What? Really? It probably has some weirdo meat substitute, or tastes bad, right?
Wrong! You can make really tasty sushi with no animal products at all, and nothing artificial. Of course, its obvious to any reader of this blog that we eat meat, but it was the birthday of a vegan friend recently and this was my contribution to his potluck. Behold:
I’m not going to give you a sushi tutorial here, but I will point you to some very good instructions here. She gives instructions for about 6 rolls worth of rice, you should scale up or down as needed. That author says to “fan” the rice while mixing in the vinegar, but I always use a blow dryer (set on low and cool), as it speeds up the process. Knowing how to make your own sushi is quite rewarding, as you can make up any filling combination you like. A sushi mat is a very cheap purchase, and will make your life easier. If you are doing a nori-on-outside roll (futomaki) you can put the nori right on the mat. If you are doing a rice-on-outside roll (uramaki), then you will want to place plastic wrap on the mat first to prevent sticking.
- prepared sushi rice
- nori sheets for sushi (square, often labeled “yakinori”)
- wasabi paste
- pickled ginger
- good quality soy sauce (naturally brewed)
Soy-simmered shiitake mushrooms or kanpyo gourd:
- dried shiitake mushrooms or kanpyo gourd
- soy sauce
- mirin or sake
Soak dried produce for a while to soften. Mix with soy sauce, sugar, and mirin to your taste, it can be made less salty and more sweet or vice versa by the proportions you choose. Simmer until liquid mostly reduced and the vegetable is soft.
Vegan Uramaki (top picture):
- sushi essentials (rice, nori, etc)
- 1/2 sweet potato, cut into matchsticks and deep fried
- 4-8 asparagus spears (depending on size), blanched
- 6 soy-simmered shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- sesame seeds
Cover a piece of nori with rice, then sprinkle sesame seeds. Flip over onto mat, then place some filling at one end. Roll up, serve with wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger.
Vegan Futomaki (bottom picture):
- cucumbers in matchsticks
- soy-simmered kanpyo gourd
- chives and/or sprouts
Place nori on mat, cover in rice. Add fillings and roll up. Serve with wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger.