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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Suri's Vegetarian Sushi: My Version of California Sushi Roll

Sushi is a Japanese food consisting of cooked rice with vinegar, combined with other ingredients seafood, vegetables and sometimes tropical fruits. Ingredients and forms of sushi presentation vary widely, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common is rice.  Sushi can be prepared with either  brown or  white rice. Sushi is often prepared with raw seafood, but some common varieties of sushi use cooked ingredients or are vegetarian.


Sushi is often served with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.  I would like to give credit to all the people who inspired me to try this recipe.

First I would like to thank Henna and Vishal for raising my curiosity to make sushi at home. Thanks to my dear friend Sulu for giving me Nori and the mat to make this at home. 

I also have to thank Nicole for finding me pictures on Pinterest to show me how to roll the sushi.

All the recipes suggest preparing rice by adding rice vinegar and  sugar to  to cooked rice before rolling.  Unfortunately or fortunately, I did not have rice vinegar so I started thinking how I can make a variation to make the Sushi my way and then the light bulb went on!! 
I always have cilantro and lime in my fridge and I love cilantro lime rice, so to give a different flavor and different touch why not try Cilantro rice instead of vinegar rice. And so I did ! !

To make rice:
* 1  cup of Jasmine rice
* 1 and ½  tsp Salt
* 1 tbl spoon  of olive oil
* 2 cups of water
* ½ cup of chopped cilantro
* Juice from 2 fresh limes

For veggie and other fillings:  
  * 6 baby carrots
  * 6 radishes
  * 1 English Cucumber
  * 1 Avocado
  * 1 unripe mango
  * ½ yellow pepper
   * 8 oz pack of Cream cheese 

   * 1/3 cup of sesame seeds
   * Handful of sliced pickled    Jalapeno peppers
Dipping sauces:  I made two kinds of dipping sauces:
Mango sweet/sour Sirracha sauce and Hot Asian Wing Ranch Sauce.
For Mango sweet and sour Sirracha sauce you need:
  * 1 ripe mango slices pureed in food processor
  * ½ cup of wine vinegar
  * ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
  * 2 tables spoon of Siracha sauce or to taste
For Hot Asian Wing Ranch sauce you need:
* ¼ cup of mayo
* ½ cup of Ranch salad dressing
* 2 tbl spoon of Hot Asian Wing sauce or to taste (available at Aldi’s) you can use chili garlic sauce instead of this.
You will also need following items to make Sushi:
* Rolling mat (bamboo sushi mats are available at specialty stores, but a thin, flexible, plastic sheet also works well) I used a silicon mat on top of this.
  * Plastic wrap
  * Aluminum foil
  * Cutting board
  * Sharp knife

  * Wash rice and add 2 cups of water, salt and olive oil.
  * You can prepare rice in rice cooker, but I make my rice in Microwave (recipe on this blog)
  * Once rice is cooked let it cool divide it in two parts
  * To one part add chopped cilantro and lime juice and fold gently.
  * Keep the other part rice plain or you may add 1/4 cup of rice vinegar and 1 tbs of sugar.

  * While rice is cooking and cooling you may want to prepare vegetables:

 * Cut the peppers, cucumber, mango and avocado in strips of desired thickness. 
 * My lesson from this first time trial was that next time I would cut the veggie strips a little thinner.

 * Shred the carrots and radish in a food processor or with a hand shredder. 
To roll the sushi you can make it two ways either with rice on outside or with sea weed covering on outside. I tried one of each.  I made some with plain rice and some with cilantro rice, some with Jalapenos and some without.
* Soak the bamboo mat in water for a bit so it will be less sticky.
 * Put some water on your palms and fingers so the rice does not stick to your hands.
  * Dry off excess water so the bamboo mat is just damp.
 * Put a piece of Nori on it and cover with cream cheese and then a thin coating of rice.
 * Press the rice with your fingertips gently on Nori.
 * To make rice side up you can then flip the Nori and place veggies on it.
 * Near the middle of the rice or Nori, put a horizontal row of vegetable.
 * Don't put too much filling until you get the hang of rolling.)
  * Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing it forward and shaping the Nori to create the roll.
  * Unroll the mat and place the roll in a plastic wrap and wrap with aluminum foil.
  * Place the roll in the fridge   for 30 min or until ready to   serve for cutting.

* Roast sesame seeds in frying pan on medium heat.
* To cut the sushi slices wet a sharp knife with water or wet clot. 
* Cut the sushi roll in to 
3/4 " slices.

* Just before cutting you may roll the sushi roll on to roasted sesame seeds or
just sprinkle them on top of cut slices.
* Serve fresh with desired dipping sauce or soya sauce.

* Do not over stuff the sushi roll with fillings
* You may use tender asparagus and for color you can use red peppers. ( I did not have themso I did not use these)
* You may use pickled ginger or wasabi as one of the filling (I personally don’t care for these so did not use them)
* You may use mushroom if desired as one of the filings.
* Instead of white rice you can use brown rice.
* Instead of dipping sauce you may just server with soya sauce.
* To make the sauces you simply mix the ingredients that were mentioned above for each sauce. 
* You may vary the amount of hot sauce based on desired heat.
* Garnish the plate with pieces of lettuce and sauce or as desired.
* You can be as creative as you like for presentation of sushi on the plate. There are no rules :)
Enjoy !!

Sushi Information source:
Recipe adapted by Surekha from various sources from friends, online and Pinterest.
Photographs by Surekha.

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