Monday, 9 February 2015

Vegan Sushi: Maki and Hand Rolls

I feel as though in every post I mention my addiction to something - houmous, peanut butter, lipstick (obviously not edible). Maybe I am portraying a slightly addictive personality here, but I'm now going to add sushi to the list. I challenge you to accompany me past 'YO! Sushi' without us veering towards the door; the idea of walking past a sushi restaurant and not going in is just inconceivable.

A suffering, post-Christmas bank account, coupled with this current cold climate, meant that on Saturday some friends and I decided to try our luck at homemade sushi rather than braving the icy, public domain. I had heard that sushi chefs can train for up to 8 years - how hard could it be?!

A quick browse on Pinterest only left me more inspired (and hungry) so we decided to chance our own recipe. I was thoroughly impressed by my culinary skills, if I do say so myself, so I thought I would share.

Ingredients for both Maki and Hand Rolls:

For wrapping:
Nori Sheets

For filling:
1 Sliced Avocado
1/4 Sliced Cucumber
1 Sliced Carrot
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
...and whatever else you like

For rice:
250g Sushi Rice
3 tbsp Rice Vinegar
1tsp Salt
2 tbsp Sugar (optional)

For dipping:
Soy Sauce

Sushi Rice:

Wash 250g of sushi rice about four or five times to remove the starch, until it no longer makes the water cloudy.
Add 350ml of water to the rice and bring to the boil. Once boiling, simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
Do not remove the lid after this point, and leave to cool for half an hour.
Add three tablespoons of rice vinegar, a teaspoon of salt and and two tablespoons of sugar (optional as I chose to leave this out, and in my opinion it did not affect the taste)

Making the Sushi:

We did have some sushi mats but there appeared to be a certain growth on one of them, so these were swiftly binned and we reverted to good old trustworthy plates.

Tip: Get a bowl of water to dip your hands in to prior to handling the rice or you will end up in total sticky chaos. I won't insert the picture of the assortment of rice and avocado in my hair (sushi pro), but I'm sure you can imagine the sight.

I added a thin and even layer of rice to the nori sheet and then arranged a line of fillings in the middle of the rice. I then added some sesame seeds, which I toasted in a pan on a medium heat until they were golden. The hard part was the rolling; you have to make sure that it is tight or else the sushi falls apart when you try to slice it. I found it helpful to add a bit of water to seal the nori, and to use a wet knife to slice it.

Next all you need is soy sauce, or your sauce of choice... and happy dipping!

I also used the same ingredients to make a hand roll, however I don't think I quite got the hang of the rolling. I've heard it's the easiest to make, so I'm pretty sure I just had a moment of gluttony and added too many fillings. Ignoring the fact that it looked like a bloated walrus, it tasted great.

Note to self: Next time, do not eat an entire week's worth of sushi in one sitting, so much so that you cannot bear to eat for your entire Sunday through a very real fear of bursting. Portion control, Becca, come on.

Next on my list are Inari pockets and a seaweed salad. I'd also be interested to hear if anyone has any vegan recipes for me to try!