Vegetable Sushi Rolls

  • sushi rice
  • seasoned rice vinegar
  • sushi nori (squares of sushi seaweed)
  • any of the filling combinations below
  • wasabi
  • soy sauce or mixture of soy sauce and rice wine, for dipping
  • pickled ginger

General Instructions:

Cook sushi rice according to instructions on package. (Use about 1 cup for every two to three people you plan to feed.) Allow it to cool in the pot for 10 minutes, and then transfer it to a large, non-metal bowl. Fluff the rice as you add seasoned rice vinegar to taste (about 1/8 cup for each cup of uncooked rice). Allow to cool until it’s easy to handle.

While it’s cooling, prepare one or more of the filling suggestions below.

Lay the bamboo sushi rolling mat on a cutting board with bamboo strips going horizontally from you. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the bamboo mat. Place the nori (shiny side down) on top of the plastic wrap and spread 1/2-1 cup of cooked sushi rice evenly over the nori by pressing with wet fingertips, leaving a 1-inch, uncovered border at the far edge. Press it gently to smooth, but do not mash the delicate grains of rice.

If desired, smear a small amount of wasabi in a line across the rice, about 1-inch away from the bottom edge. (Be sparing with wasabi–it’s hot!).

Arrange small portions of your chosen fillings on top of the wasabi in a horizontal line across the center of the rice.

Placing your fingers on the ingredients, carefully bring the bottom end of the rolling mat and the plastic wrap up and over the ingredients, tucking in the end of the nori to start a roll. Pull back the rolling mat and plastic wrap, as necessary, so it does not get rolled into the sushi. Continue rolling the sushi and pulling back the rolling mat and plastic wrap, as necessary, until you have approximately 1 to 2 inches of the top of the nori showing. Rub a small amount of cold water on the edge of the nori and bring the nori around so that it completes the sushi roll. Gently squeeze the rolling mat around the sushi roll until it is firm and forms an even roll (be careful not to squeeze too hard, as you may crush the ingredients or squeeze them out). Wrap the plastic wrap around the roll and set aside until ready to cut or refrigerate or for longer storage. Repeat with remaining nori sheets to make additional rolls.

When ready to serve, cut each sushi roll into 8 rounds using a sharp, damp knife (it’s important that you re-moisten the knife after each cut). Arrange sushi rolls on a serving platter and serve with wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger. Always serve sushi rolls at room temperature.

Filling combinations:

Asparagus rolls: lightly steamed asparagus, slivered almonds. May also include a combination of soy mayonnaise and wasabi. (Cook asparagus only briefly, about 1-2 minutes, and always use the smallest spears possible.)

Vegetable rolls: baked tofu, slivered carrots, slivered cucumber, avocado, sliced red pepper.

Bean rolls: lightly cooked green beans, edamame, sliced red pepper.

For more filling ideas as well as instructions for brown rice sushi, see the blog entry.

Recipe by Susan Voisin

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