30 August 2013

Making vegan sushi

I've only made sushi about twice before this year and it always seemed very tricky. Our favourite sushi restaurant had a 50% off special for the past 3 months, so there was no reason to even try making it at home. Last week Martinus was working away from home and I decided to surprise him with some home made sushi when he got home. Somehow it seemed much easier than the previous times. I ended up making sushi 3 times last week.

I followed the directions on the package to make the rice. I used one cup of dried rice. This is the only part that's really complicated, because you need the rice to be sticky without getting mushy. Make sure to soak it for the appropriate time. The cooking time is quite short, but the soaking, resting and cooling takes up a lot of time. We like simple sushi, so I only added avocado and carrot. I also wanted to add sesame seeds, but I forgot. My aunt sent us a giant bag of black sesame seeds because I couldn't find them here. Using a rolling mat helps, but you can make sushi without it. I forgot to use the mat for one of the rolls and it turned out fine. If you are using one, cover it in cling film to keep it clean.

You can use vegan mayonnaise if you can find it. We have 3 different types at our house because we each have our favourite and I bought this aioli. It's very mild and you can barely taste the wasabi. I like that because I don't really eat wasabi. If you have good rice, you don't need much else. The vinegar mix was 2 T rice wine vinegar, 1 T sugar and 1 t salt.

I used 4 nori sheets and divided the rice into 4 parts to make sure I get evenly sized rolls. Put the nori down with the textured side facing up and spread the rice only on half of the sheet. Spread a thin layer of mayo on the rice if you want and add your filling. You only need a thin strip. If you add too many fillings, you'll end up with really big rolls that are difficult to eat.

Martinus likes even simpler sushi, so I made his with no mayo and only avo.

It's helpful to have a bowl with warm water next to you to clean your hands after working with the filling. Spread a little bit of water along the top edge of the nori, this will make it sticky. Don't do this until you're ready to start rolling because it will curl up if you wait too long. Start rolling the edge with the rice. If the filling slides down, don't worry. It won't look as perfect when you cut it, but it doesn't really make a difference.

Use the rolling mat to press your sushi roll to get an even shape and make sure there's no gaps.

If the nori edge doesn't stick, use more water. It works better with warm water. Use a sharp knife to cut even pieces. We have this big knife that we only use for sushi. I used to have trouble with it, but I realised that it works best if I move it back and forth instead of trying to cut in one direction. The end pieces will always be more wonky.

And that's all there is to it. Obviously there's lots of different shapes and methods, but I'm happy with simple maki at home and the rest when we eat out.

Do you ever make sushi at home? What's your favourite type? 


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