Cucumber Nori Rolls Recipe
4 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cup sushi rice
3 cup water
6 sht (8-by-7 inches) of seaweed (nori)
1 tbs prepared wasabi or more to taste (a pungent Japanese sauce)
Sesame seeds, optional
2 cup cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
1. In a small pot combine the rice vinegar, sugar and sea salt and bring to a boil. Take off of the heat and allow to cool.
2. Rice preparation: Rice volume increases 2-2 1/2 times as it cooks. Almost all the short grain rice needs to be washed before cooking, because of the starch on the surface of each grain. If you cook rice without washing, starch makes the texture and taste less palatable.
3. Wash rice with care, putting it in a big bowl and washing gently with cold running water for 10 minutes. Drain rice in a big colander and dry for 20-30 minutes.
4. Place washed rice and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Allow to cook for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Place in a large bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over it.
5. Sushi preparation: Place 1 sheet of seaweed lengthwise, shiny side down on a bamboo roller. Place approximately 3/4 cup of the sushi rice formed into a bar in the center of the seaweed, going lengthwise, spread rice evenly, covering entire nori except for about 1/2 inch at the top edge. Spread a little wasabi thinly in the center, on top of the rice, lengthwise from one end to the other. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of rice, if desired. Then place a couple strips of cut cucumber in the center to fill the length of the roll.
6. Bring seaweed and rice toward you to the edge of the bamboo roller, holding the edge of the bamboo roller with one hand and, holding the cucumbers in place with the other hand, lift up the edge of the mat closest to you. Begin rolling mat away from you, rolling over the cucumber and connecting rice to rice. Then stop to make sure you still have a 1/2 inch strip of just nori left over at the top (this is what seals the roll). Lift the edge of bamboo roller slightly and roll another 1/2 inch away from you, connecting the seaweed to seaweed and sealing the roll.
7. Gently squeeze both sides while pressing gently down on top with both index fingers. Cut roll in half, then turn one piece around so they are parallel to one another, line them up, then cut both pieces twice, to make 6 pieces. Cut remaining rolls and serve.