We made veggie sushi this past weekend, using a patchwork of recipes from Moskowitz and Romero’s Veganomicon and the Southern Sushi Chef (aka Marisa Bagget).
The best thing about the Southern Sushi Chef’s website is that it includes tutorials on how to prepare sushi — they’re great, because a written explanation on sushi rolling will only take you so far. As for me, I got as far has standing before a sushi mat that I had laid carefully out on the table in front of me. Then I abruptly started waving a piece of nori around while saying, “okay, how do I do this again?”
Having a sushi chef, on the other hand, visually walk you through the process step-by-step certainly helped to clarify things (it was at this point in the process that I paused to watch the tutorials — however, I recommend watching them far enough in advance to thwart any unnecessary panic).
Making sushi is about as much fun as you can have while preparing food — particularly if you pair the activity with a bottle of wine, which of course we did. And the outcome was extraordinarily delicious — quite as good as anything we might have gotten that night at a local sushi bar. If I can voice one complaint about the enterprise, it would be that the rice turned out a little too moist, thus making the rolls themselves a bit on the mushy side. (To combat this problem in the future, I’m thinking of trying out this promising sushi rice recipe).
After we had prepared a sushi stockpile that would have no doubt amounted to well over $100 worth of delectables had we gotten them at a restaurant, we still had a ton of ingredients left over. Hence, the creation of the next-day sushi bowls. They’re a lot less laborious to prepare and taste just as good.
For these bowls, I simply began with a generous scoop of prepared sushi rice in a bowl (which had been cooked according to package directions).
Over 1/3 of the rice, I heaped a scoop of leftover yamroom filling.
Over another 1/3, I heaped a scoop of the spicy tempeh filling.
Over the final 1/3, I layered fresh red pepper, carrot, scallions, cucumber and avacado — all sliced into thin sticks. To this mixture, I also added some blanched asparagus.
Finally — because I love the taste — I dusted the whole arrangement generously with sesame seeds. I served the bowls with a side of tamari for dipping.
I adapted both of the sushi filling recipes from Veganomicon, but later discovered versions over at the Post Punk Kitchen.
For the yamroom filling (as adapted from this recipe):
Over low-medium heat, simmer 1 -2 handfuls of shitake mushrooms in 1/4 cup tamari sauce (or enough to cover the bottom of the sauce pot) combined with a tablespoon of mirin. Remove from heat after 10-15 minutes.
Clean and peel one large sweet potato (or small yam). Cut into cubes and boil for 10 minutes or until soft. After draining, mash with a fork.
Combine the two ingredients by layering the mushrooms (drained of sauce) on top of the mashed sweet potato.
For the spicy tempeh filling, (as adapted from this recipe):
Steam one 8-oz package of tempeh, cubed, for 10 minutes.
To the steamed tempeh, stir in:
2 teaspoons of hot chili oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (I prefer Vegenaise).
1 teaspoon of sriracha
When this filling is added to a sushi bowl, drizzle with a little extra sriracha sauce for an additional spicy kick.