California Temaki (Handroll)
Temaki (手巻, “hand rolls”) is a cone-shaped piece of nori (seaweed) on the outside with the rice and fillings spilling out the wide end. One of my favourite temaki is the California temaki made up of avocado, crab sticks, cucumber and fish/prawn roe. It is said that California rolls are an American invention in the 70s for those who may be uneasy about eating raw fish. It has since become a mainstay on the sushi menu.
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After learning how to make California temaki at home, I seldom order this outside anymore because not only is it very easy to make, I can “customize” the handroll to my preference – i.e. addition of Japanese mayonnaise and using Japanese crab sticks which to me, tastes better than the local ones. I can also be more generous with the ingredients especially the roe. If you have a home party, you can arrange the ingredients on a platter and have your guests roll these temaki by themselves. Once you learnt the basics of rolling temaki, you can experiment with all kinds of fillings.
California Temaki (Handroll) Recipe with Step-by-Step Photos
(makes about 8 handrolls)
- cooked sushi rice (refer to the recipe here)
- 8 roasted nori (seaweed) sheets, measuring 19x10cm each
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced to thin wedges
- 1 Japanese cucumber, sliced to long thin strips (may substitute with romaine lettuce)
- 8 kanimi (Japanese imitation crab sticks) (may substitute with local imitation crab sticks)
- Japanese mayonnaise (optional)
- ebiko (prawn roe) or tobiko (flying fish roe)
1. Cook sushi rice using this recipe.
3. Lay one sheet of cut nori, smooth (shiny) side down, on the work surface. Place sushi rice (about 2 tbsp) in the position as shown above (diagonal at the corner). Flatten the rice slightly with your hand or the back of a spoon.
1. Ensure the nori sheets are fresh and crisp by only opening the packet when it is needed. Do not leave the nori sheets exposed for hours. Store leftover nori tightly sealed in the freezer.
2. Cut avocado just before using to prevent discolouration due to exposure to air.
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