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Futo Maki (Seaweed Rolled Sushi)

4 sheets nori seaweed
sushi rice

4 large eggs
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

6 large shiitake mushrooms, dried
2 cups water
1/4 cup Memmi (Japanese stock base)
1 tablespoon sugar

2 ounces dried gourd ribbons
1/2 cup Memmi
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar

1 English cucumber
salt

To make rolled sushi, you need a bamboo rolling mat. This can be
obtained from any Japanese market, and some Korean markets.

Memmi is actually a base for dipping sauce served with buckwheat
noodles. It serves as a wonderful shortcut for simmering the
ingredients for sushi and other ingredients without having to make
bonito stock, which is a necessity in almost all Japanese cooking.

Dried gourd ribbons are long strips cut from Asian gourds, then
dried. Kanpo in Japanese, and Bakoji in Korean. Usually sold in
small plastic bags, it can be found in either Japanese or Korean
markets.

Break the eggs into a 2-cup measuring cup or a small bowl. Beat
with a wooden spoon or wooden chopsticks, taking care not to
incorporate air into the eggs. Add the chicken stock, salt, and
sugar and mix well. Heat a square Japanese omelet pan or non-stick
skillet to medium low. Spray with Pam (vegetable oil spray) or
add a small amount of oil. Pour in half the egg mixture and cook
until barely set, but enough to be handled. The top should still
be runny, and the bottom must not be scorched. Take one end of
the omelet and bring it to about 2/3 of the way across the top.
Repeat on the opposite side, resulting in a rectangle. Cook until
set. Cool completely. Cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide strips.
Repeat with the remaining half.

Soak the mushrooms in water for several hours. Reserve 1/2 cup of
the water from soaking the mushrooms. Slice the mushrooms 1/4
inches wide. In a small saucepan, combine the mushrooms, Memmi,
the reserved mushroom water, and sugar. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until almost all
the liquid has evaporated. Cool.

In a small saucepan, combine the gourd strips, water, Memmi, and
sugar. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about
10 to 15 minutes, or until softened. Cool in the cooking liquid.

Cut the cucumber crosswise to match the length of the nori sheet,
usually about 8 to 10 inches. Cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices,
then cut the slices lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Lightly salt.
Prepare the rice and nori: Prepare the sushi rice according your
recipe. Toast the nori sheets lightly.

Place a sheet of nori seaweed on top of a BAMBOO ROLLING MAT (see
note 1) with the shiny side down. Wet your fingers with water or
hand vinegar (mixture of 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar).
Spread 1 1/2 cups of sushi rice over 2/3 of the nori closest to
you, using your fingers to spread evenly. Across the center of
the rice, place the omelet, mushroom, gourd ribbon, and cucumber
all in a row. Roll the sushi away from you, so that the near and
far edges of the rice meet, taking care to hold the ingredients in
place. Moisten the leftover edge of the nori with water. Roll
the rest of the way. Press the bamboo mat around to tighten.

Cut each roll into 8 to 10 pieces. Arrange on plates with garnish,
such as sweet vinegared ginger.

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