NOBODY TAKES BABY'S SUSHI ROLL



A few years ago, I set out for a second date with a handsome law student named Jackson. We had met at Brooks Brothers right after Thanksgiving, where he was working part-time, and I was doing some Christmas Shopping. The whole thing was a bit serendipitous as we had just matched on a dating app and then unexpectedly met in person shortly after. Our first date went well, and I was excited to see him again.

We were getting sushi at one of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh, Sushi Nine. In a devastating turn of events,  Sushi Nine caught fire a few years prior and completely burned down. It had just re-opened and I was thrilled to be going back for the first time since.

I wore black wax jeans- such a fab alternative to leather pants, a cream, long-sleeve blouse and my favorite fur vest. One perk of dating a guy that works  at Brooks Brothers is that he shows up dressed impeccably. 

We sat down and I took in the brand new, yet oddly familiar sight. I ordered a glass of wine and Jackson ordered a beer. I begin to scan the menu. Exactly the same! Sushi Nine is known for their buy one, get one free sushi and I could. not. wait.

Our server saunters on over and Jackson orders the Teriyaki chicken dinner. I order my go-to spicy tuna roll, and as I am about to select my "free" roll, Jack interrupts me and announces that I don't need to eat two rolls and he will have my second roll. I'm sorry, but you have got to be fucking kidding me. Nobody takes baby's sushi roll. Completely gobsmacked I didn't know how to react, so I said nothing and ordered another glass of wine. 

I  push my annoyance aside and continue through the small talk that second dates bring. Suddenly every move he makes is driving me nuts. And then, things take a turn down a road I truly wasn't expecting. Jackson stands up in the middle of the restaurant, walks to my side of the table, sits down next to me and continues to eat while awkwardly holding me. I am horrified. I have never and will never be a "same side of the table" kind of diner. 

At this point, I can't get out of there fast enough. He walks me to my car, kisses me on the cheek, and I drive away from this tragic evening. 

In memoriam of the sushi roll that almost was, I'm sharing an easy recipe for an at-home sushi bowl.

CALIFORNIA SUSHI ROLL BOWLS WITH CAULIFLOWER RICE


California sushi rolls may not be authentic Japanese sushi, but they are delicious. I love the simple combination of crab, avocado and cucumbers. They also taste great in sushi rice bowl form. You get all the flavors of the roll without having to deal with making them into sushi rolls (which can get messy and time consuming).

However sushi bowls tend to have a lot of rice, which can get heavy. So I decided to use cauliflower rice instead. I prepared the cauliflower rice in a similar way to sushi rice, seasoning it with seasoned rice vinegar so that it tastes similar to sushi rice.

This made for an easy and light meal. And it is perfect for meal prep since there is no raw fish or rice. The imitation crab meat is made of cooked fish. Sushi rice usually needs to be consumed right away as it does not store or reheat well, but cauliflower rice tastes just as good the next day.



RECIPE TIPS

Make sure to use seasoned rice vinegar and not regular rice vinegar. Seasoned rice vinegar is less acidic and sweeter than regular rice vinegar and is used to make sushi rice.

The black and white sesame seeds add different flavors to the bowl, so I definitely recommend adding both.

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice
  • 2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 large avocado pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 oz imitation crab meat, can substitute with real crab meat
  • 2 persian cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp toasted black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 nori sheet shredded into small pieces
  • 2 green scallions thinly sliced
SRIRACHA MAYONNAISE
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3-4 tsp sriracha sauce
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise and sriracha sauce until evenly mixed. Set aside.
  2. Steam cauliflower rice until tender. While rice is still hot, drizzle with rice vinegar and mix vinegar into the rice. Taste and add more vinegar if needed.
  3. Add 1 cup of cauliflower sushi rice to each meal prep container
  4. Add 3 ounces of crab meat to each bowl. Divide cucumbers and avocados evenly amongst the bowls. Garnish with black and white sesame seeds. Garnish with scallions. Drizzle with sriracha sauce. Keep bowls stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Right before eating, add shredded nori to bowl. You do not want to add the nori ahead of time because it will soften almost immediately.
NOTES
  • Make sure to use seasoned rice vinegar and not regular rice vinegar. Seasoned rice vinegar is less acidic and sweeter than regular rice vinegar and is used to make sushi rice.
  • If you are on a keto or other type of restrictive low carb diet, use real crab meat instead of imitation crab. Most of the carbs in this bowl are from the imitation crab meat which has approximately 13 carbs per serving.

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