Think you can’t make sushi? Think again, because you most definitely can! Actually, as with most things, you just might surprise yourself at just how easy (and fun) this process is. Enjoying this highly tasty and nutritious way to eat your veggies & brown rice at home is as easy as it is satisfying. You can use any vegetables, but here, we keep it simple as can be with carrots & cucumbers.
Back in the day, I can honestly say there were times when this was (in some form or another) all it seemed I ate. Nori rolls are (like all seaweeds) super nutritious and full of minerals you can’t get from anywhere else. When enjoyed toasted and ready to roll like this, they are the best way I’ve ever enjoyed to eat sea vegetables, hence the reason they were a dietary staple for me in my early adult life. I ate so much I had to take a break, for like, oh, maybe 10 years? As a hardcore veggie, I can’t stomach restaurant sushi, simply for the fact that it never fails that halfway through the meal I always discover a happy piece of fish roe happily attached to my veggie roll. Not good.
So recently I finally said enough – it was time! Personally, I like the character these pretty rolls get from doing it at home. They look delicious, full of love, and thankfully, taste not too shabby either (IMO)! 😉
(1.75) cups cold water
(1) package toasted Nori sheets
(3) medium carrots, shredded finely
(1) medium english cucumber
OPTIONAL: (2) tsp seasoned rice vinegar or Mirin
Bon Bon Sauce:
~ from Cherie Soria’s Angel Foods
(3) tbsp tahini (roasted or raw)
(1) tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
(1) tbsp fresh lemon juice
(1) tbsp maple syrup
(1) tbsp soy sauce
(1/2) clove garlic, crushed (optional, I omit this)
(2) tbsp water
To begin, combine the brown rice and water and put up to boil in a sauce pan. Once boiling, reduce the heat with the lid still on, and cook on low for 40 minutes.
While the rice cooks, set about prepping your other items with a soundtrack of your choice in the background (or silence if you prefer). Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and stir to combine, set aside. Grate the carrots, and cut the cucumber in strips (no need for peeling or seeding here) by cutting the cucumber first into three parts lengthwise, then into long strips. Set everything aside separately on a work space and wait for the rice to cook.
Once ready, remove the rice from the pot and transfer to a bowl to cool a little. Add the optional rice vinegar and fluff with a fork to allow heat to escape.
Once the rice is still a little warm, but there is no more heat rising, you can begin the rolling the process, about 10-15 minutes should be good and the rice should not be hot, but just a little warm to the touch.
This process is very similar to rolling a salad roll. Get a small bowl of water ready beside your ingredients and, on a completely dry work surface, start with a sheet of nori placed lengthwise in front of you. At the end nearest you, spoon a little of the sauce onto the nori sheet (about 2 tbsp or so) bringing it almost close to the outer ends, but not quite.
For each roll, add a little brown rice (1/4 cup or so), followed by some carrots (1/4 cup) & cucumber strips (2-3 pieces), keeping the pile of goodies at one end of the nori sheet only. The sauce and the warmth of the rice will soften the dry seaweed sheets a little and get the process for rolling going, even before you begin.
To roll, simply fold over the end with the veggies etc. and with your hands, tightening the vegetables in as close as you can. Just like a salad roll, roll up the entire roll until the two ends meet. With one hand, hold the roll closed and with the other, dip your fingers into the bowl of water and spread a little on the far end of the sheet to moisten. Once the nori is wet, you can press it up to the rest of the roll to ‘glue’ it together.
Voila. Repeat until all rolls are done (this recipe will use and entire standard package, I wish I could recall exactly how many!).
To slice into pieces, place a roll on a dry cutting board and use your sharpest serrated knife. To slice cleanly, run the knife under water before cutting the nori, this will help to make the cuts clean. You can do this briefly between each slice depending on how sharp your knife is and just how pretty you want your sushi pieces!
Slice until they are all done and place upward on a pretty dish. Serve with optional soy sauce on the side, though with the Bon Bon sauce, you really won’t need it. Extra rolls can be kept uncut in the fridge wrapped well in plastic for a day or two. They are great for a light lunch or dinner and always make for a pleasant surprise!