Wednesday, August 13, 2008

California Roll

The other day, we had some neighbors over for drinks to talk with them about their upcoming trip to the western U.S. They'll be visiting L.A., San Francisco, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon, plus a few other places in between. Since they know we lived in San Francisco before moving here, they wanted to talk to us about it.

Home-made California roll with toasted sesame seeds.

So I made some California rolls to have with glasses of cold rosé! It was a relatively hot day and we sat in the shade of our deck to snack, sip, and chat. These little sushi-like rolls are ubiquitous in California. They're made without raw fish, so they're pretty easy to do out here in the country where sushi-quality fish is not easy to find.

These are filled with cucumber, avocado, and a little smoked salmon. I made so much sushi rice that I was able to make eleven rolls. Each roll makes eight pieces, so that's eighty-eight pieces of California roll. We're still eating it.

We got most of the ingredients (nori sheets, sushi rice, wasabi powder, sesame seeds) on one of our forays to Tang Frères in Paris a while back. The cukes, avocado, and salmon came from the local supermarket. We served the rolls with soy sauce and sliced pickled ginger, also from our Paris shopping trip.

It turns out that our neighbors are on a guided tour, so they will end up seeing whatever the tour group goes to see. And they'll only be in San Francisco for two and a half days, so they'll get a pretty limited view of the place.


  1. Ooh I was hoping you'd talk about the California rolls! They look wonderful! They're about as far as I will venture into Sushi, I've never made them, too intimidated....


  2. They do look lovely, and sound more appetizing than I realized they were :)) I am a great lover of good food, but the whole concept of sushi has always left me cold... I think it's ignorance on my part? Maybe? :))


  3. Tasty, I like these more that ones with raw fish in..hope everyone liked them!!

  4. When I lived on Baffin Island (in the 60s) the Inuits (Esquimos) ate frozen raw Arctic char. Cut slices with a sharp knife and passed them around. We (Caucasiens) wouldn't try it. None of us (30 people) had ever eaten raw fish. It's simply wasn't done at that time. Our native friends laughed at us gently.

    I still wouldn't eat raw fish today. Your rolls are not a substitute but a delicacy. Thank you for the recipe.

  5. quinn, they're not that hard to make. I was prepared to have a lot of trouble, but it turned out to be pretty easy.

    judy, you should give 'em a try. In SF I learned to like sushi and even enjoy the raw fish.

    anne, yes, I think our guests liked them. People know about sushi in France - it's all the rage in Paris.

    claudia, I'm sure it was good, but I'm not familiar with that kind of fish. I should google it and find out about it.

  6. claudia, I just looked up arctic char and it turns out it's in the salmon/trout family. I've eaten both salmon and trout raw (in sushi bars) and they're delicious!

  7. I tried them for the very first time last night! Christophe's friend had a california roll party. The best ones had tomato and chevre in them, very delicious. Consider me a convert to the california roll.


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