I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. I had tried Kirin beer at a local Japanese restaurant several times in the past but never the lighter 95 calorie beer so I was incredibly excited to find it included in my Influencer box. After reading the informational booklet that was included with my Kirin beer I made the ambitious decision to attempt at home sushi rolls. Now I’m pretty new to sushi, shocking I know, but I’m an incredibly picky eater so I just avoided it. I turned to Pinterest for ingredient ideas; After scouring through countless pictures of sashimi and eel I decided to stick to my favorite spicy tuna roll and a vegan cucumber avocado roll option. While I was able to find recipes for both online that was very detailed I found that it left out key details; instead of posting the link for both I’m going to walk you through this and tell you which beer goes best with each roll.
The first thing I had to do was gather my list of ingredients and let me tell you it is a bit extensive. Of course we need the basics for sushi rolling:
- Sushinori (seaweed wraps)
- Bamboo rolling mat
- Sushi rice
- Rice vinegar (seasoned or plain)
- Wasabi paste
Next, you need the ingredients that are just for this recipe:
- One can of chunk white tuna
- One avocado
- One cucumber
- Chili powder or cayenne pepper
Once you have all of your ingredients clear TWO workspaces. This was my first mistake; you need a prep space and a space for rolling so make sure both are large I used the counter to prep and the stovetop to roll my sushi but you can use any large surface. In a saucepan bring to a boil on high heat:
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of sushi rice
- 1½ teaspoons of rice vinegar
Once your rice, water, and rice vinegar begins to boil reduce the heat to medium and continually stir. YOU MUST STIR YOUR RICE!! I mean don’t take your eyes off of it. While my rice cooked and I stirred, I decided to open a Kirin beer and was pleasantly surprised at the lightness of the regular beer in comparison to Kirin Light. A full flavor with no heaviness is pretty rare. There is no real set time to let your rice cook but once you start to notice the water disappearing, reduce your heat to low and continue to stir. Once there is no water left. remove it from the heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes, uncover and let it sit for another 5 minutes. While your rice cools prepare the rest of your ingredients. Drain the water from your can of tuna, empty the contents into a bowl and add in:
- ½ teaspoon of mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon of wasabi paste
- A dash of cayenne pepper
Stir to combine. Then grab your avocado, cut it in half, and remove the seed; you will only use about half of one anyway. DO NOT REMOVE IT FROM THE SKIN, I promise it will make it so much easier, instead slice around the edges to loosen it from the skin and then slice it into strips lengthwise. Next, grab a vegetable peeler, your cucumber, and carrot. Slice off a few strips don’t worry about an exact measurement because you can always just slice more if need be. Now that you have all of your ingredients, you’re ready to start rolling!
Grab your bamboo mat and seaweed wraps. The recipe I used a reference said to put plastic wrap between the bamboo mat and the seaweed wrap but I found that made things more difficult. Instead, take a dish towel and put that under your bamboo mat to prevent sliding. Got it? Dish towel, bamboo mat, seaweed wrap rough side up. Now before we dive into the rice, grab a small bowl and fill it with cold water, the key to spreading your rice on your seaweed with ease is to continually have wet hands. If the rice is starting to stick to your hands stop what you’re doing rinse off the stickiness, dry, and re-wet them.
Now once your hands are dripping wet, grab a small golf ball sized handful of rice and spread it on your seaweed. It’s easiest to work in sections but make sure your layer of rice isn’t super thick or too thin, basically you shouldn’t be able to see any green poking through. It’s also key to leave about half an inch of seaweed uncovered at one of the ends (preferably the one furthest from you) to seal your edge. Once your seaweed is covered, lay your ingredients in the middle.
Spicy Tuna Roll
Cucumber Avocado Roll
Layer them in that order; again trust me on this one. Once you have them layered, lift your bamboo mat and begin to roll; it’s easiest to tuck the first edge under and then roll normally than to do it any other way. DO NOT PRESS DOWN. Pressing down on your roll will lead to a weird oval shape and all kinds of other weirdness. Just roll lightly with the bottom of your fingers as opposed to your palms or fingertips. Roll it back and forth in your bamboo mat until you have the cylindrical shape (think back to your PlayDoh days of making snakes, it’s the same technique really). Remove your cylinder from your rolling workspace and if necessary cut off the non riced edges with a clean and dry knife. Then slice your roll into bite size pieces, each roll yields about 6-7 pieces.
I found that with the spicy tuna rolls I preferred the regular Kirin beer over the lighter version because it’s flavor really worked well with and complimented the heaviness of the tuna and vegetables. Kirin light works best with lighter sushi rolls like the cucumber avocado rolls I made; its lightness worked well with the cleaner tasting simpler sushi. Now that you’ve got a full step by step recipe try your own sushi at home and pairing it with Kirin for a casual night in or use a dinner party as an excuse to show off your sushi rolling skills!
A very special thank you to Millennial Central and Kirin Brewery for sponsoring this! So excited to add master sushi roller to my list of skills. Until next time….