Simply Nori-shing Vegetable Rolls (Virtual Vegan Potluck)
It’s time for another glorious Virtual Vegan Potluck. This time around I’m bringing an appetizer. After poring over pictures of food, specializing in the hors d’oeuvres and appetizer varieties, I decided upon something in the sushi domain.
A friend of mine had a great make-your-own-sushi party. It was a ton of fun. It opened my eyes. Sushi really isn’t that tough to make, is incredibly accepting of ingredients, and is great for parties.
I didn’t get into eating sushi that much until this year, mostly because I’m not a big rice fan. However, the sushi store in the food court at the building where I work is one of the last decent food stands around that serves some vegetarian/vegan options. So, I thought I’d give sushi my own twist by taking out the rice component, and voila.. I don’t have one of those fancy bamboo rolling mats (although they are pretty cheap and relatively easy to find), but I’d recommend one to make it easier.
This is probably the easiest recipe to experiment with to date. I usually try two to three different takes on the recipes before I post them to ensure maximum satisfaction for those brave enough to take them on. This one, oh this recipe, was beautiful. Each roll became another combination of vegetable goodness until I had just the right ingredients. That said, you’ll still take at most a third of the time it took me to make all seven rolls, but I encourage you to experiment with whatever you have in your cupboards. Let me know what you put in!
Because this isn’t really sushi, I thought I’d share a band that isn’t really Japanese but certainly embody the aesthetic to some degree. They’re called IO Echo, a duo from Los Angeles, and they just released their debut album, Ministry of Love, a couple of months ago. This song, “When The Lillies Die”, is from that album.
Simply Nori-shing Vegetable Rolls
Makes 42 small rolls, good as appetizers for potlucks of 20 people or dinner party of 8.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 9 ounces, 255 grams shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
- 7 sheets nori
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and julienned as best you can
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and julienned
- 1 medium to large carrot, julienned
- 3 1/2 ounces, 100 grams alfalfa sprouts
- 1 ounce, 30 grams fresh parsley
- 1 ounce, 30 grams fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- In a large pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and sauté until they start to brown. Remove from heat and toss with sesame seeds. Allow to cool.
- Prepare your work area with a bamboo sushi‑rolling mat coated with plastic wrap to prevent sticking, and a bowl of lukewarm water for moistening the nori. It’s also handy to have a cloth to wipe your hands on.
- Lay a piece of nori on the prepared mat. If the nori has perforations ensure they are running horizontally. Using your fingers, dampen the right edge of the nori with water. Roughly estimate about a seventh of each ingredient (cooked mushrooms, avocado, cucumber, carrot, sprouts, parsley, and basil) and place these about an inch from the moistened right edge. Attempt to make all the ingredients run in a solid line from top to bottom (the ginger probably won’t cooperate so six evenly spaced dabs will work).
- To roll, fold the right edge of the nori over the ingredients, using the mat to assist you. The water will help the sushi stick to itself. Pull the roll tight. Now moisten the left edge of the sushi. Complete the roll, ensuring that everything is distributed evenly and held tightly together. You can wrap the mat around the roll and gently even it out by rolling it back and forth with medium pressure.
- Repeat with the other sheets of nori.
- To cut, wet a sharp knife and cut into six even portions. Re-wet the knife between cuts, or as needed, to prevent tearing the nori
Thanks to Annie, Somer, Jason, Lidia and all the hands that helped for all the work she did organizing this. And thank you for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of the potluck!