Romantic Sushi Dinner
Me and Roser are wild about sushi. Luckily for our finances, we also happen to be the best makers of vegan sushi in the whole city. We can’t find anyone to pay to make them better than us. I do like to blow my own horn don’t I?
Sushi isn’t a difficult proposition, though it’s time consuming and does need a little practise. These sushi are technically sushi maki, which means rolled sushi. I made a post a while back with non rolled sushi, which I don’t know the name for. Possibly onigiri but I think those are meant to have the filling inside them.
In essence, you can think of sushi as a way of turning rice into a sort of sandwich you can eat with either your hands or chopsticks. By sandwich I mean that it is designed to solve the same problem, that is combining a starch with some interesting flavours and additionally making it convenient to eat.
Sushi maki are prepared with sheets of nori seaweed which can be found at a reasonable price in any asian food store. You can use a bamboo roller to help you make the sushi but it’s by no means essential. Just spread rice* out on the sheets (you need a pretty thin layer) leaving a space of a few centimetres at one end of the sheet. At the other end of your sheet place the filling and roll it all up.
*About rice: there is such thing as special sushi rice but I’ve found equal results with normal brown rice. Just cook it soft and let it cool.
When you’ve nearly finished the roll moisten the empty space you’ve left. Moisture will let the seaweed stick to the rest of the roll and in this way you can seal it.
Congratulations! Now all you need to do is to cut your sushi. The sharper knife you have for this, the better. Cut using long strokes with very little downwards pressure. If you do this wrong the sushi will split, so be careful.
Vegan Sushi Fillings
The filling for your sushi is the fun part. You can really go wild with this. Here’s a breakdown of what we used in these ones:
Avocado with clover sprouts
Mung bean paste*
*This was my attempt to imitate the red bean paste you sometimes get in rice balls. I cooked mung beans and mashed them up with dates for sweetness and a bit of lemon. It came out okay but excited me a lot less than I expected. Funnily enough it was Roser’s favourite.
Cucumber with tahini spread on top (would have been inside them but it was an afterthought)
Steamed carrot and cucumber with tahini inside
Note: with cucumber it makes for a nice texture if you cut them in fine sticks like as pictured.
More cucumber, carrot and tahini sushi.
That’s all we made this time, but there are many more possibilities to try. The next time I want to give real red bean paste and shitake mushrooms both a try.
Serving Your Vegan Sushi
To make your sushi even more incredible, serve with soy sauce to dip in and, as you eat, place on top of each piece a bit of pickled ginger (or, well chopped fresh ginger is pretty much as good) and some wasabi. All of these things can be found in an Asian supermarket, so buy them along with the seaweed.
If you don’t know how to use chopsticks, learn! It makes things about 300% more fun.
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