Word from the author: "You either love Unagi or you hate it. If you don't know for yourself yet, and like experimenting with food, this one is a must try!"
0 hr45 mins
Before attempting your first California roll, you should be able to make a basic inside out roll. Check out our "How inside out rolls" if you're not sure how to do so. The California sushi roll is perfect for those who don't care much for raw fish. The main ingredient is imitation barbecued eel which is sometimes hard to obtain. I've posted a link to buy canned BBQ Eel here, it's exactly the kind used in the recipe below. Before using it, it's a good idea to carefully debone the eel chunks. Another option is to use frozen eel like this one . They tend to cost more, but then again you get what you pay for.
Wrap your bamboo mat with plastic wrap. This is necessary in order to prevent rice from sticking to the mat and to allow easy clean up between rolls.
Take a nori sheet, and break it in half. If it doesn't break easily, you can toast it for a few seconds or use scissors to cut it. Place one half on the mat, with the shiny side facing down. In this example I actually used the entire nori sheet to get a larger roll, although it's more common to use half.
Grab a handful of prepared sushi rice, and spread it gently over the nori - about 1 cm high. There's no need to press the rice down onto the nori, only spread it to cover the sheet. Cover the entire sheet if you are using half a nori, and the about 80% of it if you are using a full nori.
Flip the nori so that the rice is now facing down.
Line up the eel slices close end of the nori.
Next to it, line up 1-2 thick sticks of cucumber. You can see I used very thick ones, you can use thinner ones if you want. They add a *Fresh* and *Green* feeling to the roll, so I like adding more of it.
Cut into 8 equal pieces. For best results first cut in half, then cut each half into two, and then again. Plate it in any formation you choose. Now is the time to sprinkle some sesame seeds on top if you like, and decorate with a few lines of sticky unagi sauce.
Best served with unagi and soy sauces, pickled ginger (gari) and wasabi.