Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vegetarian Sushi-sans-Nori

How's that for a confusing name?  It's late, and I can do no better.  Basically, I used Heidi's method for making sticky rice balls, but made them with plain sushi rice, filled them with delicious things, and ate them like sushi.  Super yummy dinner, will be super yummy lunch tomorrow!

And before I lay out the basic method here, a complete digression:  Vegetarians, if you are ever in Austin, TX: in the name of all that is green and leafy go here and let them serve you veggie sushi of their choice.  One of the best meals I've ever had.  Mouth unicorns!

So anyway, rice balls / noriless veggiesushis / excuse to play with your food:

1.  Make 2 cups sushi rice in rice cooker (this will be enough for 2 for dinner with maybe 1 lunch portion left over). 

2. Dice up some combination of the following, or, you know, other things:  Eggplant, red pepper, asparagus, tofu,  grape tomatoes, portobellos, avocado, mango, cucumber, chives.  Other fruits could also be delicious.
(I diced up some of all of these and had way, way, way too much filler for my rice, so unless you're going to make a triple batch for a party, be decisive.  I highly recommend the tomatoes and mango and avo along w/1 or 2 meatier things, though.)  You want proper 1/2 inch dice, no bigger or assembly will be a pain. 

3.  Toss the above, except avo/mango/cuke, in a mixture of sesame oil (or sesame chili oil if you have it), chopped garlic from a jar, lemon juice, soy sauce, sugar, or whatever else floats your vaguely Asian flavor boat.

4.  Spread your marinated cubes evenly over a broiler pan. Turn on your broiler, and place your broiler pan such that one end is under the flame, which if your oven is like mine will reach about 1/4 of the pan at a time.  Broil that segment of the pan for 5 minutes, then scoot down to the next 1/4 and repeat (this is properly done w/oven door open as I only recently learned...).

5.  When rice is done, mix in rice vinegar to taste (about 2 TB) and let it cool some.  Then, make an assembly line with filling ingredients (broiled veggies and avo, mango et al) and the rice, and maybe some sesame seeds to roll the riceballs in if you like. 

6.  Here is the key thing:  Do Not endeavor to make rice balls in your hands, OK? Get a piece of plastic wrap, put it in your palm, and plop a tablespoon or two of rice on there.  Place a few yummy bits of things (tomato + asparagus + mango.... avo + eggplant + cuke... you get the picture) on top of the rice, then gather the saran wrap around it into a little packet, squeeze into a ball, unwrap, plop on plate, repeat.  (For pictures, see link to Heidi's recipe above.)

7.  Serve like sushi with soy sauce/wasabi/ginger.  Gobble gobble.

PS: I also made this, the cabbage equivalent of a latke, but it was kind of meh. Would be better served with plain yogurt and a side of fresh fruit for brunch, or something. 

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