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Hapa's Orgasm Roll

For the rice:
1 C. rice vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
1 t. salt

Optional: a dash of cured seaweed, or dashi kombu (available at Asian markets)

1 C. cooked sushi rice (this short-grained rice needs only 1 1/4 C. water to cook)

For the filling and exterior of the roll:
1/2 sheet dried seaweed, or nori (available at Whole Foods Market and Asian markets)
1 C. cooked, seasoned sushi rice (see above)
1 oz. snow-crab meat
2 slices peeled avocado
2 thin pieces of sliced cucumber
1/2 - 1/4 t. Hellmann's Mayonnaise (optional)
2 oz. fresh salmon fillet, skinned and sliced thinly into four pieces

Plastic wrap

Bamboo rolling mat (available at specialty cooking shops and Asian markets)

For the sweet soy sauce, or nitsume (alias eel sauce):
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. sweet cooking sake, or mirin
1/4 C. water

Optional: additional sweetening agents such as honey, molasses and brown sugar, to taste

Optional: a dash of fish stock, or hon dashi (available at Asian markets)

For the Japanese mayonnaise, or aji no moto:

1 cup Kewpie Mayonnaise, a brand-name product from Japan (available at Asian markets), or 1 cup American-brand mayonnaise mixed with 1 egg yolk

A dash or two of pepper (cayenne, crushed red, etc.)

First, you need to make shari-zu, or sushi-rice vinegar, a clear sweet-and-sour liquid that will season the cooked sushi rice. Mix the vinegar, sugar, salt and optional cured seaweed in a small pot, and bring to a simmer. Cook gently until smoke appears; do not boil.

Pour two to four tablespoons of this sugared-vinegar mixture over one cup of cooked sushi rice, then stir gently. This will keep the sushi rice sticky, so it will cling to the -sheet of seaweed in the next step.

To make the rolls, place the half-sheet of nori on a cutting board. Wet hands so they are damp, but not dripping, so the rice doesn't stick to your skin. Spread some rice on the seaweed, spreading all the way to the edges; the rice should be a thickness slightly less than one centimeter.

Flip the nori upside down, so the rice is on the bottom, against the cutting board, and the nori faces up (this is how to make an inside-out roll). Mix the crab meat with the mayonnaise. Proceed to make a California roll by first spreading the crab along the center of the nori in a long, thin strip. Top with the strips of avocado and cucumber; use only enough of each ingredient to spread it across the entire length of the roll.

Roll up everything tightly with your hands. Lay the sliced salmon pieces across the top of the roll, overlapping them slightly to cover the roll entirely.

Place a sheet of Saran Wrap over the salmon-covered roll, then compress with a bamboo roller.

With a very sharp knife, quickly cut the roll into 8 to 10 pieces.

To make the sweet soy sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a slow boil be careful that it doesn't boil over and reduce by 1/3 to . Restaurants tend to reduce to a thicker consistency for aesthetic purposes. Makes enough sauce for about four rolls.

Note: Sweet soy sauce is also available pre-bottled at Asian markets

To make the mayonnaise, mix together the ingredients.

To cook and sauce the roll, place the salmon-covered roll on foil or a greased baking sheet. Stick into a toaster oven or an oven set to broil, and cook until the salmon turns white on top and loses its fresh orange color, about two to three minutes maximum (the salmon pieces are thin, and so cook quickly). Cover the roll with about two tablespoons (or less, according to taste) of Japanese mayonnaise. Drizzle some sweet soy sauce over this, then stick the roll back into the oven. Broil until the top crisps and bubbles, about two minutes; make sure to check every 30 seconds as it is easy to burn. Serve immediately.

Makes one roll.

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