Friday, March 6, 2009

Veggie California Rolls

I have been on a major California Roll kick lately. So I thought I would share how I do it, since the more I mention it, the more I find people love them, but never thought to make their own. They are very easy and inexpensive to make - you'll never pay for them again! Plus...brown rice & raw veggies?? It couldn't get any healthier. But some how your brain thinks it's way more special. And it is!

Veggie California Rolls

Before you begin, gather these items:

* short grain brown or white rice, hot cooked, or leftover
* seasoned rice vinegar
* Bamboo mat (you can purchase one at a regular grocery store - in the Asian section)
* Nori (Japanese seaweed, sold in same place as above)
* Assorted veggies (I like carrots, cucumber, spicy sprouts and sometimes avocado)
* small dish of water to dip fingers in
* soy sauce and wasabi (a green spicy paste used in Japanese cooking)
* sesame seeds (optional)
* pickled ginger (optional)

Cut up your veggies into thin strips. I used carrots, cucumbers, Daikon sprouts (which have a radish-like spiciness to them), and avocado. Make sure to scoop out the cucumber seeds before you slice. You can peel the cukes or leave unpeeled.

Lay your mat out on a flat surface or cutting board. Place 1 sheet of Nori on your mat shiny side down. (This is just so the pretty part is on the outside)

Heat up your rice by placing in micro, covered, so it gets hot and steamy.

Put 1 cup of rice per roll you want to make, in a big plastic bowl. Use 1 tablespoon rice vinegar per cup of rice. Stir rice with wooden or plastic spoon while it cools. This will get the starches going and create a very sticky rice - which you want in this case.

Spoon 1 cup of rice onto Nori and spread out, leaving an inch or so at the top so it can seal. Dip your fingers in the water to prevent them from sticking to rice. Press firmly making a nice thin rice patty on top of the Nori.

Place vegetables at the end closest to you. You will get to know how much you prefer - including more or less rice. The more fillings, the bigger the roll.

Dab the end of the roll (the part you left without rice) with some of the water from the dish (this will seal the roll together.) Without rolling the mat UP with the roll, use the mat to help you roll it tightly. For a video explanation, check out youtube!

Slice into 1" segments with a sharp knife. (I don't own a sharp knife -ahem- so I use a serrated bread knife)

Serve with pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi. You can add some wasabi to the soy sauce for a spicier dipping sauce.

I could eat these every day! They store great in the fridge and are a quick healthy pick-me-up snack for a famished Mommy after school. Or a gourmet meal served with miso soup and terriyaki veggie bowls. Rock and Roll!


steph said...

I'm totally excited to make these. They look so yummy and easy. Why have I been paying for them for all these years?

potatolicious said...

Thank you for posting this. I pay exorbitant amounts for this when I could be making it for pennies! Do you know how to make them with the nori inside and the rice outside? I think you may need to put plastic wrap on the bamboo mat...

Jenn said...

potatolicious - Yes, for the inside out rolls, You layer first the mat, then the plastic wrap, rice, nori, then lastly the veggies. You gently pull on the plastic wrap with left hand (pulling away from you) as you roll it up with your right hand. For a video, check out youtube, I saw some there!

potatolicious said...

Thanks, Jenn. I'm making these on Saturday and will let you know how they turn out! I love your blog. I'm a fellow McDougaller :-)

potatolicious said...

I made these over the weekend. All I can say (besides "delicious!")is that yours are waaaaay prettier than mine. I'll need a lot more practice before the inside out rolls work! Thanks for your instructions and recipe.

Jenn said...

Potatolicious - Keep practicing, you'll get better - also keep your fingers (and hands too) good and wet so you can pat the rice really smooth. Also, it takes practice to roll it tight. Make sure you use a good serrated knife too. Good thing "look" doesn't affect taste though! Glad they were yummy for you!

Dina said...

Yippee, I'm glad you posted these because I've been craving them. I remember us going on Trader Joe's runs for California Rolls. Ooooo and that mango salsa with our baked chips, yummy. We would eat these for days and days. Yummy, I'm on a mission tomorrow for supplies!!!

Jenn said...

Totally!! You were the one who taught me to eat it with a ginger slice on top! - and I still eat it this way. I always look for that salsa (still) at Trader's, but they never have it. I forgot that we ate those too! Yummy days! Oh, and the tuna salad with grapes and basil. remember that? We knew how to eat well.


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