Monday, May 16, 2011

My own take on California Maki

Some purists would probably be aghast at my recipe but this works for me and apparently, other people like it well enough. Here goes nuthin.

To prepare this you would need:

2 packs of crab sticks (around 500 grams combined)
1 kilo of Japanese sticky rice (short grain) *yung tig si 68/65 Php sa SM.. kung sosyal ka, mas okay yung 118/99 Php per kilo*
2 cups of red cane vinegar (Del Monte) *typically rice vinegar dapat but this makes a good substitute as well*
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup plain mayonnaise *you can also use Japanese mayonnaise that comes in those squigee bottles*
[if you're using plain mayonnaise, you would need to mix 1/2 tsp of paprika, a pinch of salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of white sugar to it]
3 large, ripe mangoes, cut in strips
1 cucumber, also cut into strips
1 pack of Nori (the darker the nori, the better) *aka dried sea weed*
A bamboo mat
A sturdy chopping board
A very sharp chef's knife

1. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak in water for about 10-30 minutes. If you're using a rice cooker there should be equal parts water and rice.
2. Add a 1/2 cup of water, the red cane vinegar and the sugar once the rice comes to a boil. Stir thoroughly to ensure that the vinegar and the sugar is mixed in properly. Wait till it cooks. Cool once the rice is at the right consistency.
3. While waiting for the rice to cool, you can chop the mangoes and the cucumber into elongated strips.
4. Once cooled, spread the bamboo mat onto the chopping board, then a sheet of nori.
5. Dump 1 and 3/4 cups of rice on the middle of the nori. Spread flat and even it out using a spatula.
6. Make indentations near the bottom of the nori, slather it with the mayonnaise mixture then arrange the crab sticks, mangoes and cucumber.
7. Grab the bottom end of the mat tuck it towards you then roll it.
8. Cut in middle and align then cut individual pieces, about one inch thick.
9. Serve with wasabi and kikoman sauce.

There you have it. This recipe is quite sweet though since that's how I like my maki. I haven't tried it inside out as is more commonly used in commercially made maki's (I miss going to Suki Market!) but I would really love to try. I would need roe though.. which I rarely find in SM.. :(


On a side note.. I normally make maki's when I'm experiencing extreme emotions. There's just something about it that soothes me. It helps me sort out my thoughts. Ate in Cabalen nga pala last Saturday night and their maki is weird. They are using crisp, indian mangoes instead of the pangasinan or zambales ones. Tastes alright.. but I still find it different.

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