Seafood And Avocado Maki

This is a dish that requires a little practice to get right, but once perfected is fairly simple to make and can be a stunning crowd-pleaser at dinner parties or buffets. The inspiration behind the dish comes from the classic Japanese makizushi, a staple of the sushi repertoire combining raw fish and cooked seasoned rice, rolled in nori seaweed. Anyone who eats sushi regularly - particularly those in the US, will know that avocado has become quite a popular ingredient in non-traditional sushi preparation, for instance in creations such as the California roll. This recipe, originally developed by Carles Abellan at Comerç 24, takes the idea of using avocado and throws the rules completely out of the window by using it as the outside instead of the filling. Inside this maki is the usual seasoned rice but, instead of raw fish, cooked lobster.

Lobster and avocado maki


2 avocados
50g cooked seafood (lobster, crab, mussels or cockles preferred)
50g sushi rice
1 jalapeño chilli
crushed nachos
fresh coriander leaves
dark soy sauce
rice vinegar
sesame oil
extra virgin olive oil
sunflower oil
black pepper
freshly squeezed lime juice

Start by cooking the sushi rice by the evaporation method. This means placing the rice in a sieve, rinsing with clean running water and putting into a wide, stainless steel pan. Then add cold water so that the rice is covered, plus an extra two centimetres of water above the surface of the rice. Cover with a lid and steam for 12-15 minutes until the water has been completely absorbed by the rice.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave it for two minutes still covered. Make up a dressing using a little soy sauce and rice vinegar, a dash each of sesame oil and lime juice and a pinch of finely chopped ginger. Apply this to the rice while still piping hot and stir gently so that the rice is evenly seasoned. Leave to cool before covering with a skin of clingfilm and setting aside in the fridge.
Cooked sushi rice

Avocado sheets, ready for fillingPeel the ripest avocado and remove the stone, trying to retain the shape of the avocado as best as possible. Take one of the halves, cut into pieces and place in a plastic container with coriander leaves, some lime juice, salt and the jalapeño chilli with its seeds removed. Blitz with a stick blender until a completely smooth guacamole is achieved.

Now open the least ripe avocado and, using a mandolin, cut into very fine slices directly over a sheet of silicone paper brushed lightly with sunflower oil, each slice slightly overlapping the one before as shown in the picture, left. This sheet of sliced avocado will be used in place of the usual nori seaweed as the outside wrapping of the maki.

Trim the avocado slices top and bottom with a sharp knife, so that the sheet of slices is rectangular.

The next step is to take some of the cooked rice with moist hands, and mould a line across the avocado slices - making sure that it's the same thickness all the way along.

Now add your choice of cooked seafood. In the picture right I've used Galician mussels, cooked al vapor in the traditional Spanish way. Lobster, crab, cockles or razor clam makes an equally great tasting maki.

The next step is to roll the maki. The trick to this process is taking up the loose cling film on the side closest to yourself and using it to half roll the maki, just enough so that the long edge folds around and tucks it into itself in the centre.
Applying the filling to the avocado

Avocado maki with Galician mejillónesOnce you've got that far, take the cling film away and use the loose edge again to roll the whole thing over so that the seam is hidden underneath the maki.

Having rolled the sushi, brush the surface with a little soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar and garlic and garnish with small cones of the guacamole and leaves of coriander, as shown in the photo at the top of this recipe. Finally, add a line of crushed nachos down the centre of the maki, to add some texture to the dish and finish off with a good grinding of black pepper.

The preparation for this maki dish might sound very complicated, but in essence it's actually quite a simple dish that relies more on quality produce to show its excellence. You must make sure that you use only the best quality seafood and perfectly ripe avocados.

If you look at the dish as a whole, you get wonderful fresh seafood, umami and saltiness from the rice, crunch from the tortilla chips, creaminess from the avocado, sour and spicy from the guacamole and black pepper and a pleasant bitterness from the olive oil. All in all, a fabulous composite of flavours, textures and colours.