Vegetable sushi

  • 675g sushi rice
  • 750ml water
  • 50ml mirin, plus additional for moistening nori
  • 5 sheets nori (1 package)
  • 4 tsp wasabi powder, mixed with 2 tsp water
  • 1 small red onion, diced small
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow pepper, julienned
  • 1 spring onion, green part only, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and julienned
  • 1 (275g) jar pickled ginger
  • For the sushi dipping sauce
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi powder
  • 1/4 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp minced pickled ginger
  • 1 tsp minced spring onion, green part only
  • 60ml white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp good soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • Special equipment: bamboo sushi roller

Serves: 40 appetizers

1) Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water is fairly clear, about 5 minutes. Shake the water out and allow the rice to dry in the strainer for 15 minutes.

2) Put the rice in a pot with exactly 750ml of water and cook covered over high heat until it starts to foam, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

3) Turn off the heat and sprinkle with 50ml mirin. Replace the lid and allow the rice to steam for 15 minutes. Place in a bowl and cool to room temperature.

To prepare the sushi:
1) Place a bamboo sushi roller flat on a table with the bamboo reeds horizontal to you. Sprinkle lightly with water. Place 1 nori sheet on top, smooth side down, and moisten lightly with mirin.

2) With damp hands, press 300g rice flat on top of the nori, leaving 4cm edges on the top and bottom, but pressing all the way to the sides. Make sure the rice is pressed even and smooth.

3) Spread 1/4 tsp of wasabi paste in a horizontal stripe near the lower edge of the rice. Over the wasabi, lightly sprinkle the red onions in a horizontal stripe. Place strips of carrots in a horizontal stripe, on top of the wasabi and onions.

4) Follow by piling the red and yellow peppers, spring onions, and cucumbers on top, making a tight, straight bundle of vegetables. Place 1 layer of pickled ginger slices on top.

5) To roll the sushi, pick up the near edge of the bamboo roller and hold it with the nori, then pull them up and over the vegetable bundle until the nori reaches the rice on the other side.

6) Press the roller to make a round bundle, then roll the bundle to the far edge of the nori and press again to make a round bundle (the nori should totally enclose the rice and vegetables in a round tube, but the ends will have rice and vegetables sticking out).

7) Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Keep the rolls under a damp towel and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, slice off the ends with a very sharp knife and slice each roll into 8 equal pieces.

8) For the sushi dipping sauce, combine the wasabi powder and water to make a paste. Mix in the red pepper flakes, ginger, spring onions, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve the sushi at room temperature with the dipping sauce.

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