Alibi V.14 No.23 • June 9-15, 2005 

Bite

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Sushi is not just about fish; it's all about the rice that's under or around the fish or vegetables. These vegetarian rolls are full of strong flavors and tasty rice. They always earn lots of raves every time I serve them. They also travel well for picnics and camping and are not that difficult to make. Give them a try.

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Ingredients:

2 cups sushi rice

2 cups water

4 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons mirin

nori seaweed

avocado, cucumber, daikon radish, asparagus and tomatoes, or vegetables of choice.

pickled ginger

wasabi paste

dark sesame oil

sesame seeds, toasted

Instructions:

Rice

1) Rinse rice well, drain and let sit for 30 minutes.

2) Combine rice vinegar, sugar, salt and mirin and mix well.

3) Add rice and water to heavy-bottomed pot and bring to boil.

4) Cover, and cook 15 minutes, keeping pot covered throughout.

5) Remove from heat and keep covered for 15 minutes.

6) Place rice in a glass bowl to cool.

7) Add vinegar mixture and stir carefully.

8) Cover with a damp cloth and make rolls while rice is still warm. (Do not refrigerate rice.)

Rolls

1) Place a nori sheet on a bamboo mat, shiny side down.

2) Dampen your fingers in cold water and spread a thin layer of warm sushi rice over the nori, leaving a 1-inch margin uncovered at both ends.

3) Lay the vegetables lengthwise onto the rice.

4) Spread some wasabi on rice, sprinkle with sesame oil & seeds.

5) To roll, slowly fold the end of the bamboo mat (closest to you) over the filling and rice while tucking it under.

6) When you've rolled it up completely use medium pressure to seal the roll and then remove the mat from around the roll.

7) Press in the loose ingredients that might have been pushed out back into the roll, and place on cutting board, seam side down.

8) Using a wet serrated knife, slice the roll into 8 pieces.

9) Serve with wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger.