Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Double Pickle Sushi Rolls

If you look for this recipe in a sushi book, you probably won't find it.  I created it myself!  I got inspired by plain umeboshi (pickled plum) sushi, and decided to add takuan (pickled diakon raddish) and cucumber.  It's a mix of sweet and salty in each bite.  I know what you're thinking:  But sushi chefs train for years!  I can't do this!!  Yes you can.  It's actually not that hard.  It might not look quite as pretty as when a real sushi chef does it, but it tastes fine and it's much cheaper than going out.  The only special 'equipment' you need is a sushi rolling mat.  You can often find them in well-stocked grocery stores nowadays.  Try it out yourself and let me know what you think!

photo by Emily - note: photo shows only half of what recipe makes
Double Pickle Sushi Rolls (serves 2... or 1 if you're really hungry)

1/2 c. sushi rice
2/3 c. water
1 Tbsp. sushi vinegar
3 umeboshi, pitted
1 in. takuan
1 in. cucumber
1 sheet of toasted nori
soy sauce, wasabi, & pickled ginger (to serve)

Rinse the rice in cold water several times until the water runs clear.  Put the rice in a pot with a tight-fitting lid with the measured water.  Bring to a boil and continue to boil until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat, but leave the lid on for another 10 min.  Afterwards, add the vinegar and incorporate using a slicing method with a spatula (don't stir!!).  Dump the rice out onto a plate and spread evenly.  Cool the rice to room temperature.  Note:  Sushi is one of those times where you HAVE to cook fresh rice.  Frozen or left-over rice will not work.

Chop the umeboshi well, creating almost a paste.  Julienne both the cucumber and takuan into 1/4 in. strips.  Set aside.

Tear the sheet of nori in half.  Lay one half of the sheet, smooth side down, on the edge of a sushi mat nearest to you, with the long edge closest to you.  Wet your hands, and spread 1/3 of the rice over the nori, leaving a clean strip of about 1/2 in. at the top and bottom.

Spread 1/2 of the umeboshi paste in a line across the middle of the rice.  Place on top a line of takuan and another line of cucumber. 

Lift the edge of the mat closest to you with your thumbs, using your fingertips to hold in the filling.  Roll the nori and fillings into a log, lifting the mat away as you go.  You may need to dab a little bit of water on the exposed edge of the nori (the part you didn't put rice on) to help it stick.  After the roll is made, apply firm, even pressure with your hands on the bamboo mat to help hold everything together.  Unroll the sushi from the mat and transfer to a cutting board.

Wet the blade of a very sharp knife and cut the roll in half.  Cut each half into thirds, wetting your knife each time.  Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger, if desired.

Note:  You'll have some left-over rice.  If you want to use it all, just chop up some more takuan, umeboshi, cucumber, and nori.  It'll make one more roll.  If not, you can use the rice just to eat or use in ochizuke.

1 comment:

  1. Rolling sushi isn't as hard as it seems. The first couple times your rolls will look sloppy, but you'll learn fast. The trick is to make sure the nori is wrapped all the way until it touches the fillings. Don't forget to tap in the ends once you are finished rolling. I learned this on a DVD that was enclosed in a sushi book that I bought. If I can do it, anybody can!