Sushi is divine. When we lived in Chi-town we would frequently dine at Sushi restaurants and Chicago has some fantastic ones. Our favourite establishment Coast just happened to be a stones throw from our house and whenever I was feeling lazy and in need of some nourishment a trip here would never fail to lift me. I loved their spicy miso so much I had to recreate it in my own kitchen and I was more than pleased with the result. In fact, on more than one occasion we made Coast our first port of call after landing from our frequent and numerous longhaul flights from London and what a welcome that was! Fond memories indeed.

Since moving back to the UK though, decent sushi is hard to come by. Supermarket sushi is generally vile and I haven’t seen too many sushi restaurants in Cornwall although the little sushi place in my hometown of Derry was a surprising winner.

I’ll concede making sushi terrified me. Sushi chefs train for years so how can I possibly recreate that surely complex deliciousness at home? Well, believe me, you can. Okay, okay, it might not be totally authentic but it’s a good alternative to eating out or (the horror!) going without – the latter sounds pretty awful to me especially given the distinct lack of sushi eateries in my area.

So homemade sushi it is and to that effect here is my recipe for the easiest Vegan sushi this side of the pond.

easy vegan sushi

3 nori sheets

1 cup sushi rice

1/2 cucumber

1/2 yellow pepper

1/2 avocado

3 tsp umeboshi plum paste

2 tbsp sushi rice seasoning

sushi rolling mat

wasabi

soy sauce

Firstly rinse the rice and then soak in 1 1/2 cups of water for 30mins. Bring to the boil, cover and then simmer for 10mins. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out to allow it to cool.

Peel, de-seed the cucumber and slice into thin strips (as long as the nori sheet if possible). Finely slice the yellow pepper and the avocado – spritz a little lemon or lime on the avocado as it brown otherwise and affect the presentation of the rolls.

When the sushi rice is sufficiently cooled pour over the sushi rice seasoning and mix thoroughly with a spatula.

Place the nori sheet on the rolling mat. Spread out a third of the rice over the nori sheet leaving 1cm or so gap at the top of the sheet. Make a indent half way up the rice and spread over 1 tsp of the umeboshi plum paste. At the bottom of the sheet (the end closest to you) place a third of the sliced cucumber followed by the avocado (which can be placed over the umeboshi paste) and then the yellow pepper. Don’t overfill and don’t worry if some rolls are better than others. Using the mat tightly roll the sheet using your fingers to tuck in the filling. Place the sushi roll on a wooden chopping board ensuring the join is underneath.

A good tip for slicing the sushi is to fill a tall glass with water and wet your knife (which should be sharp!) between each slice. Try, as best as you can, to cut medium sized slices for ease of eating. I also like to mix my wasabi into my soy sauce before dipping – so yum! You could, if you wished, use chilli dipping sauce or make a spicy vegan mayo.

A few other filling ideas:

roasted pepper and edamame (soya beans)

tempura vegetable

sweet potato and chopped spinach

vegan cream cheese and sliced carrot

The possibilities are endless!! I can’t wait to work up another sushi storm this weekend.

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