The other day Ellen gave me a couple packages of dried seaweed sheets from Costco. She was shocked to find out I have never made sushi before. I have had sushi from many different restaurants and have yet to catch the ‘sushi’ craze and love it. I have found the things I love about sushi is the fresh vegetables, sticky rice and the sauces that you dunk and drizzle all over the cute pieces of sushi goodness. My kids have uncles who love sushi however and so they were cheering me on as I was trying to prepare some California Rolls for dinner last night. Now, I know in the ‘real’ sushi world a California roll is not real sushi. However, I figured we would start there before I ventured out to feeding my kids raw fish.

So, after MUCH frustration and rice covering my entire countertop and kitchen I threw my hands in the air and said forget it! I surrendered to the fact I am a disgrace to the Japanese world of cuisine. I was tired of being covered in sticky rice and trying to roll the vegetables into a pretty cylinder. So, this is when I got the brilliant idea to make some cheater-cheater chicken roll ups. I have to brag for a minute and say the finished product was awesome!! My kids thought I was the coolest, and this dinner was so fun and different. Although there is nothing fancy in these, or even unusual, the pretty pieces of the chicken rolls looked so cute and dipped in our favorite sauces it was a meal we all had fun eating and that tasted incredible!

Now, before any of you authentic sushi lovers boo me out of the blogging sphere, these roll ups do have a few ‘real’ components of sushi. The seaweed sheets are a must with this recipe. They give these roll ups a slight fishy taste and make you think you are eating some form of sushi. Also, the sticky rice is fabulous!! I am so happy to now know how to make sticky rice at home. Super simple and so fun! Also, the fresh cucumber, avocado and bell pepper give you the fresh vegetable flavor and texture that you love about sushi. Now…for the sauces. Oh, I love me some good dipping sauces! I chose to use three sauces for my roll ups (one would suffice for most people I am sure). I used our homemade Red Pepper Jelly, Thai Peanut Sauce and then the Spicy Mayo (recipe below) that was perfect. Dip these roll-ups in anything you want and your family will LOVE this new twist on a traditional favorite. Family friendly sushi–so fun!

Cheater Chicken Sushi Roll Ups
  1. 3 grilled or cooked chicken breasts, seasoned with salt & pepper
  2. 1 pkg. flour tortillas (larger the better)
  3. 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
  4. 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin (seeds removed)
  5. 1 avocado, peeled and sliced thin
  6. 4-6 baby carrots, sliced into thin pieces
  7. 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  8. 1 pkg. dry seasoned seaweed
  9. 1 batch sticky rice (recipe below)
Sticky Rice
  1. 3 cup calrose rice, rinsed and drained two times
  2. 3 cups water
  3. Dash salt
  4. 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  5. 3 Tbls. white sugar
Spicy Sushi Mayo
  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  3. 2 Tbls. sriracha sauce (or more if you like more spice)
  4. 1 tsp. rice vinegar
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  1. Cook the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Dice the chicken into small pieces.
  2. Prepare the sticky rice and then let it cool slightly before making roll-ups. For the rice: rinse the rice and then place in a rice cooker or pan with the water and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender and cooked. While the rice is cooking, place the vinegar and sugar in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3-5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves. Let cool. Once the rice is cooked, spread it out on a cookie sheet to cool. Pour the vinegar/sugar mixture all over the rice, stir and then let cool.
  3. Cut the cucumber, red bell pepper, avocado and carrots into thin strips as well. Chop the cilantro. Warm the flour tortillas slightly in the microwave so they are soft and pliable.
  4. Lay a tortilla on the counter and cover one half of the tortilla with a thin layer of sticky rice. Layer 3-4 sheets of sea weed on that same side. Place the chicken and vegetables in a long line down the middle of the tortilla. Fold over the rice covered side of the tortilla to the other side and pull it back tightly, trying to tuck all of the insides snug against the tortilla. Roll the tortilla up as tightly as you can. Cut the tortilla roll into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces and place on a plate. Dip the rolls into any sauces you would like or drizzle with extra sriracha sauce and spicy mayo.
  5. For the Sriacha mayo, mix together and drizzle over roll-ups or use for dipping.
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