Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sushi Lovers

So Last night I made sushi for the first time! It was a lot of fun and pretty easy too. I thought it was so delicious. Jesse said it was the best sushi he has ever tasted, Although I find that hard to believe, I guess it was pretty darn good. However I can't really take any credit for this I all goes to my girl Isa. Having never made sushi before I decide to use the Spicy Tempeh Nori rolls from the Veganomicon. You can't go wrong with any of Isa recipes. If you don't have the veganomicon you should pick up a copy, I think it is a cookbook every vegan and non vegan alike should have in there kitchen. For non vegans this cookbook will prove that we don't sacrifice taste or nutrition for compassion. I will for sure be making sushi all summer, since it requires very little cooking it is perfect for hot summer nights! Now that I have down the method of making sushi I will be experimenting with my own Ideas from now on. I will be sure to post what I come up with. In the mean time I will leave you with Isa recipe It is a great place to start if you have never made sushi before.

Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls (makes 4 rolls)

For the Sushi rice:

1 cup sushi rice
2 tbsp rice vinegar (do not use regular white vinegar)
1 tsp sugar

(Jenni's Notes: I actually didn't realize I was out of rice vinegar when I started making this. It's something I always have so I forgot to check when I was making my shopping list. I ended up using Mirin, it is sweet rice seasoning, It worked fine but next time I will be sure to use rice vinegar.)

Spicy tempeh filling:

1/2 (4 oz) package tempeh
2 tbsp vegenaise
1/2-1 tsp hot chile-sesame oil
4 sheets nori seaweed
1 scallion, white part discarded, sliced lengthwise into narrow strips
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and sliced into 1/4 inch-wide strips
1 tbs toasted or black sesame seeds (more if using them to coat inside out rolls)

(Jenni's Notes: I could not find Chile-sesame oil so what I did was mix together Asian chili hot sauce and some sesame oil. I ended up using about 4 times the amount the recipe called for because it was not spicy enough for me, so adjust to taste.)

In a heavy-bottomed, 2 quart pot or saucepan with a cover, combine the rice plus 1 1/4 cups cold water. Turn the heat to high, bring the water to a boil, and stir the rice just once. Lower the heat to low, cover the pot, and steam the rice for 20-22 minutes, until it is tender and the excess liquid has been absorbed. Or, prepare the rice according to the package instructions. Remove from heat.
     Empty the hot rice into a large glass or plastic bowl. sprinkle with the rice vinegar and sugar, folding in the rice gently with a large spoon or rice paddle to mix thoroughly. The rice should be moist and have a very mild vinegar flavor. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool for 10-15 minutes. When the rice is slightly warmer than room temperature (but not completely cold), it's ready to work with.
     While the rice is cooling, prepare the filling by steaming the tempeh. Allow the tempeh to cool for 10 minutes, chop into small cubes, and place in a medium-size bowl. Add the vegenasie and chile-sesame oil and mash until chunky; taste and add more chile-sesame oil if desired.
To assemble:

   Fill a hallow cup with about 1/3 cup of water and a ablespoon of rice vinegar, and keep near your sushi workstation. Follow these steps to the perfect nori roll:

1. Place the nori sheet on the bamboo mat. With wet hands, take a snowball-shaped handful of rice, about a cup's worth, gently pat onto the bottom two-thirds or so of your nori sheet. The layer of rice should be less thank 1/3 inch think.

2. Place a small amount of the fillings across the center of your rice. Lay or spread them horizontally to each side of the nori to create a straight line of filling- the less filling, the easier the sushi will be to roll. Aim for about 1 1/2 tbs of spicy tempeh, three strips of avocado, and some scallion strips. You'll figure it out.

3. Using the mat, gently roll up that sushi starting from the rice-topped end; try to keep our grip relatively tight, for a firm roll.

4. Slice your roll into 1-inch pieces with a shar, serrated knife. That's it!

     Pear and Tempeh Roll: Substitute 1/2 recipe (about 1 1/2 cups) of creamy Asian Pear and Tempeh Salad, for the spicy tempeh filling.

Creamy Asian Pear and Tempeh Salad with Wasabi Dressing

1 8 oz package tempeh, diced
1/2 cup small, sweet fresh or frozen green peas
2 tsp soy sauce
1 scallion, sliced very thinly
1 Asian pear or other firm, crisp pear, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup vegenaise
1 1/2-2 tsp wasabi powder
2 tsp lime juice

In a steamer basket, steam the tempeh for 10 minutes, Add the peas and steam for another 3-4 minutes untill the peas are bright green and tendar. Remove from the steamer, sprinkle with soy sauce, and toss into a large bowl with the scallion. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Crush the cupes of tempeh a little with your hands. and toss in the diced pear.
    In a small bowl , whisk together the vegenaise, wasabi powder, and lime juice. Taste and adjust the spice level with more wasabi if necessary. pour dressing over tempeh mixture, stir to combine everything, and place in an airtight container. Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight, to allow the flavors to blend.

(Jenni's Notes: I was in a hurry when I was at the store and did not read the ingredients of the wasabi powder I picked up. So when I stated making this and opened the container the powder with white which was weird because wasabi is green. So I looked that the ingredients and noticed that there was actually absolutely no wasabi in it at all. I was so upset, because I actually really love wasabi and felt like the container is basically a fraud. What you are actually getting is ground horseradish. But it is not the same there is actually a big difference. It doesn't look, smell, or remotely taste the same. So I was really disappointed, I usually read all the labels but I was in a hurry and by the looks of the container I thought I was getting exactly what it said. So be care if you go to pick out wasabi powder and don't be fooled like I was.)

Inside Out Rolls

     Maybe you've been rolling your own for a while, or you just need to look like a master sushi chef right now! Then inside-out rolled nori rolls will get you the attention you so deserve, and with way less stress than you might expect.
     Simply prepare your nori roll as directed, spreading the rice onto about 2/3 of the nori sheet. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top, gently slide your hand underneath the bamboo mat and rest your other hand on top of the plastic wrap. Then in one quick motion....flip everything upside down. Remove the bamboo mat from underneath and place on the countertop. Place the nori and rice-plastic wrap side down on the mat. Place the fillings as usual on the edge without the rice underneath it. Then, carefully roll everything up, using the bamboo mat to firmly push everything together and being careful to peel away the plastic wrap as you go.
     For best results, roll your spiffy inside-out rolls in fun things like toasted sesame seed, black sesame seeds, toasted nori flakes or Japanese ground up red pepper.

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