Best DIY Sushi Ever!

Best DIY Sushi
Best DIY Sushi Rolls with Minty Peas & Red Cabbage, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

If you think that making sushi requires hours of practice, one-on-one instruction from a sushi master chef and special equipment… well, you may be right if your goal is to make sushi that contains fish or seafood, especially given health risks involved. But, if you want to explore the wonderful and delightful world of plant-based sushi, all you need is about an hour or two, and some imagination.

I made my first vegan maki sushi, the kind where filling and rice are wrapped in sea weed, few months ago, and I really enjoyed the process and the flavors. I got inspired to start thinking about what ingredients would work together well, and whether there are any dipping sauces I could use to complement the sushi.

The results of this brainstorming are before you: Green & Orange Sushi Rolls and Peas & Cabbage Sushi Rolls, with Peanut Dipping Sauce and Sour Lemongrass Dipping Sauce.

The basic requirement for a great sushi is plenty of sticky rice. You can get special sushi rice but you can also use any short and medium grain variety of rice. For sushi, I use the same rice I use for risottos. The trick is to add the rice to boiling water, reduce the heat and let the rice gently simmer with occasional mixing.

Finally, leaving the rice to cool will help you handle it as well as help the rice get nice and very sticky. I recommend dipping your hands in water before handling the rice and then keep wetting them as you spread and press the rice.

One other thing you need to pay attention to is what side of seaweed sheet you pile your rice on. It should be the one that feels slightly rough, so that your outside is nice a smooth. What I discovered is that you don’t really need the bamboo sushi rolling mat or any special equipment. The main thing to remember is to go easy on the stuffing so your rolls don’t end up to full. This will make them hard to roll and more likely to rip. I hope you go for these vegan versions of sushi, or create your own. There really is no limit and no rules!

DIY Sushi with Two Dipping Sauces

What you’ll need:

FOR THE STICKY RICE

1 cup short or medium grain rice

2 cups water

FOR GREEN & ORANGE SUSHI ROLLS

1 1/2 cup cooked rice

3 seaweed (nori) sheets

1 carrot

1 English cucumber

1 avocado

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup black sesame seeds

FOR CABBAGE AND PEAS SUSHI ROLLS

1 1/2 cup cooked rice

3 seaweed (nori) sheets

2 cups peas, frozen

2 cups water

2 cups shredded red cabbage

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 cup fresh mint leaves

FOR PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE

2 tablespoons peanut butter, unsalted

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons sriracha(or other hot sauce)

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons panko, toasted

FOR LEMONGRASS DIPPING SAUCE

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce, reduced sodium

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ginger, grated

What you’ll do:

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil and add the rice. Lower the heat to gentle simmer and cook the rice, stirring occasionally, until all the water is absorbed, and the grains are soft. Set to the side and let it cool.
  2. In another pot bring 2 cups of water to boil and add frozen peas. Cook until well done for about 15 minutes.
  3. While rice and peas are cooking, put together the dipping sauces. In a medium size bowl, combine all the peanut sauce ingredients, except panko, and mix well to combine. Toast panko in the toaster oven, or in a pan over high heat, for 1-2 minutes. Top the peanut dipping sauce with toasted panko.
  4. In another bowl, combine all the ingredients for the lemongrass dipping sauce and set aside.
  5. Prepare your roll stuffers, like cucumbers, carrots, avocados or anything else you like. The trick is to make your veggie sticks long and thin.
  6. To make the red cabbage, place finely shredded red cabbage in a bowl and add all the rest of the ingredients except mint leaves. Mix everything well using your hands. Squeezing the cabbage as you mix will help soften it and make it absorb flavors better. Let the cabbage “marinate” for 30 to 60 minute.
  7. When peas are fully cooked drain and purée them.
  8. Once the rice is cool it is safe to handle. Place a piece of the seaweed sheet on the flat kitchen surface rough surface up. Place 1/2 cup of sticky rice on the sheet. Spread the rice to cover most of the seaweed sheet using your wet hands. Next, place the topping on 3/4 of the way towards one end of the sheet, and start rolling from that edg, slowly and gently. The roll should come together nicely.Cut the roll into sushi piece. One note on peas and cabbage rolls: spread the pea purée across entire rice and the pickled cabbage and mint leaves in a single line, 2/3 of the way from the edge.
  9. Serve the sushi with the two dipping sauces, some pickled ginger and wasabi paste. Enjoy!

Copyright ©Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017

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