll your sushi, a bowl of water to keep your hands wet whilst handling sushi rice, sliced fish and veg, bowl of prepared sushi rice, and 5 sheets of nori (seaweed).
Place the nori, shiny side down, on the top of your bamboo mat. Wet your hands and take a snooker ball amount of rice and place in the centre of the seaweed sheet. Then wet your hands again and start to spread thinly and evenly over the nori, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of the seaweed. Aim for 2-3 grains thick.
At this point if you wish, you can sprinkle over black sesame and or black onion seeds.
The nori and rice must now be flipped over. The rice will stay stuck to the nori so don’t worry. Pick up the top end and flip over from top to bottom.
The fish and veg filling can be placed on top of the seaweed sheet around 2cm up from the bottom. As this is a larger sushi roll (compared to maki sushi) up to 3 fillings can be used. Here I have used salmon, cucumber and avocado.
Pick up the bottom end of the mat and start to fold it over. For the first roll you should be aiming to get the bottom end over the fillings. Then lift the end of the mat up again and roll and tighten. Continue to roll until the sushi comes out at the other side.
Cover with cling film and press to the shape of the sushi roll. You can place the mat back over the roll to do this. Then remove mat for slicing.
Next, wet your knife by dipping into the water then hold the knife up and allow the water to run down the length of the blade. Slice the roll into six or eight pieces (depending on how thick you would like them). Slice firmly through the sushi, moving the blade back and forth so to cut and not to squash. Wet the blade between each slice to prevent the blade from sticking to the rice and seaweed.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients
Present the sliced California rolls with the inside facing up and serve on a platter.
Rice: To create the right kind of flavour mix your sushi rice with rice wine vinegar and mirin rice wine, sugar and salt.Bamboo mat: Get yourself a Bamboo Rolling Mat. The sushi making process is made so much easier if you have a mat to help you roll and tighten your sushi rolls. However, you don’t have to use a bamboo mat. If you can’t get hold of one you can use baking paper to roll your sushi.Water: Have a bowl of water on hand to keep your hands wet when handling the sushi rice. Sushi rice is extremely sticky and if your hands are dry you’ll find it sticks to you rather than the seaweed. Things can get very messy very quickly.Sushi grade fish: If using raw fish I'd suggesting using fish that has been frozen to below the right temperature for the correct amount of time, which will be a lot safer to consume raw. See my full guide on sushi rolls for further details on freezing fish and sushi grade fish.Sashimi kit: If using raw fish I'd suggest buying a sashimi kit that comes with a selection of sushi grade, frozen, raw fish ready for slicing into thin pieces (sashimi). I highly recommend the sashimi kit from the Fish Society, which is what I used for making all of my sushi recipes. And there was some fish left over from this, so it goes a long way. This kit comes with 4 different types of frozen, raw fish, plus cooked, butterflied king prawns. The Fish society guarantees a total weight of 300g of sushi grade fish. The kit also includes sachets of soy sauce, sachets of wasabi, sachets of pickled ginger and 2 sets of wooden chop sticks.Vegetables: If using veg instead of, or as well as fish, go for bright colours that will look pretty against the white rice. Also choose veg that will last and not go limp. Obvious choices include cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, raw beetroot, radish and red cabbage. I also love to use avocado, which I toss in lime juice immediately after slicing to stop it oxidising and going brown.Protect your mat: Wrap your bamboo mat with cling film to keep it clean, particularly when making California rolls when the rice is on the outer edge.Don't use too much rice: Try not to place too much rice on the nori sheet. Spread the rice as thinly as possible over your nori sheet and leave a 2cm gap at the top to allow room for sealing.Knife: Use a long blade, sharp, non serrated knife for slicing your sushi. Before slicing dip the knife blade in water and allow the water to run down the length of the blade. This stops the blade from sticking to the rice and seaweed.Use cling film when slicing: When slicing sushi with rice outside (California rolls) place cling film over your finished rolls first. This will help to keep the roll together and to keep its shape whilst you slice.Wrap and chill: Once your sushi are made, plate up cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will firstly keep the sushi nice and fresh but will also set the rice and make your sushi easier to handle and eat.Condiments: Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi for that extra punch of flavour and touch of authenticity.Time!: Give yourself plenty of time! Don’t under estimate the mess this can make and the time it can take just to prepare your veg and fish alone.