Ella Bella’s Rice Rolls

Prep Time:  About an hour (including the rolling)

Cooking Time:  Nada, as in no cooking needed (not counting the rice, that is)

Calories per serving:  Only 208 calories (10 servings, 1 roll sliced into 6)

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Maki or rice rolls are probably the most common Japanese food around the world. Some people even call it sushi. For those who may not know though, maki is actually a type of sushi. Anyway, that’s not what this is about. I wanted to show all of you how easy (yeah, I did say easy) it is to make a big batch of these bad boys 🙂

There are two things that recently motivated me to make these. One being the recent discovery that my stepson actually likes eating them. The other, well, once you make these rice rolls, they can be taken them to work for lunch. If you’re practical like me, you will also find that paying $6 to $8 for a serving of these is too much, and makes it all worth the effort!

Alright, let’s get started. You’d need:

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6 cups of cooked jasmine rice

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

A dash of sea salt

A dash of white pepper

5 Nori sheets (dried seaweed sheets), cut in half

2 tbsps sesame seeds, toasted

4 Crab sticks

Ham Steak, cut in thin strips

1 cucumber, seeds removed, sliced into strips

1 large carrot, sliced into strips

2 scrambled eggs, cut in strips

Kitchen Essentials: Bamboo Mat for rolling; plastic wrap

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Ready to follow these few easy steps?

Cook the rice per package instructions and let it cool. I used 2 cups of dry jasmine rice for this recipe.

Once the rice is cool enough, transfer into a large mixing bowl. Put in the olive oil and sesame oil as evenly as possible. I had to use my hands to make sure they are evenly distributed into the rice. Mix in one tablespoon of the sesame seeds. This method will make the rice sticky so you’d need to wash your hands again after mixing. Cover the bowl and set aside.

Scramble the eggs in a large pan and once it’s formed, remove from pan and let cool. Meanwhile, cut the carrots, cucumber, ham steak and crab sticks into strips. Once the egg has cooled, you’d also want to cut them into strips.

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Next cover your bamboo mat with plastic wrap (you’d want to get both sides covered). Lay the plastic-covered bamboo mat flat then place one of the halved nori sheets on it, shiny side facing down.

Spread some rice on the nori until the entire side is covered. Spread a little bit of the remaining sesame seeds. Then flip the nori.

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Arrange the carrot, cucumber, ham and egg strips in the middle, as well as the crab sticks. You’d want to line up just enough crab sticks to make them look like a strip too. Next roll it with the mat. Roll it tight enough so it forms into a nice roll.

Repeat the process until you have all the rolls done. This recipe yields 10 rolls, which I sliced into 6. Some would prefer smaller rolls so each roll may also yield 8 slices.

For my classic dip, I use2 tbsps of light soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar and a dash of cayenne. I’m not a big fan of wasabi but if you are, you are certainly welcome to use some (along with some pickled ginger) and make it more of a takeout quality.

As they say in Japanese, itadakimasu (enjoy your meal)!

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