If you think Cucumber Avocado Roll is boring, I urge you to think again.
Total: 35 - 45 minutes
Sushi Rice: 30 - 40 minutes
Rolling: 5 minutes
Never underestimate the power (or I should say the flavor) of vegetables. Especially avocado.
I think whoever thought of using Avocado for Sushi was Genius (supposedly, it was a chef at Tokyo Kaikan in Los Angeles who invented California Roll.)
Avocado and Sushi Rice go really well. In fact, it’s tough to find ingredients that DO NO go well with Avocado: Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, Shrimp Tempura, and Teriyaki Chicken. Avocado’s rich buttery creamy taste is not too heavy like animal fat, which I believe is the reason it goes so well with many seafood.
Now, for those who know that there are many traditional vegetarian Hosomaki and Chumaki Rolls in Japan, Avocado Roll wasn’t one of them. For one, Avocado is not native to Japan. I remember when I first started to see Avocado in a supermarket (some thirty years ago?). Almost no housewives knew what to do with it. “Are we supposed to cook it or eat it raw?” It took some years for the Japanese to get used to Avocado, but it turns out Avocado “Sashimi” with wasabi and soy sauce is fantastic! If you haven’t tried with Fresh Wasabi (available from Half Moon Bay Wasabi in California.)
Cucumber being the traditional Hosomaki ingredient, when combined with Avocado, it creates a nice balance - creamy from Avocado and refreshing from Cucumber. It’s a great combination.
Another reason I recommend not underestimating Cucumber Avocado Roll is that, you can use this roll as a base to make “special” rolls. For example, put some sliced Salmon on top. It is a different roll than putting Salmon inside alongside of Cucumber and Avocado. It will taste different because when you put Salmon on the outside of an Inside Out Roll, you will taste the Salmon first. When you eat a regular Inside Out Roll, you will taste Rice first, followed by whatever is inside of the roll. For an Inside Out Roll, It’s hard to taste what kind of fish you are tasting, unless you pay close attention to it.
Spicy Shrimp is another one you can put on top of this Cucumber Avocado Roll, instead of putting all the ingredients inside. Try it. You will be pleasantly surprised that you will taste more of Spicy Shrimp when you put it on top. You will taste the Spicy Shrimp first.
So, consider Cucumber Avocado as a basic roll you can use for whatever roll you want to create in the future.
INGREDIENTS (for one roll):
200g Sushi Rice
1 Nori Seaweed, half sheet
4 - 6 pcs Avocado, sliced ½ inch thick
4 - 6 Julienned English Cucumber
Makisu, Sushi Rolling Mat
(How to spread rice for Inside Out Rolls, Step 3 - 12)
Make Sushi Rice (follow this recipe).
Wipe the cutting board with a wet towel to moisten.
Place half sheet nori horizontally, rough side facing up.
Wet your hands.
Grab sushi rice, tennis ball size, approximately 200g.
Place the sushi rice on the top left corner, shaping it like a potato.
Using the bottom part of your left palm, apply pressure, spread the sushi rice horizontally.
With your right hand, making a “U” shape, guide the sushi rice so that it covers the top half to 2/3 of the Nori.
Rhythmically, turn your left hand three times to cover the top portion of the Nori with rice.
Clean your hands with a wet towel, dip your fingers in the water.
Using fingertips, apply the pressure, spread the rice to the bottom, from the left, center, and right.
Spread the sushi rice all the way to the top and corners to cover the entire sheet of Nori as even as possible.
Flip the Nori with Sushi Rice so the Nori is facing up.
Place Avocado and Cucumber, in the center of Nori.
Pick up the bottom edge of the Nori, roll like a Yoga mat. The bottom edge should land below the top edge of Nori.
Seal, then roll another 90 degrees forward.
Place a plastic covered Makisu over the roll and squeeze.
Cut into eight pieces.
Plate and serve.
(Cucumber Avocado Roll, Steps 13 - 18)
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