Vegan Brown Rice Sushi (Yasai Maki Sushi)
makes about 5-7 rolls
1 c short grain brown rice
2 c water
2 T umeboshi vinegar
1 bunch of spinach, thoroughly rinsed
2 small carrots
1 cucumber, cut lengthwise and seeds scooped
Sushi-grade soy sauce or shoyu diluted with water
5-7 sheets of toasted nori
*Be creative with your vegetable combinations and work with what is available local or in your fridge. I’m offering typical vegetables you’d find in maki in Japan with the western addition of avocado. Pickled daikon or umeboshi paste are wonderful additions to any veggie making to add a salty punch. Marinated shiitake is great with roasted butternut or steamed kabocha (Japanese winter squash) if you have more time.
*Notice the variety of textures I’ve combined? It’s good to consider so you don’t end up with too crunchy or mushy a maki.
Assembly is made easier with these utensils:
Very sharp knife
Rinse and drain rice. Bring to boil in 2 cups of water. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 35 minutes or until water has evaporated. Do not lift the lid during cooking.
Once all the bubbles are gone, let the rice sit covered for 20 minutes. Then lift the lid and add 2 tablespoons of umeboshi vinegar. Stir and then cover to let sit while you prep the veggies. This is last part is key otherwise your rice will crumble when you try to slice your maki and it will turn into a jumbled mess. You must let it sit and start to gel together.
Blanch spinach and wring out all the water. This can be done in the sushi mat. Set aside.
Slice carrots, cucumbers and avocado in a julienne fashion.
Assemble your maki:
Lay a single sheet of nori on your mat. With a flat spatula or back of a spoon spread a thin layer of rice on the bottom 1/2 or 1/3 of your nori. Basically smear and mash as you go. The more the rice sticks together here the better for later when you cut. Layer your vegetables down the center of your rice. Fold over from the edge closest to you towards the top only one turn (moving away from your body). Compress the roll walking your hands and squeezing from side to side. Roll again and repeat. The mat does not keep rolling but rather starts moving forward. Once you have a roll complete let it sit with the seam edge down. Repeat until you run out of rice.
WIth your sharp knife slice in the center of your roll and work to the right and then the left. Use your hand to hold together as you go. Some will squish out the ends but your can guide it as you go.
Your knife during this process with get messy. Be sure to keep your knife clean.
Itadakimasu! (Humbly enjoy your meal)