Sunday, 30 December 2012

We Are Japanese, if you please...


One of the questions I often receive from people when I tell them I'm a vegan, is

 ...what, exactly, do you eat?

While internally, I want to burst into a musical number where the chorus follows along the lines of, 'what don't I eat!', jazz hands included, I try to refrain from the showtunes and just have a few good answers up my sleeve.

Sushi is a food most people are aware of, and can understand a vegetarian and vegan option fairly easily.

Now, I'm no Japanese, so my finickiness for the finer details of this process do not exist. I'll give it to your straight - what I write is how to make something that resembles what you buy in the shop, with some ideas about variations, and not something you'd expect in a gourmet Japanese restaurant.
But, you can still eat mine with chopsticks, if you like.


When you look at the quantities of the veggies in this recipe, you'll cleverly deduce that this is a good recipe for using up leftover veggies. Rice freezes well (and heaven knows I always make too much rice), so this recipe is easy to have on hand. Can be made the day before, open to many variations and is perfect to being to a picnic or potluck because of the variety and small portions!

(this makes enough for 3)
What you'll need...
1/2 a carrot
1/2 a cucumber
1/2 a capsicum
1/2 an avocado
2 cups cooked rice (add garlic and olive oil during the cooking process for lovely rice)
3 sheets of sushi seaweed paper (nori)

(Step One)
Cut all your veggies into thin strips, no longer than 8cm. The thinner the better. Trim the capsicums so that they are as straight as possible, and not curved at the end. Slice your avocado in long strips.

 (Step Two)
Place Nori shiny-side down, and place 3/4 cup of rice over, spreading evenly until 2cm from the far edge. The more even the rice, the better the sushi will be.


(Step Three)
Layer a few of each vegetable onto the near end of the rice, a few cms from the edge, and overlapping the ends of the vegetable. The reason for this is so that the middle of any piece of sushi isn't clumped. I had no avocado, so I've used sliced Snow Peas in this one.


 (Step Four)
Carefully holding the veggies inside, roll the sushi up until the rice finishes.

(Step Five)
Wet the remaining end with water and finish rolling,
holding the sushi down on the wet end for a few seconds. (see video above)

(Step Six)
Carefully cut off the messy ends with a serrated knife and then proceed along the sushi cutting at 2cm intervals.

Serve with soy sauce or tamari.

I have experimented a lot with different things to put in the sushi, mainly stemming from whatever needed to be used in the next days. Cranberries - I liked. Basil Pesto - not so great. Figs... well, they all create an interesting dining experience.
Why not try your own variations and let me know how they turned out...

...but for now, eat up, me hearties!

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