Thursday, August 16, 2007

Veggie Sushi - Really?

Ever since I ate Sushi for the first time at Benihana, I fell in love with this fabulous creation!

Sushi, a part of Japanese cuisine, is prepared with white, short grained Japanese rice flavored with rice vinegar and rolled with layers of raw fish and vegetables (typically uncooked). Sushi rice becomes sticky when cooked which makes it easy to roll and bind with the layers inside. Well cooked and finely dressed rice are the essential qualities that make a good sushi!

Making sushi is an art. It is challenging and requires a lot of skill in its preparation. There are special sushi chefs whose expertise is concentrated on preparing just that. The type of sushi depends on the stuffing and how it is rolled. This is not only challenging but also requires a lot of creativity. Especially here in the US, you will find several different sushi stuffings, some of which might have never existed at any sushi bar in Japan. You can read more here.

My first experience of eating sushi at Benihana was incredible. My second time was at Raku –an Asian Dining and Sushi bar in Bethesda, Md. It was here that I ate a complete vegetarian sushi entrĂ©e. I was completely bowled over by it's taste, quality, selection of ingredients and presentation. While that taste was still lingering on my tongue, Sharmi of Neivedyam announced the Jivha for August-Rice. With that, my long planned adventure of making vegetarian sushi kicked in. As always I have experimented with my ideas and played with different ingredients. It was an absolutely fabulous experience. I hope you enjoy making some in your kitchen.

One verdict though- It takes quite some time to prepare the rice, spread it evenly on the nori sheet, layer the vegetables and then to roll and cut it! Make sure you don't don it in a jiffy!

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups of Japanese sushi rice
3 cups of water
½ avocado
2 slices of pineapple
½ cucumber
¼ cup tofu, minced or sliced ( I had the tofu grilled and marinated in sauce)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
4 nori sheets
Wasabi sauce
Sushi Mat

Method:
I really recommend that you watch this video to get a better picture of the rolling process….

1. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet. Once cooked completely, fluff it with fork on a plate. All it to cool completely.
2. Once cooled, add the rice vinegar and mix well. Let it sit for 5 minutes to let the flavors combine.
3. Open up the sushi mat completely away from you.
4. Line the longest edge of the nori sheet with the side of the mat closest to you.
5. Place approximately a handful of the cooked rice at the center of the nori sheet.
6. Wet you hands and press the rice evenly to coat the nori sheet with a 1 cm thick layer of rice.
7. Spread a very small amount of wasabi sauce in the middle of the rice layer horizontally.
8. Line the fillings (avocado, cucumber, pineapple and/or tofu) on the side closest to you. You can stick to one filling or do different combinations.
9. Hold the fillings with your fingers and lift up the layer and start rolling the nori sheet along with the mat.
10. Keep pressing under the layer such that the roll is a perfect cylinder. Avoid pressing on the top.
11. Once the roll is completely pressed and cylindrical, cut it into ¾ inch thick rolls such that they are bite sized.

Serving:
Serve 4-5 different rolls in a serving on individual plates. Enjoy with wasabi and soy sauce on the side.

So that is my entry for JFI-August!

36 comments:

Dee said...

wow! another sushi dish!!! Its raining sushi in the blogosphere! I gotta try this now!

Jeena said...

Hi Poonam , I can't eat raw fish but a vegetarian sushi sure sounds nice. I have never ate Japanese food but you are right they do take a lot of pride in every little detail when it comes to food. I like how in Thailand and places also how they carve fruits and vegetables its great. :)

Saju said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saju said...

Hi Poonam,
I too have posted veggie, actually vegan sushi. I am a great fan of sushi, usually raw fish. I made some veggie sushi for a vegan lunch. It was harder and easier than I thought it would. But I will be making some again soon with salmon / tuna and salmon raw/eggs. I love Japanese food.

Sirisha Kilambi said...

Very innovative dish Poonam....Nice post dear :-)

Suganya said...

Sushi everywhere.. Its nice to see so many vegetarian versions around.. Sushi looks great!

Roopa(KitchenAromas) said...

2nd vegetarian sushi post for JFI! It looks fabulous!

Asha said...

