My friend D and I go to Philadelphia’s Cherry Blossom Festival every year, and we make all sorts of Japanese goodies and eat ourselves silly beneath the blooming sakura trees. This year I decided I wanted to make some sort of “dessert sushi” roll with some fresh strawberries and kiwi, and this is what I came up with.
Strawberry-Kiwi Sweet Sushi Roll (makes 2 rolls)
Make the rice first, it will need some time to cool and while that’s going on you can clean and cut the fruit.
Sweet Sushi Rice
1 cup water
3/4 cup sushi rice, well rinsed
2-3 tablespoons sugar (adjust amount to taste)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine all the above ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a soft boil, and then cover tightly and simmer on low for 20 minutes, then empty it into a bowl (preferably plastic) and allow it to cool. While it’s cooking, don’t stir the rice. Don’t peek at the rice. I mean it! You will have messy goo if you do. Once you’re simmering, leave it the hell alone and go cut your fruit.
2 Kiwifruit, peeled and cut into 1/4″ strips
4-5 Strawberries, cut into 1/4″ strips
(You can make this with any firm fruit – melon, cantaloupe, watermelon, make one of each! Whatever you use, pat it dry and slice it into 1/4″ strips.)
Cover a bamboo sushi rolling mat with plastic wrap, and then wet your fingers and spread 1/2 of the rice on the mat in a rectangle about 4-5″ long, and about 1/4″ thick. (The wetting the fingers part is important – this stuff is super sticky!)
Arrange your fruit strips in a row, a little below the middle of your rice rectangle.
Then roll it up! Take your time, using your fingers to keep the fruit in place as you roll, and make sure to “tighten” the roll with the bamboo mat. (If you’ve never made a sushi roll, you can find tons of how-to videos on YouTube.)
The finished roll. If you want you can leave it wrapped like this in the plastic wrap overnight, and then cut it later.
The trick to successful cutting is to use a VERY sharp knife, and keep it clean and wet. Because the rice is so sticky, you will need to clean off the knife and re-wet it about every two cuts. Also, the tighter the roll, the easier the cutting. I cut these 1/2″ thick, perfect for popping whole into your mouth.
These are wonderfully refreshing! I played around with sprinkling cinnamon around the roll before cutting, and it tasted divine. Enjoy!