California Roll

Ingredients
• English Cucumber 0.5 oz
• Avocado 0.5 oz
• Imitation Crab or Crab Mix 1.5 oz
• Rice (Sushi ready)2.6 oz
• Nori (Toasted seaweed)0.5 sheets
(Will make one roll)

Preparations
  • First prepare your rice follow these directions. While the rice is cooking continue with your preparations.
  • Cover a bamboo sushi mat roller with plastic wrap. Wrap it vertically then horizontally with the ends meeting each other to the back. The back of the mat is rounded, the front of the mat is flat.
  • Peel an avocado and cut in half, remove the pit, then continue cutting the halves into quarters then into strips.
  • Cut off one end of the english cucumber then cut a 3 ½ inch section from the end. Now, cut this section in half length wise then into quarters. Put the quarter pieces flat down on the cutting board and slice off the seeds. Now, cut the quarter pieces into thin strips (if you need more english cucumber then repeat these steps).
  • Prepare your imitation crab by breaking the flakes apart. If the imitation crab is in strips then rip one apart in half length wise. If you are going to use the Crab mix then put the crab into a food processor or chop into fine bits. Now, put the fine bits into a bowl and lightly mix with mayonnaise (preferably Japanese kewpie mayonnaise).

Rolling Directions
Put a ½ sheet of dried seaweed (nori) on top of the mat. Place your hands under running water, pull them away and gently clap them together to remove excess water. Softly grab a small baseball sized [10 cm] ball of prepared sushi rice. Lightly place the ball to the left side of the nori and carefully spread the rice evenly from end to end covering the entire sheet. When looking at the rice you wat to see the individual grains not a pressed block of rice. Lightly sprinkle sesame seeds over the sushi rice. Optionally, you can thinly spread masago (smelt egg) over the rice for added color and flavor. Flip the sushi layer over so that the seaweed is on top and the rice is on the bottom. At the edge closest to you place a line of avocado, english cucumber, and then crab  lengthwise onto the seaweed with no more than 1/3 of the nori covered (warning, if you exceed this amount then your roll may not come together). Place your thumbs under the bamboo mat with remaining fingers on top of the ingredients. Lift your thumbs up with the mat and roll it forward with remaining fingers lightly holding the ingredients in place until the mat end touches the nori. Pay attention to not squish the rice. Now give it a soft squeeze in the middle and on the ends, gently creating the roll into a square shape. Follow this rolling process 1 to 2 more times until you have a cylinder-shaped sushi roll. Remove the rolled sushi from the mat.

Cut & Serve
Cut the sushi roll into 6 or 8 pieces. Your knife must be sharp and moistened so the rice will not stick to it. Place the tip of your knife into water. Lift your knife up vertically so the water rolls down the sharpened edge to the handle. Place your roll onto a cutting board and cut your roll in half. Make sure that your cuts are quick. Place the tip of the knife onto the roll at a forward angle, quickly cut forward and then back until it finally meets the cutting board. Bring the two halves together side by side and then slice the halves to make either 6 or 8 pieces.  Turn the pieces up onto their ends and arrange them into two even rows. Remeber presentation is very important with sushi so make sure it looks good to the eye. Now you are ready to serve.