My book club is meeting tonight and the book under discussion is Kiana Davenport's House of Many Gods. The book takes place primarily in Hawaii and so that's our dinner theme as well. My assignment is appetizers, so I thought I'd put a bit of a Hawaiian slant on sushi rolls. That took me to Marukai, a relatively new market in San Diego's Kearny Mesa neighborhood. I'm not a huge fan of the store, but they do have a section with Hawaiian food so I thought I could find some interesting things to include in the sushi rolls.
Making the rolls is relatively easy. You need short grain rice (I cooked up three cups with four cups of water). You need wrappers. Traditionally, these are nori, thin, dried seaweed sheets. But my friend Mineko Moreno (who is a superb instructor in the art of sushi making) introduced me to this new product, colorful soy wrappers. The large package comes five sheets to a pack. As you can see, they also make beautiful hand rolls, but I need appetizers for eight, so I'm going with the traditional long roll.
I picked up these, as well as some staples:
Flying Fish Roe
as well as Aokappa, or pickled cucumber
and, in the Hawaiian food section, I found a bag of shredded ginger.
Get yourself organized with all your ingredients and then be creative. The wrappers go shiny side down on the mat, then you moisten your fingertips and press the seasoned rice uniformly on the mat, leaving about an inch empty along the top. In the middle of the rice, line up your filling.
Then, you'll lift the bottom of the mat and carefully begin to fold over and roll your filled wrapper, pressing down when you've got it in a roll to seal the deal.
Carefully move the roll and place it on the counter or a large plate, sealed side down and let it rest about 10 minutes. Refrigerate the rolls until you're ready to use them (hopefully soon). When you're ready to serve, let them come to room temperature and cut them in half and then repeatedly in half until you have eight pieces.
See? Easy. And, a fun departure from boring cheese and crackers.