The avocado has always been a staple in the California roll, but that’s not where the green goodness ends. There are countless ways to incorporate avocado into fresh sushi rolls. Need some inspiration? We’ll give you a tutorial on how to roll your sushi, and we’ll teach you how to make some of our favorite rolls, too.
For a good sushi roll, you need short-grain Japanese rice. Cook the rice according to package instructions and use Japanese rice vinegar, heated with sugar and salt, to season it. Once the sugar and salt are dissolved and heated through in the vinegar, pour it over the rice, gently folding and stirring (try to keep the grains intact) until all liquid is absorbed. Use a rice paddle for this step and a fan to cool the rice as you go.
Cover your sushi mat with a piece of plastic wrap and lay your nori (seaweed) shiny-side down. On top of that, with damp hands, gently spread a layer (about 3/4 cup) of the sushi rice over the nori. Spread rice to about 1 inch from the far end of the sheet; the exposed nori will “glue” the roll together. Press the rice down with your hands so it sticks to the seaweed, then arrange ingredients in a horizontal line in the center of the rice.
Before we begin, a quick tip on choosing perfectly ripe avocados: Look for the ones in the store with dark-green or even black skins that are a little bumpy to the touch and ‘give’ a little when you squeeze them.
For a fresh avocado and cucumber roll, peel, pit, and slice half an Avocado From Mexico, and have thin cucumber slivers on hand. Lay across your prepared rice and nori (add micro greens if you’re feeling fancy). Top with toasted sesame seeds and roll, slice, and serve with a good Japanese tamari and pickled ginger.
If you’re a seafood fan, use cooked shrimp — sliced in half crosswise — in your roll, along with sliced avocado, fresh chives, and a drizzle of mayonnaise mixed with wasabi.
If you prefer a Golden Avocado Roll, try tinting your rice with the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric and filling it with surimi, diced avocado, and tobiko roe for a truly golden roll. Or go vegan and opt for slivers of yellow pepper, mango, avocado, tofu, and toasted sesame seeds.