And you thought you'd seen it all!
I've mentioned this before, but in high school, I worked at a Japanese restaurant in my hometown. I worked there with my best friend, Shannon. It was such a perfect job to have as a high schooler.
We only worked Friday and Saturday nights, but we made just enough to cover the essentials: trips to the mall (that's an NJ girl thing), movie tickets, a dinner or two, coffees at Starbucks (although at that point, I was probably drinking Frappuccinos or something), and gas money.
Looking back, one of my favorite parts about working there was learning about Japanese food.
The head sushi chef loved sharing his newest creations with the staff. I remember when he developed sushi tacos my senior year (before they got trendy at restaurants!) — they were out of this world.
I loved trying different types of sushi, especially when there were different types of fish or foods that I had never heard of, like tamago or unagi. I just had a blast learning about food! I wish I had the presence of mind back then to realize that was my main passion, but, heck at the time, it was just a "job" so I could buy Twizzlers when we went to see Mean Girls.
They never let us try making sushi, so I was always intimidated by it. I always figured you needed special skills, superior dexterity, and years of experience.
Wrong! It's actually pretty simple — it just takes patience and focus.
I actually have a sushi recipe (using spiralized cucumbers and beet rice) in my cookbook. That's for maki sushi, which is the common type of sushi rolls.
Today's recipe is for hand rolls, which is a bit easier to make and more versatile — you can stuff in extras in a hand roll, but maki sushi's a bit tougher, because you're working with less room.
These hand rolls need to make it to your next sushi and wine night. One person can spiralize the cucumbers and slice the avocado, one person can prepare the sriracha-ginger "fayo" with tuna, and the other person can assemble the hand rolls. Oh, and one person can of course pour the wine!
My favorite types of nights are the ones that involve good wine and good food with good friends. Can you tell?
The sriracha-ginger "fayo" here is key — it takes out the fishiness of canned tuna (make sure you get a solid white albacore tuna, packed in water!) and it adds such flavor with the spiciness of the sriracha and the fragrance of the ginger. It complements the crunchy cucumber noodles, soft avocado, and salty nori.
And look how easy it is to assemble:
First, slice the nori sheet in half. This makes it easier to roll in a cone shape and makes the hand rolls smaller, but if you prefer a larger roll, keep the nori sheet whole and then this recipe will create four (not eight) hand rolls:
Then, in the far left side of the nori sheet, add a scoop of the tuna mixture.
Then, top with cucumber noodles and avocado.
Then, top with alfalfa sprouts.
Now it's time to get your roll on. Ha! Roll like a burrito, keeping in mind the cone shape.
Et voilà, you've got yourself a spiralized hand roll!
Between the sushi roll in the cookbook and today's hand roll, I think you have enough for a complete sushi night!
- For the hand roll:
- 1 medium seedless English cucumber, Blade C, noodles trimmed
- 6-ounce can solid albacore tuna in water, drained
- 4 nori sheets, halved
- 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced thinly
- For the sriracha-ginger fayo:
- 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed and then minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Pat dry the cucumbers thoroughly. Set aside.
- Whisk together the ingredients for the sriracha-ginger fayo. Place in a medium mixing bowl and add in the tuna. Toss together until combined.
- Lay out a nori sheet. On the far left side of the nori sheet, add a scoopful of the tuna mixture and then top with cucumber noodles, sprouts, and then avocado. Roll the nori like a burrito. Continue until all nori sheets are used up. If you have extra ingredients, use as a garnish.
- Main Dishes
- 8 servings
- Cook Time
- 40 minutes