CALIFORNIA SUSHI BITES From Southern Living 2007 Cookoff Winner Party Starter category

Prep: 40 min Cook: 40 min Cool: 15 min Chill: 2 hr

1/3 cup rice vinegar 1/4 c sugar 1 t salt 2 1/4 cups white rice 1/4 c rice wine or dry sherry 8-oz unpeeled uncooked fresh or frozen medium shrimp 1 (7-oz) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained Vegetable cooking spray 4 large eggs, beaten 3-4 T drained small capers, rinsed and drained 3 T toasted sesame seeds 4-oz thinly sliced smoked salmon 2-3 cups fresh spinach leaves 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions 2 ripe Haas avocados, thinly sliced lime juice Toppings: pickled ginger, soy sauce, wasabi

1. Bring first 3 ingredients and 4 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15-20 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in rice wine using a fork. 2. If frozen, thaw shrimp. Peel and devein. 3. Cook shrimp in boiling water to cover 2-3 minutes until shrimp turns pink

Drain, and let cool 15 minutes. Coarsely chop shrimp. 4. Cut bell peppers into 1/4 to 1/2-inch wide strips. 5. Coat a griddle with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour a thin layer of beaten eggs onto griddle to make a thin omelet. Cook without stirring, 1 minute until egg is cooked and dry. Transfer omelet to a clean kitchen towel. Repeat procedure with remaining egg. Do not stack or overlap omelets on towel. 6. Arrange omelets in a single layer in a plastic wrap-lined 13x9 inch pan, overlapping edges and piecing together as needed to cover bottom of pan. Sprinkle capers and toasted sesame seeds over egg layer. Arrange salmon over half of mixture in pan, arrange shrimp over other half. Using wet hands, top with 2 1/2 cups rice, pressing into an even layer and packing down firmly. 7. Arrange spinach over rice, overlapping edges. Top with green onions. Using wet hands, top with 2 1/2 cups rice pressing into an even layer, and packing down firmly. 8. Remove and reserve 1 bell pepper strip. Arrange remaining pepper strips over rice. Top with avocado. Sprinkle with lime juice (about 1 T). Using wet hands, top with remaining rice pressing into an even layer, packing down firmly to compact layers. Cover with plastic wrap and place a second 13x9 inch pan right side up, directly on filled pan, pressing down to compact layers. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. 9. Remove top pan, remove and discard plastic wrap. Invert sushi onto a cutting board. Using a thin sharp knife, cut sushi into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces, cutting straight down through sushi. Do notuse a sawing motion when cutting. 10. Cut reserved bell pepper strip into tiny diamond shapes or pieces, top each sushi bite with a bell pepper piece. Serve with desired toppings. Makes 50 to 60 bites.

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