Simple Sushi

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When I first became vegan, one food I missed the most was sushi. Luckily I didn’t need to miss it for long because I quickly discovered that sushi can easily be vegan. Many places offer vegan sushi as well but it is so easy and cheap to make that you’ll want to do it yourself. So far the fillings I have tried are avocado, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, and squash. It helps if you have the sushi rolling mat and a wooden spoon for the sushi rice as well, these are not expensive and can be found on Amazon. It is important you get sushi rice because it is sticky and works the best. Regular rice will not work. The directions on how to the cook the rice are really important to follow too because its different than other rice. Adding seasoned rice vinegar to the rice is also very important and can not be skipped if you want it to taste like real sushi. The only filling I ever cooked for sushi was the yellow squash because it makes it soft and gives the texture of raw fish. All other fillings can be raw. I also love to add vegan cream cheese but it is not necessary.

You can start the rice first and follow the package directions (don’t forget to rinse it well until the water runs clear before cooking it). Do not stir the rice while its cooking and keep the lid closed. Check it after about 15 minutes by moving it slightly with a wooden spoon. If all the water is gone, put the lid back on it and remove it from the heat. Sometimes it will stick to the bottom of the pan but don’t scrap it off the bottom because this rice is soft and it will smash them.

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Allow it to sit in the pan covered for about 5 minutes. Then add the seasoned rice vinegar. I add about 1-2 TBSP for the one cup of uncooked rice. Be sure to use a wooden spoon to fold in the vinegar and don’t stir it in, just fold gently. Allow it to cool in a big plastic or wooden bowl (not metal) for about 10 minutes. When I roll sushi I never wait for it to cool completely and it is still a little warm. The rice will be very sticky so have a small bowl of water near you for your fingers because it will stick to you and make the initial spreading of the rice onto the nori sheet a little difficult.

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I use the raw organic nori sheets and I gently rip them in half. You want the shiny side down and rougher side facing you. Try not to overfill it. You only put rice and fillings on half of the sheet. After spreading the rice and cream cheese (optional) put your fillings in the middle of the rice. Put only a few slices or less because it is hard to roll when overfilled.

If you choose avocado, slice thin to medium slices. Cucumber should be peeled and sliced lengthwise. Try to get as many seeds out as you can. Carrots are cut very thin lengthwise as well as bell pepper. Squash slices can be boiled for a few minutes if you want a soft texture.

Hold on to the filling with your fingers as you roll it. This can be tricky to do without spilling it. It takes a little practice before a roll looks right. You have to bring up the bamboo with the roll and after the first roll, hold down on the bamboo a little and give the roll a little squeeze. Get the edge of the nori sheet that had no rice a little wet so it will seal well. Roll it the rest of the way giving it a little pressure so it rolls tightly.

Cut the finished roll in half and holding the two halves together cut them in half again. If some are falling apart then it either was not filled evenly or the seal was not good enough. It takes a little practice to do it correctly but even the sushi that comes out not looking picture perfect are really tasty. 🙂

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