Chef Pengyew Chin
Pengyew Catering, www.pycatering.com, Amherst, MA
- 3 cups short-grain rice
- 4 cups water
- 6 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- toasted sesame seeds
- 2 avocados, seeds removed, peeled and sliced
- 1 cucumber, julienned
- 8 strips scallion, green part only
- 8 sheets sushi Nori (seaweed)
- 2 tbsp wasabi powder
- ½ cup pickled ginger
- ½ cup soy sauce
- bamboo mat
- large wooden/ceramic bowl
- rice paddle
Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Place rice in a rice cooker or a medium-sized, heavy pan. Add the water and bring to boil over a medium heat. Boil on high for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and boil a further 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, take off the lid and let the rice stand, covered by a clean kitchen towel, for 10-15 minutes.
To prepare the dressing, dissolve the sugar with the salt in the vinegar over a low heat. Cool to room temperature. (This can be prepared ahead of time).
Empty the rice into a hangiri, or other non-metallic bowl, and spread it out evenly over the bottom using the rice paddle. Use a horizontal chopping motion to separate the grains. Slowly add the dressing but do not use too much as this will make the rice mushy. Sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds and slice or toss to incorporate. To keep the vinegared rice from drying out, cover with a damp cloth. Do not refrigerate as sushi rice should be eaten the same day as it is prepared.
For the filling
Remove the seed and skin of the advocado. Slice each advocado lengthwise into 6 slices.
Peel the cucumber, slice into quarters lengthwise, remove the seeds and julienne.
Cut the green part of the scallion the same length as the nori sheets (about 8 inches).
Mix the wasabi powder with just enough water to make a thick paste.
Have ready a bowl of water with which to wet your hands to prevent the rice from sticking to them.
Place a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat, and scoop a mound of vinegared rice onto it. Spread out the rice into a thin layer so that it covers two thirds of the nori. Spread a thin line of wasabi in the middle of the rice and then layer along that line with the avocado, cucumber and a length of scallion.
Using the tips of your fingers, wet the top edge of the nori. Lift the bottom edge of the bamboo mat, which is closest to you, and roll away from you, squeezing gently to make a tight roll. When a full 360 degrees is completed, unfold the bamboo mat away from the nori roll, and finish rolling the wet top edge, sealing it to the roll.
Dip the blade of a sharp knife into warm water and slice the futomaki into 10 pieces per roll. Place it decoratively onto a platter with a rosette of pickled ginger, a small mound of wasabi and a bowl of soy sauce.