31 May 2013

Sushi made simple.

This is not necessary.

I wanted to make some simple, vegetable sushi to bring to a friend's house recently and I didn't want it to be a big hairy deal.  I've had the rainbow rolls with a bunch of layered avocado and fish on the outside; the roll was so big I couldn't eat it in one bite, but also too slimy to bite into it.  I've had tempura rolls, coated in a tough, thick batter and deep fried; the whole thing tasted like a doughnut fried in old oil, with fish inside.  Sushi to me is clean, light, and each little bite has everything you need without choking.  I like it with fish, but I live in land-locked Colorado and will never be brave enough to buy the "sushi grade" tuna at King Sooper's.  So, I chopped up some vegetables and got to work wrapping little bites of salad.

Since I was travelling across town, I added ginger to the rice and some wasabi to the rolls so that we wouldn't have to bring that along in separate containers.  It's kind of nice to get rid of some of the fuss.




Sushi Rice: this makes 4 rolls

1 cup short grain white rice
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar


Cook the rice with the salt in a rice cooker according to directions.  Dissolve the sugar into the vinegar (easier to do if you heat the vinegar a bit in the microwave), then stir in the ginger.  Stir the vinegar mixture into the rice and smooth out in a thin layer on a baking sheet.  Allow to cool on the counter while you assemble your ingredients.




Vegetable Sushi
nori sheets
long, thin matchsticks of green onion, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, mung bean sprouts
wasabi (optional)

Smooth a thin, even layer of cooled rice onto a nori sheet.  Lay two sticks of each vegetable in a row near one edge of the sheet, then scatter a few sprouts over the top.  Squirt a thin line of wasabi down the length of the vegetables.  Roll tightly and seal the end of the nori sheet to itself with water.  Cut off the ragged ends and cut the rest of the roll into 1/2-inch discs.



Mushroom "Caviar" Sushi
nori sheets
long, thin matchsticks of green onion
1 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
soy sauce and Sriracha to taste

Soak the mushrooms in water for at least 30 minutes, or until soft.  Squeeze excess liquid out of them and chop as finely as possible. Place in a bowl and add the shallot, ginger, soy sauce, and Sriracha, stirring to thoroughly combine.

Smooth a thin, even layer of cooled rice onto a nori sheet. Lay a generous row of mushroom mixture down the length of the sheet, near one edge.  Add one green onion stick. Press into place.  Roll tightly and seal the end of the nori sheet to itself with water.  Cut off the ragged ends and cut the rest of the roll into 1/2-inch discs.

If you've never rolled sushi before and are having a hard time picturing it, watch this video.









Don't feel like rolling it?  Make a deconstructed sushi bowl: fluff the rice and place some in a bowl.  Chop the vegetables into bite-size pieces instead of matchsticks.  Stir some mushroom "caviar" and veggies into the rice. Sprinkle a little crumbled nori on top, and maybe some toasted sesame seeds.