Okay, I know I’ve been really heavy on the recipes these past few days (or is it weeks? I don’t even know how to measure time anymore it’s going so fast, haha) but I promise I’ve been crafting like crazy I just need to get around to writing the posts! This particular recipe was born out of our recent sushi making kick because once our first go at it produced fab results we decided to keep coming up with new sushi recipes and have been on a roll ever since (get it? Roll, lol). Now I’ve been a sushi enthusiast for as long as I can remember and even whipped up some basic homemade sushi with my Dad as a kid, but nothing could have prepared me for the deliciousness that is the roll that I’m about to share with you. First let me warn you there isn’t much about this roll that is “skinny” and it definitely deviates from my normal style of healthy cooking, but if you’re looking for a good homemade cheat meal or a specialty sushi roll that won’t cost you $15, this may be it!
Now about this magic roll – since the first one we made was a pretty basic California Roll, I wanted the next one to be whacky and different from what you’d normally come across on a specialty sushi menu. I recalled my friend telling me that she’d once tried a roll with chicken and bacon and thought that this would be perfect, especially because jazzing up simple ingredients is my favorite (you won’t find this gal traipsing to any specialty food stores to find a pickled ostrich foot or whatever the foodies are into nowadays, haha)! Basically this roll is comprised of fried chicken, bacon, avocado, onions (sauteed in the bacon fat! I told you it wasn’t healthy, lol) and an easy to prepare red pepper aioli. It’s kind of like a California BLT in sushi form and is mindblowingly delicious and really fun to make! Since it takes a little extra time in the kitch we usually prepare this on weekends when J and I can enjoy a night of sushi making and sake drinking 🙂 Give this one a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed!
CHICKEN SUSHI ROLLS WITH BACON & RED PEPPER AIOLI
INGREDIENTS (Makes 3 Rolls, 6 pieces each)
- 3 cups sushi rice, prepared
- 3 Dried Seaweed Sheets
- Sesame seeds
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 3 slices of bacon
- 1/2 avocado, sliced into thin strips
- canola or vegetable oil for frying
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup mayo
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 roasted red peppers (I used jarred)
- 1 tsp. siracha
Step 1: Prepare your aioli by combining mayo, lemon juice, red peppers and siracha in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (I use my nutri-bullet).
Step 2: Next pan fry your bacon. While bacon is cooking, pound your chicken breasts to tenderize, then slice them into very thin (1/2-inch to 1 inch strips). Once bacon has finished cooking remove from pan and set aside, reserving bacon fat in pan.
Step 3: Add sliced onions to pan with reserved bacon fat and saute until they just begin to crisp. Remove and set aside.
Step 4: Okay, here is where it gets tricky (not the method but rather my explaining of the method, lol). If at any point my description of how to assemble this roll is lost on you, simply YouTube “how to make an inside out sushi roll” and I promise you will be able to do it in no time flat no matter what your ingredients. Take your bamboo sushi mat and wrap it in one layer of plastic wrap then lay it flat. Place a dried seaweed sheet atop and flick a little water on it to moisten it, then wet your fingers and spread about a cup of prepared sushi rice onto the seaweed sheet coming just about to the very edge (wetting your hands helps the sticky rice not to stick to your fingers, it helps to keep a bowl of water near by while preparing your rolls). Once your rice is spread into a thin layer, sprinkle it with about 1 tsp. of sesame seeds.
Step 5: Very carefully turn your seaweed sheet which is now topped with rice upside down so that the rice side is laying on the plastic wrapped bamboo mat and the seaweed side is facing up. Now, at the top of your seaweed sheet, place one strip of fried chicken, 1 strip of bacon (I crumble mine), 2-3 pieces of avocado and about 1 Tbsp. of sauteed onions, finally drizzle on about a tablespoon of the red pepper aioli. Now you are ready to roll (literally, lol)!
Step 6: Starting at the edge where you have placed your ingredients, use your bamboo mat to fold that side of the roll onto itself, squeezing tight to ensure that the filling will be tightly encased in the roll. Next roll your roll up the rest of the way (using your bamboo mat to guide it) and once it has been fully rolled use your bamboo mat to squeeze it firmly along the length of the roll.
Step 7: Lay your roll on a cutting board, wet a sharp knife and gently cut the roll into six equal pieces. Ta-da! Beautiful chicken-y goodness ready to be devoured! Even though this roll’s ingredients are not traditional, I still serve mine up with soy sauce, wasabi, ginger and of course sake 🙂
NOTE: I am more than aware that my description of the rolling process is vague at best, so next time I create one of these delicious rolls I will be sure to document the process step by step with photographs and update the post.