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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Veggie Sushi Roll-Ups

We love making homemade veggie sushi rolls, but the process can be so time consuming that it ends up being a weekend-only type of meal. We’ve been experimenting with this less labor-intensive way of making and eating sushi. The basic idea is to prepare the ingredients for smaller rolls, and then make the rolls as you eat them.

For the Sushi Rice:

3 cups short-grain brown rice
4.5 cups water
rice wine vinegar
sugar, honey, or agave nectar

Suggested Veggies:
green onion
rainbow carrots
beauty heart/watermelon radish
roasted portabello mushroom strips
roasted asparagus

Other ingredients:
nori seaweed sheets
pickled ginger (optional)
wasabi (optional)
cooking oil (canola or olive oil recommended)
salt and pepper
tamari or other high quality soy sauce

Notes on measurements: The amount of each vegetable you need will depend on how many veggies you decide to use. The most important measurements are the ratio of rice to water, and the balance of seasoning for the rice. You’ll need 1 part uncooked rice to 1 1/2 parts water, and for the seasoning you’ll need about 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of uncooked rice you start with. We found that 3 cups of rice made more than enough for the two of us to have dinner and the leftovers for lunch.

1) Cook the Rice: Combine the rice and water into rice cooker. It might take a little bit of trial and error to get your rice to turn out just right. The goal is rice with enough stickiness to hold your rolls together, but not so much stickiness that it turns into glue and ruins the mouth-feel/texture.

If you don’t have a rice cooker, combine the rice and water in a pot or saucepan (preferably one with a clear lid) and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat until it’s at a very low simmer. Scott can’t remember exactly how long it takes to cook the rice with this method, but it should be between 15 and 25 minutes. You’ll need to check on the rice without removing the lid so that you can catch it after all the water is absorbed, but before the rice burns on the bottom of the pot.

2) Prepare the Rice Seasoning: While the rice is cooking, add rice vinegar
into a small, microwaveable bowl (see measurement notes above). Add salt and your sweetener of choice until the mixture tastes balanced (a little bit vinegary isn’t bad, but you definitely don’t want it to be too sweet or too salty). It makes it easier to mix all the ingredients if you heat the mixture in the microwave for about 15 seconds

3) Prepare the seaweed sheets: Using scissors, cut your seaweed sheets into four pieces per sheet.

4) Prepare the Veggies: Cut all of your veggies into strips about 2 or 3 inches long (about the same length as your cut-down seaweed sheets).

Roasted asparagus and portobello mushroom: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush the asparagus and mushroom with cooking oil, and season both with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until beautifully browned and shriveled (about 15-30 minutes; they will need to be flipped over once or twice). Allow the mushrooms to cool before cutting into strips

5) Add Seasoning to the Rice: As soon as the rice is done cooking, add your seasoning to the rice and stir continuously. Scott likes to hold the bowl in front of an electric fan set on high while the rice is stirred. After stirring the rice for about 10 minutes (until the rice has cooled from hot to warm) it is ready to use.

6) Bring Everything to the Table:  Each person needs their own plate to build rolls, a flat spoon or small spatula for spreading rice, and a small dish for soy sauce. Serve your rice in a large communal bowl, and put all of your fillings on serving plates. Serve with pickled ginger and wasabi, if you like those things.

7) Enjoy: Each time you make a roll spread some rice as evenly as possible across 2/3 of the small seaweed sheet. Put your fillings in the middle of the rice. If you have enough self control to not over-stuff every roll you make, you can seal your mini-roll by dipping your fingertip in some water and moistening the edge of the seaweed. Don’t worry about your roll holding together perfectly because it will be gone in 2 or 3 bites anyway.

8) Leftovers: If you have a long enough lunch break at work, leftover veggie sushi can be great. Put all of your veggies in one container, put your rice in a microwavable container, and bring your mini-seaweed sheets in a resealable bag. Add a few drops of water to the rice before reheating.

Notes on ingredients: If you are making sushi for the first time, we recommend starting with a smaller number of vegetables in order to limit the amount of prep time. We recommend Penzeys Spices wasabi powder, which is mixed with a few drops of water before using. We also love Eden brand pickled ginger with shiso leaves.

Happy sushi rolling! 

1 comment :

  1. I've never tried making my own sushi, but those look really tasty! Now how do you make the inside out rolls...
    Chic on the Cheap