I have never even attempted to eat any Japanese food!! I am scared of raw fish etc.But I love Wasabi, might try vegetarian Sushi.
Looks fantastic, great picture.Good job girl:))

bee said...

we plan to make sushi this weekend. pineapple is a great idea. the pic looks just lovely.

bhags said...

This ones a beauty...and veg sushi is very innovative......wonderful work Poonam

Kamini said...

Thanks for you comments on my blog.. Yes, the kitchen had such yummy aromas... too bad I could not capture that to put on the blog...

this little mainyacha said...

I love sushi,but when I make my own, I don't dare to do it with rawfish. I use the avocado and smoken salmon. Delicious!!!

Laavanya said...

Poonam - your sushi looks perfect and pretty. I've never tried Sushi before but yours is very tempting.

Meeta said...

It took me a little while to develop the taste for sushi - at the age of 18 my dad introduced me to it. I actually fell in love with it when I was on a trip to the Philippines and the hotel we stayed in offered fresh sushi everyday at the restaurant. I now love the stuff. I have never tried making it myself and you make it look so easy!

Cinnamon said...

Though I am not a sushi lover... ur dish makes it appealing and look delicious!!! :)

Coffee said...

Veggie Sushi - Really??? How did you know I was seaarching for this?? ;) Thanks you Poonam! :)

Poonam said...

Dee & Suganya: You are right! Looks like there is sushi all over the blogosphere!

Jeena, Asha: If you do eat fish but are afraid about the raw version of it in the sushi, I would say you should give it a try! You will love it!

Saju: I did take a look at yours yesterday. They look fantastic!

Sirisha, Roopa, Bhags, Cinnamon: I am happy you liked it!

Bee: Yup, pineapple tastes fantastic in sushi. If you have some mangoes, try that and let me know! It gives a very sweet and savory taste to sushi.

Meeta: I agree with you. You need to develop a taste for sushi. I like salmon sushi the best!

Poonam said...

Hey Coffee: You sneaked in while I was replying to others! Well, let me know how it turns out!

Sia said...

veggie sushi...now i am for a game. i have been seeing all non-veg with raw fish sticking these~sighs~ now i am really pleased to see this recipe poonam. i enjoyed watching that animated sushi making video. thanks for sharing

Aruna said...

Poonam Being even tho I am s non veggie, I havent yet dared to try Sushi, I dont think I want to either... But Veggie Sushi may be up my alley!!! Nice post.

themistressofspices.wordpress.com

Poonam said...

Dear Supriya and Aruna, veggie sushi tastes great. Thanks for coming!

Tee said...

What a great entry for JFI! Looks very good...have to try sometime.

Happy cook said...

Hi Poonam
I entered the drink like you said for liquid dreams.
Don't know if i did it correct. I just mailed to blogmeeta@gmail.com.
I havve never tried sushi, because it is with fresh fish.
But veggie, i will try to make it.

TBC said...

Veggie sushi?! Now that's a nice twist.Sounds good to me coz we are vegetarians.

Sharmi said...

veg sushi is a very lovely idea. your pics are so nice. I have never tried a sushi in my life. would love the veggi version.

Lata said...

I always longed to try this but being a vegetarian, it never worked. You are so creative!

Viji said...

very innovative idea poonam,keep up the idea work:-) It looks wonderful.

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hay ur sushi is looking so perfect... Nice entry for JFI.... Nice picture.....

Anonymous said...

Are the pics you post of your creations(if so, am big fan of ur's) or you get those from web?

-Anon

Roopa said...

wow poonam what a great way to eat sushi . i always loved the way they rolled and looks to artistic with different layer in such small circumference. will try your version thanks for sharing :)

Padma said...

What a great entry! I never tried sushi till now, your tempting me to try one..great recipe with neatly explained demo

Poonam said...

Tee, Happy cook, tbc, Sharmi, Lata, Viji, Sukanya, Roopa, Padma:
Thank you! A lot of restaurants also offer veggie sushi. Panda Express offers very good veggie sushi!

Padma said...

Congrats! you received an award, check my blog for details

Poonam said...

Anon: Yes, all the pictures here are mine! Thanks for being a fan then!

SeeC said...

Veggie Sushi...imm interesting and inviting too.

Kajal said...

Something different entry for JFI- Rice event my dear....Really this is Rock in Rice event....Great video also....Keep it up.:))))