Using mashed avocado makes this California-style sushi easy to roll. Use precooked shrimp for an easy shortcut. Serve sushi with the typical accompaniments of wasabi, low-sodium soy sauce, and pickled ginger.
2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
1 avocado, peeled and mashed
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
24 large shrimp, cooked, peeled, and halved crosswise (about 8 ounces)
Prepare rice according to package directions. Stir in vinegar; cover and cool to room temperature.
Combine wasabi and avocado in a small bowl, and set aside. Combine cilantro and shrimp in another small bowl; toss well.
Cut off top quarter of nori sheets along short end. Place 1 nori sheet, shiny side down, on a sushi mat covered with plastic wrap, with long end toward you. Pat 3/4 cup rice mixture evenly over nori with moist hands, leaving a 1-inch border on one long end of nori. Spread 1 tablespoon avocado mixture over rice.
Arrange 8 shrimp pieces, 2 chives, and 2 cucumber strips along bottom third of rice-covered nori.
Lift edge of nori closest to you; fold over filling. Lift bottom edge of sushi mat; roll toward top edge, pressing firmly on sushi roll. Continue rolling to top edge; press mat to seal sushi roll. Let rest, seam side down, for 5 minutes. Slice crosswise into 8 pieces. Repeat procedure with remaining nori, rice mixture, avocado mixture, shrimp mixture, chives, and cucumber.
Tried this tonight as our first sushi. Directions were a little tough to follow -- "crosswise", "up", "down", "lower third." What I ended up doing was spreading the rice (slightly overcooked jasmine worked wonderfully -- sticky with a nice little flavor to it) on all the nori but the last inch away from me, spreading the avocado and horseradish (didn't have wasabi) on the third closest to me, then the shrimp on top of that, followed by the cucumber and chives. Don't have a sushi mat, so made do with a piece of Silpat with plastic. (Probably could have done without the Silpat, but it didn't hurt.) Rolled the sushi tightly (it did crack slightly, but worked out fine -- and you'll need to poke all the stuff falling out the sides back in), then used a trick when rolling tortilla wrap hors d'oeuvres -- put the rolled sushi (in the plastic wrap) in the refrigerator until serving. Worked beautifully: when I went to cut the sushi, it cut clean and presentation was lovely. However: flavor was lacking. Both DH and I agreed that there should have been more avocado and horseradish/wasabi, double the amount at least. The shrimp could have used a little something, perhaps marinated and grilled. Used fresh chives and would increase those; the amount of cucumber was perfect. Lastly, the dish needed a dipping sauce; because this was the first time we tried this we used plain soy sauce; although will not make again, would recommend Chili-Garlic Dipping Sauce from this site. Should round out even the basic recipe without any modifications.
Phenomenal flavors in this one. We ended up with far more shrimp than we thought and nori sheets that were lacking, but making do with those hurdles, they still came out great. Our presentation was lacking as it was our first time rolling sushi, but that didn't hurt the taste one bit. We'll likely be using the avocado mixture on a number of different things in the future.
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