California Roll "Salad"

I used to very much despise sushi.  I'm not sure why, either, because generally I like everything.  I hadn't really even ever had sushi, but for some reason I thought I didn't like it.  That's until [the best roommate ever] Emily, told me to hush up and try it.  She started me out with the general California Roll.  Imitation crab, cucumber, and avocado.  Well, I like all that stuff, I thought.  After the California Roll, I expanded my horizons, and now I like most sushi rolls - just nothing with salmon.  I just can't do salmon in any form.  Some of my favorite rolls are the tempura-battered rolls with cream cheese in the middle.  Next time I can get Emily to the East Coast (she's a Seattle girl), I plan to stuff our faces with sushi and watch a movie trilogy -- non-stop, all day -- just like the good ole days.

For this recipe, I used most of the things that you will find when ordering a California Roll.  I really do not like the taste (or smell) of ginger, but in small doses, I can handle it.  Especially when it seems natural to put it in the dish - like sushi.  I used a dash of granulated ginger in the dressing for this "salad".  When eating this, I think you'll think you are enjoying a fresh California Roll.  But, you can be the judge of that!

What You'll Need:
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil, divided 
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 3 medium-sized cucumbers, diced
  • 1 pound imitation "crab legs", diced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1/2 cup lite soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. wasabi paste (or to taste, not everyone likes wasabi) 
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper

Instead of cooking the rice according to the package directions, I tried something a little different:  In a large saucepan, coat the bottom with 1 tbsp. of sesame oil.  Drop in the rice and stir to coat.  Turn the flame down to low and "toast" your rice before actually cooking it.  Once the rice has been toasted, pour in your water and when the water has cooked out - about 10-12 minutes - the rice should be nice and soft. 

Transfer the rice to a bowl and refrigerate to chill.  In the same pot, drop the sesame seeds and toast.  They will only need a few minutes, and you should be able to smell when they are toasted.  Then, in a large bowl, mix your toasted sesame seeds, diced cucumbers, crab, and avocados.  When your rice is chilled, mix that in as well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, onion powder, ginger, remaining tbsp. of sesame oil, vinegar, wasabi paste, and lime juice.  Pour over the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and mix well.  Throw in some cracked pepper to taste, and enjoy!


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