California Roll Question

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I've only ever bought these on a sudden whim while at the supermarket, sometimes at a buffet. from some places I've noticed an unusual savory flavor to the rice that I can't attribute merely to the sesame seeds, vinegar and sugar in there. It is unique to any other sushi I've had, not that I've had all that much.

Is there some secret ingredient you don't see in internet recipes here? I really can't describe it other than to say that it does on reflection seem to have a malt quality going along with it, but more to it than that.
 
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Out here in California there aren’t always sesame seeds and, if so, a rather sparse amount... and no secret ingredients. The crab is almost always K-crab... unless you go to Nobu or the like.

Although I eat supermarket and buffet sushi too, I find it often not fresh and too heavily packed since it is generally machine made.
 
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"sushi"

It could be that the rice is starting to age a bit and break down some amino acids/starches into different flavor compounds, i.e. what happens to grains when they break down (where we get malt).

I'm only saying that because you mentioned malt. I have never noticed anything "extra" in the rice when I eat things like that.

Try looking on the ingredients list on the package???
 
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"sushi"

It could be that the rice is starting to age a bit and break down some amino acids/starches into different flavor compounds, i.e. what happens to grains when they break down (where we get malt).

I'm only saying that because you mentioned malt. I have never noticed anything "extra" in the rice when I eat things like that.

Try looking on the ingredients list on the package???

Dahhh, why didn't I think of that (looking at the ingredients)? Tomorrow I'll start looking. If it gives no clue then your "aged" idea might account for something, boy though it was a very noticeable flavor, hard to imagine it happening within the very short life span of refrigerator sushi. Would like to be able to create it for other dishes, I really liked that flavor, and that was the only reason I would even eat something that is off my diet (the rice that is).
 
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There is no way on God's earth that I would purchase already made Sushi from a supermarket or buffet unless I'm seeing it being made in front of me and then placed on the counter to buy. I have no idea how old or how fresh the product is.
 
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A lot of places use this stuff. It's basically enzymes to break down the starch + MSG.

Miola.jpg

I use it everyday. Love it.

I cannot post a link to the product. Don't know why.
 
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Freshness isn’t as much of a concern since it doesn’t contain raw fish. It’s processed imitation crab, rice, and treated avocado which means it has a shelf life of at least a few days.

Again, it’s “sushi”

Not judging by any means, I’ve grabbed stuff like this for a quick lunch before, but let’s not pretend that an imitation crab California roll has much in common with sushi.
 
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Make your own. It's not that difficult. It's not rocket surgery. Learn along the way what you like and dislike. You'll have a good time doing it. Enjoy yourself.
 
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We’ve got a very high end sushi place here in Vancouver, called Tojo’s, and been here for 20 years that I know of. Anyway the owner, Tojo, claims to have invented the California roll here. Never eaten there yet
 
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I meant to make sushi using the rice and salmon from my poke bowl entry, doubt it will get done today. Oh well.

Best sushi I ever had was at a really dubious looking place somewhere in the vicinity of Pasadena. Flew to California for business with a couple of HP labs back in my computer days, took my younger sister and her kids out for dinner. My sister suggested this sushi place. We drove around a bit, pull up in this strip mall with a beauty parlor ( does anyone still call them that? ) a bail bonds place, some other seedy looking businesses.

Japanese couple, perhaps around 80 years old, she ran the front of house, he did the knife work. They spoke some English. Place was *immaculate*, completely unexpected given the looks of the surrounding exterior. Small place, maybe 6 tables and 8 stools along the bar. We chose the stools. When trying out a new place I usually order a spicy tuna roll to start. It is a simple roll, one that quickly tells you how fresh the fish is, how much vinegar the chef puts on the rice, what his idea of 'spicy' is, how tight or loose the rice is packed. Basically shoddy workmanship is immediately evident when there isn't a lot of stuff to hide behind.

I put that first piece in my mouth. The BEST piece of sushi I'd ever eaten. This was maybe 25 years ago, hard to say. Jo's kids were like 7 - 8 years old at that time. They ate a lot of the "Kalifornia Krab" rolls. Me? I waved my hand towards the fish on ice in the glass case, pointed to him and gave him that "Feed Me" look. Omasomething or whatever, I forgot the term used to tell the chef to bring me what YOU like, show me your stuff, you know more about it than I do. I had some good eats! Grilled squid, amazingly tender octopus, rolls with 87 ingredients or just a blob of rice with a simple slice of mackerel, I think, on it. Incredible stuff. When we walked in there were like 2 couples at the tables, both of whom left after 10 - 15 minutes of our arrival. So the chef and his wife had time to devote all their attention to us.

It was an amazing experience.

mjb.
 
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Right now I'd just be happy to duplicate that very complex malting result, or whatever it was.

So Pat Pat, how do you think you'd have to use this stuff? I'm not convinced it will do the job hoped for on it's own, but it might be part of the process.
 
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So Pat Pat, how do you think you'd have to use this stuff? I'm not convinced it will do the job hoped for on it's own, but it might be part of the process.

I'd just use it as is (according to the instructions) and see if you get the result you are looking for.

I can tell you that the resulting rice tastes noticeably different than normal rice.

LOL! Enzymes + MSG from Ohtsuka Chemical Industrial Co., Ltd. Ya gotta love it! :rolleyes:

It's not as bad as you make it sound! LOL.
 
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The other thing to consider is the type of vinegar used and the amount of kombu.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that grocery store California rolls use powdered dashi, at best. Most likely no real kombu...but I could be wrong.

How else does dashi come? Anyway I think I get the gist. Along the same lines, artificial flavorings started coming out in the 1920's, and caught so quick it was immediately in everything store bought, almost no one espoused the "natural." My father always said he preferred artificial flavors because that was what he grew up on.

Very likely the rolls I had experienced had more of everything, or one or 2 things, added.

Anyone have a more clear idea what exactly created the wonderful complex maltiness?
 
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