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California Rawlls

Friday, June 29, 2012

For seven years I made and delivered california rolls to a health food co-op. They were made with rice and tofu though. I hardly ever ate them myself, probably because I already had to make them constantly and didn't feel like preparing any for home.
Well, I had to come up with raw versions because they're so delicious and quick to make. This literally takes a couple of minutes as long as you have soaked nuts and have practiced the rolling itself. True, rolling up a pile that's about to fall apart can take some time to figure out but once you got it it's routine. Make it into a Japanese themed lunch by serving soy sauce/shoyu sauce and wasabi (Japanese horse radish you can find in a powder form and make a paste out of by adding water to it) on the side along with a bowl of miso soup.

Savory Nori Rolls
(For 2 rolls)
2 nori sheet
1 cup soaked almonds or other nuts ground for nut "rice"*
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 small carrot, shaven/shredded/julienned
2 green onions, split lengthwise
a handful of sunflower/alfalfa/other sprouts
little bit of shredded horseradish
1 small cucumber, sliced lengthwise
umeboshi plum paste**
forkful of sauerkraut per roll
anything else you like...

* Nut rice: You may grind up your soaked nuts with garlic, salt and herbs added to further enhance flavors. I used a mixture of almonds and brazil nuts, added a bit of hemp seeds, salt and garlic and ground them coarsely the size of half a grain of rice. Adding a few drops of water to the ground nuts and mixing helps them stick somewhat.

** Use the paste sparingly as it's quite high in salt.

Have a very sharp knife and a small bowl/cup of water ready to wet your fingers and the knife as necessary.
1. Lay out the nori sheets and spread a little umeboshi plum paste on half the area of each to help the nut "rice" stick better.
2. Take half of the nut "rice" and pack it down firmly and evenly with the back of a spoon.
3. Layer the vegetable shreds/slices you're using and top them with some sauerkraut and sprouts. Ready to roll?

4. Dip your fingers in water and dampen the upper 1-inch edge of a sheet and carefully lifting the other edge while holding down your pile of ingredients, start rolling it as tightly as you can manage. The wet end will serve as a seal. Make sure to press that edge against the other surface. Put this roll aside and repeat the roll-up procedure with the other.
5. Wet your sharpest kitchen knife and either slice the rolls into about 1-inch thick bites or cut them in halves diagonally.
6. If you'd like a dip, mix some soy/shoyu sauce with some wasabi. The wasabi paste is easily made by mixing some powder with a touch of water. For miso soup, look here.

VoilĂ , lunch is served. Enjoy!

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