Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Veggie Sushi Rolls

I love Japanese food! Since moving to western NY from California, there is definitely a lack of great restaurants. I was very happy to learn how to make veggie rolls (like california rolls minus the un-kosher fish)

You will need:
Half a Cucumber, sliced very very thin
One Avocado, sliced thin
Sprouts, optional
A couple pieces of nori (roasted seaweed, available in the Japanese section at the grocery store)
One batch of sushi rice (see below)
3 tb, Wasabi powder, (please don't buy premade wasabi, awful awful ingredients!)
3 tb, Water
Sushi mat (amazon sells them)
Plastic wrap
Sesame seeds


First, make a batch of sushi rice:
2 cups, sushi rice. Lundberg makes an awesome organic non-gmo one!
2 cups, water
2 tb rice vinegar
2 tb sugar
1 tb salt

Place the rice into a fine strainer and run cool water over it. Continue until the water runs through clear.

Place the rice and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover(please don't forget to turn the temp down...your pot will thank you later...may mine rest in peace). Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in a small pot for a few minutes until warm. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi. Continue to fold periodically until cool. You can also fan it with a paper plate, or a Japanese fan if you so happen to have one.

While the rice is cooking and cooling, prepare your veggies.
Cover your sushi mat in plastic wrap. Now I'm not keen on this, I don't like plastic wrap touching my food at all. Maybe wax paper would work, I don't know (let me know if you try it). If you really want to avoid this, you can make your rolls with the nori on the outside. I don't like the first thing I taste to be seaweed, so I put my nori on the inside. Here's how I do it:

Lay your sushi mat on the counter. Cut nori in half lengthwise. Lay nori on top of sushi mat, shiny side down. Spread 1/2-1 cup of sushi rice to cover nori. Sprinkle sesame seeds over rice. Flip it over so rice is now facing down. (to avoid using plastic wrap, skip this step) Lay pieces of cucumber, avocado, and sprouts all along the nori lengthwise. While holding veggies in place with your fingers, use mat to roll into a cylinder. Give it a couple squeezes all over. Unroll and set roll aside under a damp cloth on a cutting board. Repeat with the rest of the rice and fillings. Once done, lay all the rolls next to each other and use a long knife to cut into individual rolls (each roll should make 6 small ones).
Prepare wasabi. Taking equal parts of water and wasabi powder, mix together in a small bowl. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Organic soy sauce is widely available for dipping. I also like to Braggs Liquid Aminos. I don't consume soy normally, but organic fermented soy is the best choice for consuming soy.

Note: It may take a few times practicing making the rolls so they actually look like rolls instead of sandwiches, so don't plan to make this the first time for a dinner party =)

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