Saturday, May 10, 2008

Veg Sushi for Everyone

You don't have to go to a restaurant to get veg sushi.

True, my homemade sushi rolls are sometimes a bit lumpy, and there's no danger that I'll be putting Sushi Den out of business anytime soon. But, the process is fun, the result is tasty, and homemade sushi doesn't require a reservation.

One of the nice things about making your own sushi rolls at home is that you can use whatever fruits and vegetables that you like. My favorite veg sushi combinations are mango-avocado and radish-avocado.

Veg sushi makes a great summer meal because, apart from the rice, there's no cooking involved.

The main sushi-rolling tricks I've learned are to roll the sushi while the rice is still hot, as the heat seems to help the nori stick together, and to make the sushi roll as tight as possible. A sushi mat helps, but it's possible to roll sushi on a cutting board instead, so long as you carefully use your hands to press the sushi tight while you are rolling it.


1 cup sushi rice, prepared per package instructions
4 strips of nori seaweed
The fruits and vegetables of your choice, chopped into thin strips (I used 1 avocado, 1 mango and 4 radishes today, and had some mango and radishes left over)
Soy sauce and wasabi

Lay the nori on your sushi mat (or cooking board), shinny side down.

Spread a thin layer of cooked rice (about 1/2 cup) over the nori, leaving the top inch of the nori uncovered.

Layer your fruit and/or vegetables in a strip running about 2 inches above the bottom of the nori.

Starting at the bottom of the sushi mat, wrap the nori over the fruit and/or vegetables, pressing firmly to make the roll as tight as possible. A helpful illustration of this process can be found at Coconut and Lime.

Continue rolling up to the top of the mat, making the roll as tight and firm as possible. Some of the filling may start to fall out while you are rolling the sushi; press it back in with your fingers.

Once you've rolled all your veg sushi, cut the rolls into 1 inch pieces with a sharp knife. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi. (Some people place a strip of wasabi inside their sushi roll. However, I've learned the hard way that you have more control over the heat if you dip your sushi in a wasabi-soy sauce mixture, rather than placing the wasabi inside the roll.)

Makes about 4 rolls, enough for 2 very filling servings.


Kitt said...

Looks great! I love veggie sushi, but the sad thing is, I don't really like the taste of nori. I wonder if there is an alternative wrapping substance that holds up as well.

Beatrice said...

One thing you might try is rolling the rice on the outside, so that the nori is not the first thing to hit your tongue. A friend of mine used to make her sushi this way - as I recall, she put plastic wrap on her sushi mat, spread the rice on the plastic warp, then added the nori, then the vegetables - and then rolled.

I suppose you could also try wrapping the rice (as above) and vegetables without the nori.

I don't know of a substitute for nori, unfortunately.


Beatrice said...

Interesting idea for using cucumber in place of nori

I Can't Keep Up said...

You can use white or black sesame seeds in place of nori. Or combine them both. Same as with putting the rice on the outside. Place plastic wrap over the mat and then cover it generously with the seeds then carefully spread the rice over the seeds and try to avoid mixing the seeds into the rice. As long as you have enough mirin (rice vinegar) in the rice, you shouldn't have too much trouble.

Kitt said...

That cucumber idea looks interesting, but tricky! Sesame seeds I can definitely do. Thanks!