Thursday, July 1, 2010

California Girls, We're Unforgettable...

(above) California Rolls

I have been converted. After trying three of his recipes (all of which have passed with flying colors) I can now officially say that I am an Alton Brown fan. I made these California rolls using Alton Brown's recipe for sushi rice and California rolls. Crabmeat, cucumber and avocado surrounded by seaweed, seasoned rice and toasted sesame seeds make a pleasantly refreshing (and not to mention delicious) summer lunch. Rolling the rolls was a bit of a tricky process, but I figured out that they key to making the best rolls is actually to use as little rice as possible (just enough to cover the seaweed). A rice overload will not only make it difficult to roll up the sushi but create less room for the oh-so-very-important fillings. There were a couple of ingredients that I had to go out of my way to buy such as the Japanese rice, rice vinegar, seaweed and crab meat. That being said, I think that it is worth it to double the recipe as getting all the ingredients together can be kind of a pain. However, I must note that once you get the hang of it, making the rolls can be a pretty fast process. It's mainly the extra-ingredient shopping that can get a bit tedious. Nonetheless, these rolls are delicious and definitely much more economical if you ever have a craving for sushi.
Oh, on a side note, did you get the title reference? It was pretty obvious. You know, the Katy Perry song that has been playing on the radio repeatedly all summer? California Gurls? California rolls? Sorry for the corny pun, but I just had to do it.

(above) Sushi rice at room temperature.

(above) I toasted white sesame seeds on an non-stick frying pan.

(above) Preparation is key to making California rolls, so be sure to prepare the crab sticks, cucumber and avocado ahead of time. A squeeze of lime will prevent the avocado from browning.

(above) Serve with soy sauce.

(above) California Rolls

California Rolls
Recipe from Alton Brown
Makes 24 pieces
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
4 sheets nori (seaweed)
1/2 batch sushi rice, recipe follows
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchstick-size pieces
4 crabsticks, torn into pieces
  1. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado to prevent browning.
  2. Cover a bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap. Cut nori sheets in half crosswise. Lay 1 sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the plastic covered mat. Wet your fingers with water and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds. Turn the sheet of nori over so that the rice side is down. Place 1/8 of the cucumber, avocado and crab sticks in the center of the sheet. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder. Pull away the mat and set aside. Cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until all of the rice has been used.
  3. Cut each roll into 6 pieces.
Sushi Rice
Recipe from Alton Brown
2 cups sushi or short grain rice
2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
  1. Place the rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water, pour off and repeat 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear.
  2. Place the rice and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi.
Notes: I used a rice cooker to cook the rice. I also followed the directions printed on my bag of rice and used 1.3 cups of water for every cup of rice. I did not have kosher salt, so I used one teaspoon of table salt.


  1. West coast represent, now put your hands up... I definitely noticed the title right off the bat. Love it!:)

  2. California rolls are my favorite! They're the only kind of sushi I order at a restaurant. Yours look delicious!! And your pictures are making me drool. . .

  3. Your california rolls look really delicious!
    By the way, I'm reading your blog from Seoul~ I'll make sure to read this post again when I am in Tokyo :D