Build Your Own Cut Roll Sushi with a Grapefruit Saketini
- 1 ½ cups sushi rice (Japanese short grain rice), rinsed*
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 sushi nori sheets
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned into 3 inch long strips
- 1/2 English cucumber, julienned into 3 inch long strips
- 1 mango, skin removed, julienned into 3 inch long strips
- 1 avocado, pitted and skin removed, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3 ounces cold-smoked salmon
- pickled ginger, to serve
- fresh wasabi, to serve
- soy sauce, to serve
*To rinse the sushi rice, place the rice in a colander in the sink. Use your hands to rub the rice together, letting the water run over and through the rice, until the water runs clear. Finish by shaking off any excess water.
Ingredients for Grapefruit Saketini:
- 3 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 6 ounces Junmai sake
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 3 sprigs mint
- To make the sushi rice, add the rinsed rice and water to a 2 quart saucepan and cover with a lid. Turn the heat on high and bring the rice to a boil.
- When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, with the lid still on, turn off the heat and let the rice steam for an additional 10 minutes.
- While the rice is steaming, mix the seasoned rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
- Use a sharp Asian chef’s knife to prepare all of the vegetables that will go inside of the roll. The cucumber, bell pepper, and mango should all be cut uniformly to about the size of a 3 inch long matchsticks. The avocado should be thinly sliced lengthwise. Once prepped, set aside in separate piles.
- To season the rice, add the cooked rice to a large bowl or baking sheet into an even layer. Pour the rice vinegar over the top of the rice and, using a rice paddle or rubber spatula, begin to gently toss the rice with the vinegar. This will also act as a way to cool the rice enough to build the cut rolls.
- To build the cut rolls, you will need to have a bamboo sushi mat, a clean damp kitchen towel, along with a small bowl filled with cold water.
- Start by laying a sheet of nori, rough side up, onto a sushi rolling mat. Wet your hands in the water bowl and place about 1/2 - 3/4 cups of cooled, seasoned sushi rice onto the nori. Using your fingers, distribute the rice evenly on the nori leaving about a half inch border at the top and half inch on the edge closest to your body. Without smooshing the rice, be sure to create a thin and even layer that goes to side edges of the nori. If the rice sticks to your fingers, dip in the water bowl again and then resume spreading the rice.
- About a third of the way up the nori, lay a few strips of bell pepper evenly and horizontally across the rice. Continue this process by stacking with some of the cucumber, mango, avocado and topped off with some of the smoked salmon.
- To roll the sushi, bring the sheet of nori down to the bottom of the mat so that there is about an inch of the mat showing. Begin to lift the mat up with your forefingers and thumbs while using your remaining 3 fingers to hold the filling in place. Roll the mat away from you, allowing the nori to roll onto itself. Then use the mat to continue to roll the sushi onto itself, until it creates one solid roll. Gently use the mat to shape the roll if necessary to get an evenly round shape
- To cut the roll, place in the center of a cutting board. Dip the tip of a sharp knife into a bowl of water and then hold the knife, tip-side up, to allow the water to run down the blade of the knife.
- Using even pressure, make one stroke down the center of the roll to create two equal pieces. Wipe the blade of the knife with the damp towel.
- Line the two pieces of sushi so they are parallel to each other, and then repeat the cutting process, including dipping the knife in water, until you have cut 8 equal pieces.
- Serve with pickled ginger, fresh wasabi and soy sauce.
Procedure for Grapefruit Saketini:
- With the grapefruit sitting securely on a cutting board and using a sharp paring knife, carefully insert it into the surface of a grapefruit, being sure not to go too deep as to avoid the white pith. Slowly slide the knife down the surface of the peel to create a strip of peel. Repeat this process so you have a total of two grapefruit peels.
- To a cocktail shaker, add the sake, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and one sprig of mint.
- Top with ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Strain equally into 2 coupe glasses. Over each glass, hold a grapefruit peel, cut-side facing towards you, and pinch to express the oils. Run the peel along the rim of the glass and then drop it in as a garnish along with a sprig of mint.