Sushi 102: Roll a Fat One with The Virgin
If you're looking to feed picky eaters or don't trust your supermarket fish counter, the California roll is a perfect place to start. It's a wholly American invention created by a California sushi chef unsatisfied with the grade of fish available, but it makes use of ingredients more readily available in an average market.
Things you'll need: sushi mat, cellophane wrap, sushi rice (see last week's post, or a reliable source), english cucumber, crab meat, mayonnaise, avocado and nori.
|This relationship is getting too clingy.|
1. Lay your makisu (bamboo rolling mat) out on a flat surface such as a countertop, and cover with a square of cellophane. Tip: If you end up with a plastic wrap covered hand or it all clings together in an unattractive lump, try keeping your plastic wrap in the freezer. It'll unroll much easier.
2. Since the California roll is made "inside out," you'll start with the rice instead of the seaweed wrapper that enfolds most sushi rolls. Dip your hands in a small bowl of vinegar-infused water and lay down a 1/4-inch thick bed of slightly warm sushi rice the same size as a nori (seaweed) sheet. Press gently.
Don't smash the shit down, or your roll will end up pasty.
Pray that you cooked the rice correctly, or your roll could fall apart. So will you, if you've got a hungry dinner party waiting and all you can offer is sushi with rice grains dropping off like little maggots.
4. Cut avocado into long strips about 1/4 inch wide. If your avocado is too ripe, it'll be halfway to guacamole already, so give up and cut another avocado. Don't take the time to answer your phone, go to the bathroom or get your mail here. Hold all of your urges, or your avocado will start to turn a sickly gangrene color. No one wants gangrene in their sushi.
5. Lay two strips of fresh avocado lengthwise in the center of your roll, making sure you put down enough strips to go from top to bottom. Do the same with an english cucumber and the crab (or "krab," if you're a cheap-ass like The Virgin).