8 pieces from one roll
It's also an inexpensive way to get your sushi rolling skills up to speed. If you haven't made a sushi roll before, I recommend starting out with my cheap$kate Spicy Krab Roll.
My first rolls were lopsided and often not tight enough, so when sliced the rice would halfway fall out. Or, I would forget to dampen the knife blade before slicing, and the roll would squash and the seaweed would tear unevenly. Oh well, you gotta ruin a few sushi rolls when you start -- but, in no time I quickly got the hang of it. Plus, the mistakes were still deliciously edible.
Here is a GIF of me hand-rolling a California Roll. As you see at the end, it's a little lumpy. To smooth it out just give the roll a final squeeze with a bamboo rolling mat. Click here to see the video.
And in this GIF I use a sushi mat. Click here to see how cheap it is to get a sushi mat online (less than $3 and you can get them at larger chain grocery stores, too.) For a video of sushi mat rolling, click here to see my Spicy Tuna Roll recipe.
I get a half pound of krab for 99.99 cents at my local 99c only Store, and even at a regular seafood market krab is about half the price of any other seafood. The quality of krab can vary, sometimes it's a little dried out and stringy, while other times it's perfectly moist and sweet. An easy way to reconstitute dried and stringy krab is to sprinkle it with water and zap it in the microwave for about 30 seconds until soft and warm - it works quite well.
Regular white rice is cheap. Most sushi recipes call for special (meaning expensive) sushi grade rice -- well, don't believe the hype. Any type of white rice will do fine, and you can make it with more expensive and nutritious brown rice. It's mainly about how you cook the rice, not the grade of rice. Under Directions below, I have a link to my Sushi Rice recipe video.
The only tricky ingredient to find are sheets of dried seaweed, called Nori, but even that is easier to purchase these days at larger chain grocery stores. And if you live near an Oriental market, then that is the cheapest place to get it. Dried seaweed for sushi rolls are about the size of a sheet of computer printing paper (8 inches by 7 inches.) They usually come 10 to 30 sheets per package. A sheet of seaweed seems brittle, but when cooked damp rice is added, it becomes soft - malleable and easy to roll.
If you've been following my Sushi Series, then add this to your repertoire. If you are new visitor, then a Spicy Krab Roll is a perfect cheap$kate sushi recipe to start with.
Ingredients (about 4 rolls, or 32 pieces when sliced)
- 8 ounces krab - roughly shred or pulled apart. If frozen then defrost first.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of mayo - more or less to your own taste. You want enough to mix into krab until it's as creamy as a macaroni or potato salad.
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce - I used Sirracha Chilli Sauce. You can also use any favorite hot sauce, or a pinch of ceyanne pepper. Add a little at a time to reach your own desired spicyness. You could just leave it out completely for a sweet Krab Roll.
- 2 cups of cooked Sushi Rice - my recipe is a click away, here.
- 4 sheets of dried seaweed - depending on how much spicy krab you stuff into sushi rolls.
Prepare Sushi Rice according to my recipe, click here for details. The rice should be room temperature when making sushi.
Roughly shred, or pull apart, krab pieces. Taste a piece and see if you need to soften it -- by microwaving. An easy way to reconstitute, after defrosting, is to sprinkle on a little water, loosely cover, and do a 30 second micorwave (take out pieces as they get warm and soft, and continue to zap in 10 second increments, if krab pieces are still cool.) The krab will soften and plump up perfectly. Finally do a rough chop (or hand-shred) and mix it with the some Spicy Mayo.
Mix mayo and Sirracha Chilli Sauce (or favorite hot sauce) in a bowl. Mix shredded krab and spicy mayo in a bowl. If necessary, cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Now time to bring it all together. You can use a bamboo sushi mat or just roll it up with your fingers. It's easier to use a mat, but now I just do it by hand. If you do it by hand then keep your fingers dry and tighten it up at the end, if needed, with a sushi mat.
If using a bamboo sushi mat lay it out on a dry surface. (Dried seaweed is very absorbent and sticky when wet.) Place one whole dried sheet of seaweed on center of sushi mat.
Now dampen your hands (as Sushi Rice is sticky and water will make handling easier,) and spread out an even layer of cooked rice over the dried seaweed.
You will be rolling sushi, so leave a half inch edge empty of rice. You can cover all the seaweed, on right and left sides, with rice. As for how much rice you pile on, it's up to you. I just do enough until you can't see the seaweed underneath -- about a 1/4 inch deep.
Now you can pile on the spicy krab. Cover about a quarter to a third of the rice with spicy krab. I spread it across the center area, end to end. You can use a lot of spicy krab or just a little - it's up to you.
Now time to roll it up. You can rotate the mat away from you to roll, or keep it facing you. Roll the loaded seaweed with a medium pressure as you go, tightening the roll. Keep rolling and adding pressure until you reach the half inch of clear seaweed at the end.
Dampen your fingers and moisten the seaweed edge and just press together to seal.
Once the roll is sealed, wrap the roll one more time in the mat and give the roll even squeezes from end to end. This will help keep the roll from falling apart when you finally slice it.
Remove the mat and place the whole Spicy Krab Roll on a cutting surface. Take a sharp knife and dampen the blade with water. I start in the middle and slice in half. Then I slice each half into 4 pieces, so I get 8 slices per roll, total. You can make thicker pieces if you like, to get 6 pieces total. The object is to make each piece edible in one bite.
You can eat the sushi as is, or pour a small plate of soy sauce and dip sushi pieces as you eat them.