Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cooking: Vegetable Sushi

Vegetable SushiI had some leftover purple sticky rice from dinner a couple of nights ago, so I thought I would try making some sushi with it.

These rolls, which would technically be known as makizushi in Japan, are made with vegetables only. I would have added some avocado if I had a good one in the house.

Traditionally, sushi rice is seasoned with rice vinegar and sugar, and cooled by gently moving it about in a large wooden tub, all the while fanning it to dry it out. I didn't do that. Here's my simple recipe, which omits the sugar.

Vegetable Sushi
makes 3 rolls (18 pieces total)

1 cup cooked purple sticky rice (or use any leftover rice)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
thin strips of carrot, cucumber, snap peas, avocado, or any other vegetable you like
3 sheets toasted nori
bowl of cold water (for dipping your fingers)

Put the rice in a bowl and fluff it gently with a fork. Sprinkle the vinegar over the rice and, again gently, fluff it around. The point is to season the rice without breaking it up.

Place 1 sheet of nori on a sushi mat (I used a Silpat, or just use a cloth napkin or lint-free towel). Spread 1/3 of the rice in a pile. Dip your fingers in the water, then use your fingertips to spread the rice out in an even layer. Leave a 1.5 inch strip across the top of the nori uncovered by rice.

Lay strips of vegetables near the edge closest to you. Don't overstuff—just a few strips will work. Using the mat (or napkin or whatever), lift the front edge and start rolling the sushi. Once you get it going, you probably won't need the mat. Keep rolling until you reach the edge where there is no rice. Using your fingertips, wet the exposed nori at the back edge, then firmly roll the whole shebang together. The water will help seal the roll.

Place the roll sean-side down in a dish and do the next one. Remember, this should be fun.

These can be served immediately, or refrigerated for up to 3 days in a covered container. To serve, run a sharp knife under cold water, then slice each roll into six pieces.

Serve with tamari with as much wasabi mixed in as you like.

These rolls are quite good, crunchy and cool. The rice is sumptious. The wasabi will wake up your sinuses. It's all good.

Vegetable Sushi

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