It’s been a great week, you guys. I feel pretty good; full of energy in a way I haven’t been in a while. I kind of miss eggs and cheese, but I don’t really miss meat, which is excellent. I decided to leave the most fun thing for Friday — it’s a day when I’m excited for the weekend but I also have some downtime in the afternoon before things happen. That makes it the perfect time to make sushi!
Part of my excitement for this process has been to not just make things I already know how to make (with mixed success), but instead to explore new and exciting flavors in the world of vegan cooking. And sushi is definitely new and exciting. I’m already an absolute sushi fiend, and way too much of my money goes toward local sushi establishments. But making it is something else entirely.
Sushi isn’t actually that expensive if you’re vegan. Organic nori sheets are something like $.30/per, and it makes 2 rolls. And it’s pretty healthy — a bite-size pack of veggies and carbs wrapped in an anti-oxidant blanket. Yes, there’s white rice, but I don’t think white rice is that evil. And it’s a ton of fun to make.
Time: Long. It’s all about the process anyway. Put on some music, grab a glass of sake, and enjoy.
Cost: Somewhere in the ballpark of $15, including buying the sushi mat and overbuying sushi rice, which, though not expensive, is more expensive than other kinds of rice.
Serves: Depends on your appetite for sushi. 1 sheet = 2 rolls, and we used less than half of what we had, both of rice and nori.
Sushi rice (use sushi rice! You can use brown rice, but it’s just not the same)
Nori — this used to be hard to find, but now should be in your local health food store
Pickled ginger (optional)
Nice soy sauce: It makes a difference. Tamari and shoyu, for example, have two very different flavors.
Whatever else you want. I used carrots, the green parts of leeks, sesame seeds, avocado, cucumber and tofu. In the future, since we have so many leftovers, I’m going to try making small batches of sauces. Experiment with what you have — part of the fun is having such a tiny place to experiment with small amounts of different flavor combinations.
The cool thing about sushi rice is that you put vinegar and salt and sugar in it. I used this recipe loosely. When I say loosely, I didn’t rinse the rice (!!!! Any sushi aficionado will tell you that’s a no-no!!!), and I played pretty fast and loose with the measurements. 2 cups sushi rice, 1/4 cup rice vinegar (it seemed like too much at first but tasted great in the roll) and a couple of shakes of salt and sugar.
I also made miso soup, for added nutrients. I like to put onions, tofu cubes and garlic in, as well as whatever else I have lying around.
Oh, and the rest of the post is just a place to post gratuitous sushi pictures.
After the first two rolls, the Male Compatriot wandered in. “Can I make the next one?”
“Sure,” I told him, “but if you roll it really well on the first try, like you do with burritos, I’ll be a little sad.”
Lo and behold.
It gets worse.
Here’s his second attempt.
That’s it for today’s vegan challenge. It was a ton of fun, if not very practical. Have you ever tried making your own sushi? How did it turn out?