There are so many things I love about the California roll (or handroll, as they’re sometimes called) I don’t quite know where to begin. For one thing, it uses healthy ingredients like fresh raw carrots and cucumbers, and nori, or toasted dried seaweed which is a great source of iron, calcium, vitamin A and B, iodine and fiber.
For another, it’s so easy to make I can literally lay out the ingredients on the table and whoever walks into the kitchen can easily wrap one up and chomp on it right away.
Well, since we won’t be going on any Vegas vacations this year, I thought we’d stay home and make these. DH bought the large crispy toasted nori sheets from a trip to Japan. I’m making two variations here – one with smoked salmon, and the other with crab sticks – just to make my kids happy that they have a choice .
The ingredients I use:
- large nori, or toasted seaweed sheets
- cooked white rice (the thing to use is sticky rice but I use regular rice, tastewise I don’t think it makes much of a difference)
- crab sticks
- smoked salmon slices
- cucumbers, long and thinly sliced into sticks
- carrots, long and thinly sliced into sticks
- Japanese mayonnaise
- wasabi, or Japanese green mustard
First I place a nori sheet on a flat surface or plate. At that spot on the lower half of the nori sheet where I’m going to place a tablespoon of rice, I squeeze just a little wasabi, or green mustard. Wasabi is deadly spicy and has a pungent sting to it, so you may want to use very little, or none at all if you’re serving it to kids.
Then I layer on a slice of smoked salmon or a crab stick, and 2 or 3 cucumber and carrot sticks. The best part is squeezing a squiggly line of Japanese mayonnaise all the way over the top of the filling.
Now it’s time to wrap the whole thing into a cone. The mayo at the top layer will ‘glue’ the wrap nicely together, and you can add a little more at the end to make the cone hold its shape better.
And that’s basically it. It’s not hard, just takes a bit of practice to get the cone all nice and neat. I’m not picky so I just let the kids get creative. Sometimes they roll it up like a cigar. So try it and have fun with it .