The other day Ellen gave me a couple packages of dried seaweed sheets from Costco. She was shocked to find out I have never made sushi before. I have had sushi from many different restaurants and have yet to catch the ‘sushi’ craze and love it. I have found the things I love about sushi is the fresh vegetables, sticky rice and the sauces that you dunk and drizzle all over the cute pieces of sushi goodness. My kids have uncles who love sushi however and so they were cheering me on as I was trying to prepare some California Rolls for dinner last night. Now, I know in the ‘real’ sushi world a California roll is not real sushi. However, I figured we would start there before I ventured out to feeding my kids raw fish.
So, after MUCH frustration and rice covering my entire countertop and kitchen I threw my hands in the air and said forget it! I surrendered to the fact I am a disgrace to the Japanese world of cuisine. I was tired of being covered in sticky rice and trying to roll the vegetables into a pretty cylinder. So, this is when I got the brilliant idea to make some cheater-cheater chicken roll ups. I have to brag for a minute and say the finished product was awesome!! My kids thought I was the coolest, and this dinner was so fun and different. Although there is nothing fancy in these, or even unusual, the pretty pieces of the chicken rolls looked so cute and dipped in our favorite sauces it was a meal we all had fun eating and that tasted incredible!
Now, before any of you authentic sushi lovers boo me out of the blogging sphere, these roll ups do have a few ‘real’ components of sushi. The seaweed sheets are a must with this recipe. They give these roll ups a slight fishy taste and make you think you are eating some form of sushi. Also, the sticky rice is fabulous!! I am so happy to now know how to make sticky rice at home. Super simple and so fun! Also, the fresh cucumber, avocado and bell pepper give you the fresh vegetable flavor and texture that you love about sushi. Now…for the sauces. Oh, I love me some good dipping sauces! I chose to use three sauces for my roll ups (one would suffice for most people I am sure). I used our homemade Red Pepper Jelly, Thai Peanut Sauce and then the Spicy Mayo (recipe below) that was perfect. Dip these roll-ups in anything you want and your family will LOVE this new twist on a traditional favorite. Family friendly sushi–so fun!