Dinner: Vegan sushi!

2015-08-23 21.06.34

I don’t know about you, but I crave sushi pretty much constantly. I only rarely eat it since there’s not much vegan choices at restaurants, so needless to say I was pretty excited about making some myself. Now, I have to be honest, making sushi is a bit of a faff. There’s a lot of mess (or maybe that’s just me) and the rolling takes a bit of getting used to. However, it’s really fun once you get into it and even if you don’t roll the perfect sushi, the thing is still delicious.

Recipe (made about 42 pieces of sushi or enough for 2 hungry vegans):

For the rolling you’ll need a sushi rolling mat, nori sheets and clingfilm. If you don’t have a rolling mat a kitchen towel will do, but the rolls will probably not stick together very well!

For the filling:

Any veg you like (I used avocado, cucumber, lettuce and carrot), cut into thin, long pieces or grated (as was the case with the carrot)

Tofu cut into thin, long pieces (I used smoked tofu that I marinated in soy sauce and then quickly stir fried)

Vegan mayo and sesame seeds to jazz it up!

For the rice:

350g basmati rice

3 tbsp vinegar

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

First, boil the rice. Cut all the veg and prep and cut the tofu. The goal here is to cut everything into thin strips, long enough to span the length of the nori sheet when you’re rolling your sushi. Don’t worry if the pieces end up being shorter, the sushi will just look less neat when cut.

Once the rice is boiled, heat the vinegar, salt and sugar until the two dissolve. Then sprinkle the vinegar over the rice to taste (I use all 3 tablespoons but some might prefer their sushi less vinegary) and mix well. Spread the rice on a plate to cool to room temperature. Once cooled it sould be very sticky.

Prep the rolling mat by placing cling film over it (to ensure nothing sticks to the mat) and then placing one nori sheet on top. Spread the rice on the sheet in a very thin layer, pressing it down into the nori sheet gently. You will probably need a lot less rice per roll than you think! Leave the 2 cm of nori sheet facing you empty of rice. This will help with the rolling. After the rice, add the veg and tofu along the middle of the sheet. Feel free to experiment with fillings and patterns (alternatively I put down some suggestions at the end of the recipe). When you’re ready to roll, roll the empty bit of nori sheet first, rolling away from you. Use only the cling film to roll the empty sheet first, then use the mat to roll the rest of the way. Hold the mat and cling film with your thumbs and roll with your fingers. The roll needs to be firm, so press it down gently while rolling and make sure you’re rolling it as tightly as you can. Once completely rolled, the sushi needs to be pressed together firmly or it will fall apart. It’s difficult to explain the rolling technique so I suggest just giving it a go, or alternatively looking up some pictures/videos!

I transfer the roll via cling film to a cutting board and then cut big pieces using a wet knife. This last part is important as otherwise the knife will stick to everything! Serve it with wasabi, soy sauce, mayo and chilli sauce. Devour.

Sushi suggestions:

  • Avocado rolls. Load up on avocado. It’s all you need!
  • Cucumber rolls. See above.
  • Cucumber, lettuce and carrot rolls with mayo sprinkled on top of the filling before rolling.
  • Cucumber, lettuce, tofu and carrot rolls with mayo and sesame seeds sprinkled on top before rolling. To make a roll with sesame seeds on the outside of the roll you’ll want to leave out the nori sheet and just use cling film to roll your sushi. Sprinkle sesame seeds over it before you put on the rice.
  • Cucumber, lettuce, avocado, carrot and smoked tofu rolls with sesame seeds, a.k.a. everything but the kitchen sink rolls. These were a bit too full of filling, but boy were they delicious!
  • Inari sushi (tofu bags over rice balls). The tofu bags can be found in chinese supermarkets (they come in a can) and are pre-cooked, so all you need to do is roll a ball of rice and put it in the bag.

Lastly, I want to mention that proper sushi usually always comes with wasabi already in the sushi. I’m not a fan of wasabi, so I left it out, but if you like the sweet sweet taste of burning, then by all means add some to your sushi filling!

Price: £2.9

Protein: 20ish grams