I love raw fish, but because fish have faces, along with mothers and fathers, I’ve decided to forgo traditional sushi. While all of my favorite sushi restaurants offer veggie-only maki sushi, I seldom ordered it.
Now I can pick up two rolls of vegetarian brown rice maki sushi at my local grocery (made fresh hourly), but I wanted to learn to make my own. My first try was an utter failure.
Problem One: I used a whole sheet of nori. Not even my dogs could chew through the layers of seaweed!
Problem Two: My brown rice, although flavored correctly, was cold and hard.
Problem Three: My rolling mat wasn’t covered and my technique didn’t take into account that you need to tuck the leading edge of the roll.
Now I’ve corrected all these problems, and even made my maki with the rice on the outside of the roll, something I always thought was beyond hard.
First, I used a half sheet of nori. The ends of the nori meet precisely and create a nice seam with no overlapping seaweed.
Second, I used Chinese black rice at room temperature. I don’t know how this rice is supposed to be cooked, nor how it is supposed to taste, because I made mine in a rice cooker. The rice turns a fabulous shade of deep, dark purple when cooked, has the perfect amount of stickiness needed to make sushi, and actually needs no sugar because it’s really sweet! Drizzling a little brown rice vinegar and folding the rice with a paddle is sufficient.
Third, I covered my bamboo rolling mat with a sheet of cellophane wrap and, after watching a few YouTube videos, succeeded in producing this beautiful maki of cucumber, red bell pepper, avocado and asparagus:
Not perfect, but the taste was fabulous! This is definitely a good way for me to get a few green veggies into my system, plus it looks pretty (my second most important factor after taste).