California Rolls: No Mat Required

Sushi is so expensive when you buy it in a restaurant. Even California rolls at their cheapest cost about $6. If you make your own, they cost less than $1.50! I do love the raw fish kind, but I’m not quite brave enough to make it myself, so here’s the lovely “safe” version (for most palates). You also don’t need a fancy mat.

As with most of my recipes, I have updated this one to include the Instant Pot! I always used to make rice on the stove, but I’ll never go back. Pressure-cooked rice has a superb texture.

Cooking the Rice

Put into the Instant Pot:

1 c. Calrose rice (found in the Asian section of the grocery store)

1 c. + 3 T. water

Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes, then natural release. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, use the directions on the bag to cook the rice on the stove.

Preparing the Veggies and Crab

While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients:

1 medium avocado, cut into 8 slices

1 cucumber, cut into sticks

4 oz. imitation crab, cut into sticks, or a 5 oz. can of real crab, drained

Seasoning the Rice

Once the rice has cooled, season it with the following:

2 T. rice vinegar

1 T. sugar

3/4 t. salt

Assembling the Sushi

You will need all of the following:

4 nori sheets (found in the Asian section of the grocery store in packages of 10)

the seasoned rice

the vegetables

the crab

plastic wrap

  1. Tear off a sheet of plastic wrap and place a sheet of nori on it, shiny side down.
  2. Place 1/4 of the cooked rice on it, and spread it out almost to the edge (leaving a little space) with a rice paddle or your fingers. To keep the rice from sticking to your hands, have a little water nearby to wet them. You should have a fairly thin layer of rice on the nori.
  3. Place cucumber sticks, 2 slices of avocado, and 1/4 of the crab on the nori in a line about 1/3 of the way down the square. Roll tightly (but not too tight!) If you’ve done it right, nothing should fall out the ends and the nori shouldn’t rip. It’s amazing that it turns from dry and crunchy into a soft, pliable roll.
  4. Stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to cut it. I like the start cutting in the middle with a very sharp knife and work my way outward.

Serve California rolls with any of the following:

pickled ginger

soy sauce

wasabi paste

California roll

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