Sushi is a food that so many people just LOVE.  I’ve tried it multiple varieties several different times in the past, and though I always thought it was good, I never quite understood the “thing” that people feel for sushi.  It was just okay, but I never craved it.  Then last month, we had dinner at our friends’ house and the hostess served her California rolls.  Next thing I knew, it was a month later, and I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about them.  So recently, we invited them over for dinner and I asked her to teach me how to make California rolls.  I was shocked when I realized how quick and simple they are to make!  

California rolls are probably the most basic and popular of sushi rolls.  They don’t contain any seafood so if you are afraid of raw fish, no worries hear.  You can easily alter the veggies you include in your rolls to suit your personal tastes.  I used scallions, red pepper and avocado but you can make it your own!

My biggest issue was simply finding the nori (seaweed wraps) in a grocery store.  A couple stores in my area have been rumored to carry them, but I searched high and low with no luck.  I ended up finding a large selection in a wonderful little co-op grocery store in my hometown.  Ironically enough, my regular grocery store did carry the bamboo rolling mat, but no nori – what’s up with that?  Anyway, if you are a fan of California rolls in restaurants, now you too can enjoy how incredibly simple it is to make them at home!

 Start out with a bag of sushi rice.  This is not the same thing as regular white rice.  This is the kind I used.  (I like that it is “extra fancy” – LOL.)  Prepare a batch according to the package directions.

Once the rice is cooked, mix in a couple tablespoons each of rice vinegar and white sugar.  Let the rice cool.

I hope you have better luck finding nori than I did!

Lay one sheet of the nori out on a bamboo rolling mat.

Using clean WET HANDS, cover the nori with a thin layer of sushi rice.  If your hands aren’t wet, the rice will stick to you and just be a big mess – trust me.  Press it down flat on top.  (Be careful not to use too much rice.  April tells me this is one of the easiest mistakes to make, and this can result in difficulty rolling the sushi.)

Place scallion pieces on top of the rice in a line near the end of the nori.

Then add a line of red pepper pieces (or again, use whatever veggies suit you).

And a line of avocado pieces (I don’t even like avocado, but I like it in this).

Once all your veggies are lined up at the end, use the bamboo mat to help roll the sushi up very tightly.  (You can wet the far edge of the nori lightly with water to help it stick to the roll, but I haven’t found that to be necessary.)

And keep rolling until it is completely rolled up.

Voila!  Pretty sushi roll.

Use a good, sharp knife to cut the roll up into pieces.  Normally I have cut each roll into 6 pieces, but they are a tad big so I think next time I will do 7 or 8.

Dip the rolls in soy sauce and wasabi, and enjoy!  I’m looking forward to trying more kinds of sushi rolls now that I have the itch!

Source: passed on to me by friend April E.