Mini Plump Rolls

Mini Futo Maki-Zushi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    6

    rolls, yielding 24 pieces

Appears in

A festive dish in their native land, these colorful sushi rolls easily share the limelight with a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres, Japanese and otherwise. They are particularly good with the Japanese Seafood Terrine or the Mussels with Mustard Sauce and Scallions. Or try pairing Mini Plump Rolls with any of the other sushi dishes in this section, such as Tuna, Shrimp, and Salmon Petal Sushi or Peppery Smoked Eel Sushi. Plump Rolls make terrific picnic fare, too, since they can be made hours before eating.

The rolling instructions given here make use of half-sheets of nori seaweed since they are easier to handle when you are first developing your rolling skills. The fillings are typical of the ingredients that the Japanese like to combine into such “plump rolls.”

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Ingredients

    Garnish

  • amazu shōga (pink pickled ginger), drained
  • soy sauce for dipping, optional

Method

  1. With damp hands, divide the seasoned rice into six portions, and shape each into a roughly oblong mass about 3 inches long. Set these aside, covered with a damp cloth.
  2. Cut the sheets of nori in half, to yield six half-sheets; stack these in a dry location. Cut the omelet into six wedges, then cut each wedge into ½-inch-wide strips. Cut the gourd ribbon into twelve, 4-inch lengths. Divide the rosy flaked fish into six portions.
  3. Rinse the parsley carefully under cold water. Divide it into three bunches, keeping all the sprigs running in the same direction. Tie the bunches with string around the stems. Bring several cups of water to a rolling boil, add the salt (to heighten the color), and quickly dip the bunches of parsley into it. Drain immediately, running cold water over the parsley to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out all excess water and pat the parsley dry. Trim the parsley, discarding the string and root ends. Divide each bunch in half, to make six portions.
  4. Place the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over fairly high heat. Shaking the skillet slightly, toast the seeds until a few pop or they just begin to color, about 30-40 seconds.
  5. Lay one sheet of seaweed, rough side up and with one of the shorter sides facing you, on a slatted bamboo mat. With damp hands, spread one portion of rice across the lower two thirds of the seaweed. Make a colorful striped pattern across the rice with your fillings: egg shreds (several ribbons for each roll), simmered gourd ribbons (two per roll), rosy flaked fish (one portion per roll), and blanched flat-leafed parsley (three stalks per roll).
  6. Lifting the mat, begin to roll the sushi away from you. Flip it up and over, snugly enclosing the fillings. Continue to roll, lifting the mat and pushing the sushi away from you at the same time. When you get to the far end, press a few grains of rice to the edge of the seaweed before completing the roll, to seal the edge.
  7. With a sharp knife, slice each roll in half crosswise, and then cut each half into two slices. Wipe your knife blade on a damp cloth between cuts. Serve the rolls at room temperature with a garnish of pink pickled ginger, and soy sauce for dipping if you like.

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