SECRETS SERVED: California Rolls

This week, Secrets Served comes from Waterfront Seafood in Ankeny. Watch to learn how to make delicious California Rolls.

Waterfront Seafood also has a restaurant in West Des Moines.

Making sushi at home is easy, according to chef Leo Wu, most of the ingredients and equipment needed can be found at Asian markets and Asian Foods Stores.

Ingredients/equipment

Imitation Crab, cucumber, avocado, half cut seaweed, sesame seed, Japanese premium short-grain rice, rice vinegar, salt, sugar, bamboo mat, rice cooker, knife, cutting board, plastic wrap, kombu (optional)

Basic seasoned sushi rice

Vinegar mixture (5 tbsp vinegar, 3½ tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp salt, 1 sheet kombu). Wash rice until water is clear, measure the water and add to rice in a heavy pot or rice cooker. Set aside for 15mins. Bring to boil. When cooked, turn off heat and continue to steam for 20mins. Prepare vinegar mixture by mixing ingredients in a pan over heat. Stop the heat just before it comes to a boil. Remove kombu and let cool until ready to use. When rice is done, transfer to a large bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the rice using a spatula or wooden spoon (pour enough to coat the rice but not make it damp). Separate rice starting from the outside making cutting motion and spread. Let cool it until it reaches room temperature.

Preparing sushi ingredients

Wash, peel and seed cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise, then cut into long, slender strips. Cut avocado in half lengthwise, remove the pit. Cut each section in half again and remove the peel. Cut the section in slender strips. Remove the plastic wrapping from the Imitation Crab, place the crab, avocado slices and cucumber slices on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you ready to use.

How to roll

Wrap the bamboo mat with plastic wrap before you start, then lay the bamboo mat on a cutting board with bamboo strips going horizontally from you. Place a sheet of seaweed on top the bamboo mat (with shiny side down) half inch away from the bottom of bamboo mat. Spread a thin layer of sushi rice on the seaweed then sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds. Turn over the rice/seaweed sheet onto the bamboo mat (wet your hand with water when you patting the rice onto the seaweed) . Arrange strips of cucumber and avocado along the center of the seaweed, top with crab. Placing your fingers on the ingredients, carefully bring the bottom end of the bamboo mat up and roll over the ingredients. Pull back the mat and continue rolling the sushi until complete the sushi roll. Gently press the mat around the sushi roll until is firm (roll tightly with firm pressure). Place rolls on a cutting board and cut the sushi roll into half, from there you can cut it into six or eight pieces whichever you like. Place the cut sushi rolls on a serving platter or plate, enjoy your sushi rolls plain like that or you can serve with wasabi, soy sauce and ginger too.

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