California Nori Rolls
5 1/4 cups sushi rice (or any short-grain, sticky rice)
5 1/2 cups water (might need to add an additional 1 cup)
1 cup rice vinegar, or to taste
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 package (10 sheets) nori seaweed
vegetables of choice (cucumbers, carrots, celery, avocado, bell pepper, green onion), sliced in long, thin strips
soy sauce, optional
pickled ginger, optional
1. Combine rice with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. In a non-reactive bowl, combine the vinegar, vegan sugar, and salt. Mix until the vegan sugar and salt are dissolved. Drizzle over the rice and gently mix. (You may have to experiment with the amount of vinegar, vegan sugar, and salt that you like.)
2. Now you are ready to roll! If you want to, you can use a bamboo mat (available at your local asian grocery) to help you roll, but I have found its fairly easy without one. Lay a sheet of nori out on a large plate or cutting board. Spread on about 1 1/2 cups rice, pressing firmly until the rice is evenly distributed across the sheet. Leave the edge farthest from you uncovered.
3. Lay the vegetables in a line from left to right across the center of the rice. Starting with the edge nearest to you, roll up and over enclosing the vegetables. Wetting the far edge helps seal the roll. You should end up with a long roll, with the nori on the outside and the rice and vegetables in the middle.
4. The idea is to get the vegetables in the very center, but I don't worry too much about it. Repeat with the remaining nine sheets. To serve, slice crosswise into about eight pieces.
I usually eat them with soy sauce with a little wasabi mixed in. Wasabi comes in paste or powdered form, is light green and very hot. Its really good, but be careful at first. My mom likes to eat nori rolls with pickled ginger, which is not as hot, but very tasty.
I usually make a half a recipe, since I'm only feeding two people. The amount you make depends on the number of people and whether you're going to eat the rolls as an appetizer or main course. These rolls are great to bring to parties, as everyone with be impressed with how beautiful and yummy they are. They are also very lowfat. I haven't tried it, but using brown rice would make it more nutritious.'