Teriyaki-Mussel Maki Rolls
To prepare mussels: Place mussels in a large Dutch oven. Sprinkle garlic and ginger over the mussels and add water to the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook just until the mussels open, 2 to 4 minutes. Set a large colander in a large bowl and pour the mussels into the colander. Set aside to cool, reserving the cooking liquid and bits of ginger and garlic from the mussels. When cool enough to handle, remove the mussel meat from the shells, discarding any with unopened shells.Advertisement
Place 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid plus 2 tablespoons of the reserved bits of ginger and garlic in a medium saucepan. Add maple syrup and soy sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and significantly reduced, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the reserved mussels meat and cook, stirring gently but constantly, until the sauce turns into a glaze and the mussels are well coated, 5 to 7 minutes. The bottom of the pan will be dry and sticky. Transfer the mussels to a bowl to cool.
To prepare maki rolls: Set up your sushi rolling station: Place a bamboo mat on a work surface, place a small bowl of water and a clean, dry towel nearby. Have rice and roll ingredients handy.
Place a sheet of nori on the mat with the smoother, shiny side down (the lines on the shiny side of the sushi should be parallel to your body). Dip the tips of your fingers into the water bowl and rub your hands together to evenly moisten them (your hands should be moist, but not wet). Spread 1/2 cup sushi rice into a log shape along the bottom third of the nori closest to you.
Gently spread and pat the rice over the lower half of the nori sheet (closest to you). Use your fingertips to firmly press the rice down along the edges so it stays in place as you roll up the maki.
Arrange about 2 tablespoons of the mussels, 4 strips of red bell pepper, 4 strips of scallion greens, 2 strips of papaya and 2 dill sprigs on the rice about 1 inch from the bottom.
Leaving the mat under the roll, roll the maki closed by hand, leaving the last inch of the nori exposed. Dip your fingertips in the water and wet the last inch of the nori, then finish rolling closed.
Position the nori in the center of the mat; keeping the nori on the mat, drape the mat over the roll and gently squeeze to help firm the roll and shape it into a cylinder.
Repeat with the remaining nori, rice and roll ingredients until you have 8 maki rolls. To cut the rolls, dip the tip of a sharp chef's knife into the water, then tilt it up so the bead of water runs down the length of the blade to moisten it. Cut each roll into 8 rounds, wiping off the knife and dipping it in water between rolls
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the mussels for up to 2 days. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Equipment: Bamboo sushi rolling mat
To clean mussels, rinse very well under cold running water and use a stiff brush to remove any barnacles or grit from the shell. Discard any mussels with broken shells or any whose shells remain open after you tap them lightly. Pull off any fibrous “beard” that might be pinched between the shells; the “beards” of most cultivated mussels are already removed.
Toasted nori seaweed sheets are thin, dried seaweed wrappers used for maki rolls. Be sure to choose nori that is labeled “toasted” when making maki--untoasted nori is too chewy.
People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.
1 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat