3. California sushi rolls and blonde beer
Thanks to the recent Big Bang in the craft beer universe, there are now too many brands to even keep track of. So naturally there’s been an explosion of potential food pairings as well. But don’t worry. According to What to Drink with What You Eat, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, a few guidelines can help. Pilsner, wheat beer, ale, and stout are the safest picks to go with edibles. Pilsner pairs with everything from pizza to soft-shell crab. Wheat beer works with salads and sandwiches, and also cuts the kick in spicier dishes. Amber ale goes well with salty foods, while darker brown ale is best with steak.
When it comes to stout, you can either contrast flavors—say, a bitter Guinness alongside slightly sweet oysters—or pick complementary flavors, such as a chocolatey stout with a rich dessert. And keep this general rule in mind: Match light-bodied beers (lager, pilsner), medium-bodied beers (ale, IPA), and heavy beers (stout, porter) with dishes of similar weight. For example, if you’re serving up sushi, your goal is to pick a drink that isn’t so heavy it overpowers the delicate flavor of the fish—so opt for a high-quality light blonde beer.
How to make California sushi rolls
1½ cups sushi rice
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
10–12 sheets toasted nori (seaweed)
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
6-8 imitation crabmeat pieces or sticks
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Reduced-sodium soy sauce, for dipping (optional)
Ponzu sauce, for dipping (optional)
Japanese rice paddle
Bamboo sushi mat
1. Cook sushi rice per package instructions and cool slightly.
2. Prepare the sushi vinegar: In a bowl, combine rice wine vinegar, sugar, and sea salt. Whisk well to dissolve.
3. Slowly drizzle sushi vinegar over rice, gently cutting it in with a rice paddle till all vinegar is absorbed.
4. Clean work surface, then lay down a bamboo mat. Place the nori on top, shiny side down.
5. Using the rice paddle, spread a layer of approximately ½ cup rice in the middle of the nori sheet. At the bottom of the sushi roll closest to you, add avocado, cucumber, and crab in a horizontal line. Tightly roll from the bottom up.
6. Remove mat and slice sushi into six pieces. (Wipe off knife between each slice.)
7. Repeat till all rice is used.
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