It’s all the time humorous to me how among the dishes I make come collectively. Eight or 9 years in the past I had an concept to make a sushi roll utilizing wild rice and northern pike. The thought was to make a Minnesota-themed model of the usual maki roll. I lower strips of pike and fried them in a tempura batter and tried to make sushi rice with long-grain wild rice. It was an epic failure on my behalf: That first try at a Minnesota maki roll held collectively for about 30 seconds. Once I tried to chop the entire roll into items, it proceeded to crumble and disintegrate. The fried pike wasn’t the correct fish to make use of, and the lengthy grains of untamed rice didn’t have sufficient of the starch needed to carry the roll collectively.
I’ve had a few close to successes utilizing sushi rice and crayfish tails, however nonetheless, nothing that was ok or “Minnesotan” sufficient to name a Minnesota Maki roll. I actually was hopeful that I might have the ability to make a maki roll utilizing wild rice, nevertheless it appeared simply out of attain. Then I found soup rice—the little damaged bits of untamed rice which might be added to soups and stews. Soup rice is simply wild rice that has been damaged into small grains. It is normally cheaper that complete grain wild rice, and is equally scrumptious. I’ve been utilizing soup rice virtually completely for the final couple of years, after discovering a roadside stand simply outdoors Bemidji, Minn., that sells it for 99 cents a pound once you purchase greater than 10 kilos.
Again in April, I used to be making an attempt out completely different recipes for a wild rice salad and was impressed at how nicely the soup rice held collectively after being tossed with mild French dressing. That is what acquired me desirous about utilizing soup rice within the maki roll. It wasn’t till a number of weeks in the past that I found out what sort of fish I used to be going to make use of. My spouse and I had been out for dinner, and on the menu was a pickled-smelt salad. I knew instantly that I used to be going to make use of pickled smelt in my Minnesota maki roll. I acquired house that night time and went proper to the freezer to set out a bag of smelt for thawing.
I now had all the primary substances in a single place to place collectively my Minnesota maki roll—I simply needed to wait per week for my smelt to pickle. When the week was by, I set every little thing as much as make the roll. I even went to YouTube to refresh my sushi-rolling expertise (there are a selection of nice movies on there that can present you the correct approach). After assembling the rolls, I sliced them and was impressed at how nicely they held collectively. I used to be a bit nervous that the soup rice wouldn’t maintain, nevertheless it did, and never solely was the feel nice, however the taste was additionally precisely what I needed. I lastly acquired my Minnesota sushi roll, and I couldn’t have been happier.
Minnesota Maki Roll:
three cups cooked wild rice (the soup rice)
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salt
eight pickled smelt
four sheets of nori paper
1 carrot lower into matchsticks
1 cucumber lower into matchsticks
Mix the rice wine, vinegar, honey and salt, and stir till the salt is dissolved then add it to the wild rice. Stir collectively and let sit for 30 minutes within the fridge earlier than utilizing. Lay a sheet of nori out on a bamboo mat and add about ¾ cup of the wild rice onto the nori. Unfold the rice evenly onto the nori paper, leaving a 1 ½ inch strip alongside the lengthy facet of the nori uncovered.
Utilizing a squeeze bottle of mayo, squeeze one strip of mayo throughout the rice and add some cucumbers and carrots. Place two of the pickled smelt on the roll, after which begin to kind your roll. After you have a whole roll let it relaxation within the fridge for 15-20 minutes earlier than slicing. Serve with contemporary grated horseradish and soy sauce.