Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sushi-Roll Rice Salad

We've been eating a lot of sushi lately so I thought it might be fun to try this salad from the July 2002 issue of Gourmet. I've had this recipe forever. It was one of the first recipes I really started collecting. It was fun to finally get around to making it.

It was easy and it was tasty. It's basically just a deconstructed vegetable sushi roll. Pretend you're eating a piece of sushi, and you drop it accidentally and it falls apart on the plate. That's what this salad is. It's definitely good and tastes just like sushi, but it kind of made us wish we'd just actually made sushi.

I omitted the pickled ginger, because I hate it, and the scallions, because the ones at the grocery store looked awful. We had this meal with some edamame and mandarin oranges on the side.

Sushi-Roll Rice Salad
1 1/2 cups short-grain sushi rice
1 3/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium carrot
1 1/4 teaspoons wasabi paste (Japanese horseradish paste)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 large seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped), peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and chopped (1 cup)
3 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
3 tablespoons drained sliced Japanese pickled ginger, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 firm-ripe California avocado
8 fresh shiso leaves (optional)
1 (6-inch) square toasted nori (dried laver), cut into very thin strips with scissors

Rinse rice in several changes of cold water in a bowl until water is almost clear, then drain in a colander 30 minutes.

Bring rice and 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, then simmer, covered, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let rice stand, covered, 10 minutes (do not lift lid).

While rice is standing, bring vinegar, sugar, and salt just to a boil in a very small saucepan, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved, then cool 2 minutes.

Spread rice in a large shallow baking pan, then sprinkle with vinegar mixture and toss with a wooden spoon.

Shave thin lengthwise slices from carrot with a vegetable peeler, then cut slices diagonally into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

Whisk together wasabi, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons water, and oil in a bowl, then add rice, carrot, cucumber, scallions, pickled ginger, and sesame seeds and toss gently.

Halve, pit, and peel avocado and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange 2 shiso leaves (if using) on each of 4 plates. Top with avocado and rice mixture and sprinkle with nori strips.

Yield: 4 servings

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