Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vegetable Sushi

Long story short, when my older sister wanted to make sushi for the first time, she got her list together and went to a local Asian grocery. She told the woman at the store what she planned to do and showed her the recipe she planned to follow.

Apparently the woman told her what she had was all wrong and gave her instructions on what to do instead.
This recipe is adapted from that fateful encounter.

It's good, it's good for you, and you feel quite accomplished when you're finished with the project.
You can use whatever vegetables sound good.
You could also use fish (salmon or crabmeat), but then it wouldn't be vegetable sushi, now would it?

A sushi mat, reminiscent of roman blinds, will make the rolling job much easier. They're fairly cheap, which is certainly a plus.

Make sure the rice you use is a short-grained variety- the shorter the grain, the stickier the rice. No one wants fall apart sushi.

The pink stuff in the photo? Not salmon, it's ginger.

Vegetable Sushi
Makes about 5 whole rolls, which can be cut into about 40 pieces total

2 c short grain rice (Calrose is a good type for this)
4 1/2 c water
1/3 c sushi rice vinegar

5 Nori seaweed sheets

Vegetables of your choice such as:
Carrot, peeled and shredded
Red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
Yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
Cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
Scallions, chopped
Red onion, chopped

Other options for the inside:
Sesame seeds
Pickled or powdered ginger

For serving: soy sauce, pickled ginger, wasabi

Bring water to a boil. Add rice, stir, and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 40 minutes (if the rice mixture overflows a bit, cock the lid, reduce heat a bit, and continue cooking). Remove the pan from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Scoop rice into a glass or ceramic bowl (not metal), add the sushi vinegar, and stir to incorporate. Let the rice cool until it is just warm and can be handled relatively easily.
Place a bamboo sushi mat on a cutting board and place a piece of nori on top, shiny side facing up and centered on the mat. Have a small bowl of water close at hand.
Scoop approximately 1/5 of the rice onto the nori. Dip your fingers in water and press the sticky rice onto the seaweed starting at the side closest to you, but not smoothing so far as the side farthest from you. The far side must remain without rice, but the rice should be spread completely horizontally across the nori. Smooth the rice so that it covers about 3/4 of the sheet and is about 1/4 inch thick.
Pile the vegetables on the side closest to you, making sure they're fairly even and in horizontal rows across the rice. Sprinkle a row of sesame seeds on, spread on wasabi paste and/or layer on a row of ginger (if using).
Holding the vegetables with your fingers and the mat with your thumbs, gently but firmly roll the sushi away from you. Be careful, go slowly at first, and adjust as you go, making sure to roll the contents as tightly as you can. It takes a little practice...
Roll all the way to the end. The extra bit of un-riced seaweed should stick to the rest of the roll, "gluing" itself into a cylinder.
Refrigerate and cut into 8 rounds when cold.
Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce.

I mixed up an aioli from mayonnaise, soy sauce, wasabi powder, sesame oil, and a little milk to thin it out.


  1. Your "how-to's" with the pics are very helpful maybe I will try this too!

  2. It's not too difficult and kind of fun!