I love Nori, the toasted seaweed used for making sushi, California rolls and here, hand rolls. Since I discovered it relatively late in life, I guess I'm catching up with years of going without it.
Hand rolls are so much fun because they look beautiful and elegant and yet they are so simple to make and can be fun for a hands on, make-your-own kind of meal. And that's exactly what happened here.
Instead of a traditional New Year's Day sit down dinner with black-eyed peas, greens and pork, I put together a fun variety of items for my guests to stuff their hand roll with: marinated shiitake mushrooms or tofu, fresh cut vegetables and bean sprouts, cilantro and mint sprigs. And of course the zippy condiments of wasabi paste, wasabi mayonaise, pickled ginger, and soy dipping sauce.
Here are some of the basics for making homemade sushi, including sushi rice and dipping sauce.
1 cup sushi rice (you can also use short grain brown rice too)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin (rice wine)
Bring water and rice to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover and cook for 25-30 minutes until water is all absorbed. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Add vinegar and mirin to rice and mix well. Set aside to cool. (If you want to use it right away, spread it out on a sheet pan or in a metal bowl to cool faster.)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Mix well and serve.
Marinated Shiitake Mushrooms
1/4 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced in 1/8 inch slices
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon mirin (rice wine)
Heat skillet over high heat. Add sesame oil and heat 1 minute. Add mushrooms and toss in oil. Cook 6-8 minutes until mushrooms begin to soften and brown. When mushrooms begin to stick to pan add mirin (rice wine) to deglaze pan. Cook another 2 minutes and add rice wine vinegar and cook another 2 minutes until all moisture is absorbed. Refrigerate until chilled.