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Sushi: Puff Dragon Roll (A reverse roll)

Sushi: Puff Dragon Roll (A reverse roll)

Chef Michael Marcus

Bizen, Great Barrington, MA


  • Nori
  • Sushi rice seasoned with awasesu
  • Fresh king crab strips
  • 1 avocado, sliced and divided
  • Sushi grade tuna cut into strips
  • Sushi grade salmon cut into strips


Cover bamboo roller mat with plastic wrap to prevent rice from sticking. Place a sheet of Nori seaweed, shiny side down, lengthwise, on a bamboo roller mat. Place 4 to 5 oz sushi rice across the sheet evenly, covering the entire sheet. Turn covered sheet upside down and place strips of crab and avocado evenly across sheet from left to right.

Bring seaweed and rice toward you, to the front edge of the rolling mat, holding the edge of the bamboo roller with one hand and the crab and avocado slices in place with the other hand. Lift up the edge of the mat (closest to you) and begin rolling it away (from you). Roll over the crab and avocado, coming up nearly to the top edge of the sheet. Tuck, making sure to adhere the top portion with the bottom layer of rice. Next, tuck the mat in and turn one turn to seal the roll. Gently squeeze both sides while pressing gently down on top, with both index fingers (index fingers should point at one another). The pressure you use to squeeze the roll determines the shape and “squareness” of the roll (roll should be square and upright).

Lay alternate strips of salmon, avocado and tuna, on an angle, over the top of your crab and avocado roll. Tear a sheet of plastic wrap and lay over entire roll. Compress firmly with sushi mat. Leaving plastic in place, cut into 8 slices. Compress and straighten again, removing plastic wrap carefully.Arrange on plate with the slices turned upwards to reveal the ingredients inside.



Recommended wine/beer for Sushi: Puff Dragon Roll (A reverse roll):

Rihaku “Wandering Poet” Junmai Ginjo Saké [Shimane, Japan]

Why should one resist the overwhelming temptation to pair high quality sushi rolls with the finest of modern Sakés? Though Saké is often called rice wine, it is actually more akin to brewed beer. The character of modern Saké is derived principally from the quality of the rice and the quality of the water that are used in its brewing. The ultimate key to Saké’s excellence comes from milling or polishing the rice so as to eliminate the impurities on its exterior and to unlock the desirable starches at the center of the grain.

Junmai Saké has had a minimum of 30% of the rice milled away, whereas Junmai Ginjo Saké is polished so as to remove at least 40% of its husk. If 50% is milled, it is classified as Junmai Daiginjo Saké. These costly artisanal methods represent only 10% of all Sakés produced—the remaining 90% has more in common with an industrial product.

Rihaku “Wandering Poet” is a Junmai Ginjo Saké. If you wish to sample the best Sakés imported from Japan, at the very minimum, you should make sure you secure a Junmai Ginjo. In a recent issue of The International Wine Cellar, Steven Tanzer noted “that experienced saké lovers in Japan…do not use wine language to describe saké…, [though] they seek out subtlety and cleanliness of aroma and flavors…, they are more likely to prize roundness, texture and overall harmony…. Interestingly, length on the finish does not seem to be a requirement of a great saké. On the contrary, the finest examples finish clean and literally vaporize on the tongue, and disappear, like melting snow.”

Served chilled, “The Wandering Poet” is full-bodied and crisp and provides both rhyme and reason enough to feast on these Dragon Rolls.