California roll or California Maki is a type of sushi roll that contains cucumber, crab stick (kani) and mango / avocado which is made inside out then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Though this looks so Japanese it did not originated in Japan but in United States by a Japanese chef during the 1970’s. It all started in California when Ichiro Mashita began substituting avocadoes for tuna due to its oily texture that resembles the fish it is replacing; other ingredients were tried giving birth to that popular combination of crab stick, cucumber, avocado and mayonnaise. Mashita also inverted the rolling process (uramaki) as Americans did not like chewing on the nori outside the roll. This type of sushi became popular in California and it spread its popularity across the United States by 1980’s. Due to this popularity other type of sushi rolls were exposed to the American palate from simple tuna avocado roll to more exotic options.
This post reminded me of an ex-colleague of mine when he saw my sushi post and gave me a challenge whether I can do it inside out. After several months later, here is the result of his challenge, though is too late and he is not my office mate anymore its better late than never.
Ingredients (Sushi Rice)
1 cup Japanese Short-Grain Rice
1 1/4 cups Cold Water
3 tablespoons Mirin (Sushi Rice Vinegar)
Ingredients (Sushi Roll)
2 cups Freshly Prepared Sushi Rice
1 large mango, sliced
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1 small cucumber, sliced, peeled and cored
4 sheets of Nori Seaweed Wrapper
cling wrap, cut into a Nori Seaweed Wrapper size
Method (Sushi Rice)
- Rinse rice with water until drain water runs clear.
- Place rice and cold water in a small rice cooker and cook.
- Once cooked stand for 10 minutes covered in rice cooker.
- Place rice in ceramic bowl then slowly add vinegar while mixing the rice.
- Set aside to cool in room temperature but keep rice covered with a damp cloth while preparing.
Method (Sushi Roll)
- Place a bamboo sushi mat on a flat surface then place a sheet of cling wrap on top.
- Sprinkle sesame seed on top then cover the cling wrap with thin layer of sushi rice, press it firmly with a bamboo spoon and distribute it evenly on the edges.
- Place nori on top of the rice.
- Place a teaspoon of mayonnaise across the top edge then place strips of kani, cucumber and mango side by side.
- Now roll the bamboo mat starting at the edge while pressing it firmly, continue until it reaches the end of the bamboo mat.
- Remove the roll from the bamboo mat and carefully slice into 1 inch thick pieces. Moisten the sharp knife every time you cut a new slice.