Japanese Pickle Roll (Handroll, Temakisushi)
Just before rolling sushi, toast the nori by passing the shiny side over a high flame. The color of the nori will change from brownish black to dark green. (Without toasting, the nori will be gummy and hard to chew.) Cut toasted nori sheets in half crosswise.
Lay a 1/2 a sheet of the nori, shiny side down on a counter. Combine the rice vinegar and water in a bowl, and moisten your hands with this hand vinegar to keep the rice from sticking to your hands as you work. Spread about 1 cup of the sushi rice on 3/4 of the nori closest to you, in a layer about 1/4 inch thick, spreading it to the edges. Lay 1/4 of the pickle slices across the center of the nori. Roll gently, using the fingers and palms of both hands. Eat immediately, without cutting, and serve the soy sauce as a dipping sauce. Yield: 4 servings, 4 rolls
As a variation, roll the nori, rice and ingredients into a cone shape and serve with dipping sauce.
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