California Temaki (Handroll)
Temaki (手巻, “hand rolls”) is a cone-shaped piece of nori (seaweed) on the outside with the rice and fillings spilling out the wide end. One of my favourite temaki is the California temaki (カリフォルニア手巻き) made up of avocado, crab sticks, cucumber and flying fish (tobiko) or prawn roe (ebiko). It is said that California rolls are an American invention in the 70s for those who may be uneasy about eating raw fish. It has since become a mainstay on the sushi menu and one of my favourite flavours of sushi.
|Cook sushi rice.
|Prepare nori sheets for temaki. Typically, nori sheets come in 19×20 cm sizes. By folding and cutting it in half, it becomes the ideal size for temaki (19×10 cm).
|Lay one sheet of cut nori, rough side up, on the work surface. Place sushi rice in the position as shown (diagonal at the corner). Flatten the rice slightly with your hand or the back of a spoon.
|Squeeze some Japanese mayonnaise on the rice. You may skip this but in my opinion, the mayo, though sinful, makes the temaki much more delicious :)
|Add some roe near the bottom half of the rice.
|Arrange avocado, crab sticks and cucumber such that they sit diagonally on the rice.
|Fold in the bottom left corner of the nori as shown.
|Continue rolling until the nori forms a cone shape that holds all the ingredients. Once the cone is formed, top with more roe.
|Secure the edge of the nori with sushi rice.
If you have a home party, you can arrange the ingredients on a platter and have your guests roll these temaki by themselves. Once you learnt the basics of rolling temaki, you can experiment with all kinds of fillings.