Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Today, I was really craving some vegetable sushi rolls. As it happened, I had some spare time in the evening, and being in an experimental mood (and wanting an additional recipe for my 50 in 15 Challenge), I decided to try my hand at making some myself. I had absolutely no idea where to start, so I did what 99% of people do — I turned to Google. Luckily, I found a lot of websites that had step-by-step instructions for how to make sushi rolls. The one I ended up using as my go-to guide was Vegetarian Sushi for Beginners: How to Create a Basic Sushi Roll. While I stuck to the instructions religiously, I did make one change as I swapped out the cream cheese for asparagus. But other than that, I did everything the same.

I must admit that I was hesitant to try my hand at sushi. For one, I didn’t have a bamboo rolling mat, and ended up using a piece of wax paper instead. Also, I’m notorious for over-filling dishes that get wrapped or rolled, like burritos, ravioli, calzones, etc. Despite any hesitation and fear that I had going in, I must say that after all was said and done, I was absolutely floored with the result. It took time and patience to make these rolls, but it was definitely worth it. They are flavorful and delicious, and are a great healthy meal (or side). If you’re a fan of sushi, give these a try. I think you’ll be pleased with the results!

Ingredients

  • 2 c. short grain brown rice
  • 4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 package roasted seaweed sheets
  • 2 carrots (whole)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 5 asparagus spears
  • 1/4 c. water (for rolling)

Make the Sticky Rice

  1. In a medium pot, bring the 4 cups of water and rice to a boil. Once it has begun to boil, stir once, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 40-50 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed. While the rice is cooking, prepare the vegetables (see below).
  2. Transfer the cooked rice to a medium mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool.
  3. Mix the rice vinegar and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Once the rice has cooled, pour the salt/vinegar mixture over the rice. Using your hands, evenly mix it in with the rice.

Prepare the Vegetables

  1. Clean and peel the carrots and cucumber. Slice them length-ways to create long, narrow strips. (For the cucumber, only use the outer portions to avoid messy strips full of seeds.)
  2. Remove the avocado from its skin, remove the pit, and slice into narrow strips.
  3. Snap off the dry end of each spear of asparagus.

Roll & Cut the Sushi

  1. Orient a seaweed sheet, shiny side down, onto a sushi rolling mat. (Note: If you don’t have a rolling mat, you can use a thin, flexible plastic sheet or a piece of wax paper.)
  2. Spread sticky rice evenly across the sheet, all the way to the edges of the sides and bottom, but leaving about 1″ to 1.5″ of top side of sheet exposed.
  3. Place carrot strip, cucumber strip, asparagus spear, and a couple slices of avocado across the middle of the rice bed.
  4. Begin to roll the sushi from the near edge using firm, even pressure. Separate your rolling mat/plastic/paper from the sushi sheet after you have rolled over the fillings.
  5. Hold the partially-rolled roll in place with one hand. With the other hand, lightly dab the exposed seaweed (top of the sheet) with wet fingers. This will act as sort of a “glue” to hold the wrap together.
  6. Finish rolling the sushi forward until the sheet adheres to itself on the exposed, moistened edge.
  7. Repeat steps until all rolls have been made.
  8. Using a sharp, non-serrated knife, begin cutting the sushi into 1″ slices. Try to use one or two smooth downward slices per cut. (If you are too forceful with the cut, it will tear the seaweed and make a mess of the roll.)
  9. Serve with accompaniments of your liking, such as soy sauce, wasabi, and/or ginger.

Notes

The most important thing to note about making sushi rolls is to be patient. It’s a relatively slow process, and can get pretty sticky when you’re handling the rice and rolling everything together. It may take a few rolls for you to get a good feel for it. Also, avoid the urge to over-fill the rolls. Just a few long slices of veggies is plenty, as using more may cause trouble rolling, or even result in the roll being too full to seal together. Lastly, make sure you use a good, very sharp, non-serrated knife to cut the rolls. If you use a dull or serrated knife, you’ll ruin the rolls, plain and simple.

As I mentioned above, I was absolutely floored with the result of these sushi rolls. It was a meticulous and time-consuming process, but when I took the first bite, I knew immediately that all of the time, effort, and patience were worth it. I hope you have a chance to make these rolls some time. It’s a great way to expand your culinary prowess, and may even introduce a new staple into your rotation of favorite recipes. I know it did for me!

Bon Appétit!

 

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