I am a fairly new lover of sushi. I always thought it was interesting, but until very recently, I’d only tried it once. Though I liked it, it was expensive and not something I thought about much. Then my daughter, Sierra reintroduced me to it via a little takeout sushi joint near her campus. It was so delicious, and I began wishing I could have it all the time!
This began a small obsession with learning how to make my own so I could have it any time I wanted. I watched videos and read tutorials, then assembled my ingredients. Now I want to share with you how to make vegan sushi rolls – sheets of roasted seaweed filled with jasmine rice and veggies, rolled and sliced and dunked in a sweet and spicy peanut sauce.
But first, know that you can feel good about this dish, because nori, which is the seaweed that these rolls are wrapped in, is a very nutritious food while being low in calories, fat, and carbs and high in protein and fiber! One sheet, which makes one whole sushi roll is only 5 calories! Nori is a good source of vitamin C (which, as an antioxidant, is anti-aging and repairing), potassium, vitamin A, and magnesium, with benefits of lowering blood pressure, maintaining skin health and eyesight! Our bodies also need iodine, which is essential for a healthy metabolism. Seaweed is an excellent source of iodine, with one sheet (one sushi roll) supplying 70 percent of our daily requirements! And all of that in only 5 delicious calories!
I bought my sushi nori on Amazon, and it came with a free sushi roller, which is a bamboo mat used to make your rolls nice and tight. If you don’t have one though, no worries. You can use a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
First, you will lay out all of the veggies you’d like in your rolls. I like avocado, corn, carrots, green peppers, onions, cilantro, and shredded raw beets that I soak for a few minutes in rice vinegar to quick pickle. You can choose any veggies you like! Next, you’ll lay out your nori sheet on your sushi mat or whatever you will be using to roll it up with, then spread it with rice (I like jasmine rice best — nice and sticky!) leaving about an inch bare at the top. I’ve used hot, just-cooked rice and I’ve also used cold rice, and both work very well. I have found that when the rice is hot or warm though, everything tends to stick together a little better.
Begin layering your veggies on the bottom edge of the roll.
Once your veggies are in place, use the mat or plastic wrap or even a kitchen towel to begin rolling the whole thing up, packing it nice and tight as you go. Below is what the finished roll should look like. There are plenty of video tutorials out there, if you need the visual. You may need to moisten the bare edge of the nori sheet with water.
Slice your sushi roll into 8 pieces, beginning by cutting it in half, then cutting those halves in half, and so on, so it stays nice and even. Place your cut pieces onto a plate, and you’re all ready for dipping!. I’ve discovered lots of delicious Asian sauces like General Tso, Sweet Chili sauce, Thai basil, etc. The recipe for my spicy peanut sauce is below.
sweet and spicy peanut sauce
(makes about 1 1/4 c. of sauce)
- ½ c. teriyaki sauce
- 1 ½ T. chili garlic sauce
- 3 T. peanut butter
- ¼ c. orange juice
- ¼ c. ponzu soy sauce
Mix everything in a small bowl until smooth. The chili garlic sauce is an Asian hot sauce, and the ponzu sauce is a citrus-based soy sauce, both found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. I have also made this using all ponzu sauce or all orange juice to thin it, (½ c. total) and it is equally as good.
The beets give it such a pretty color, don’t they?? They taste just a bit sweet, but other than that, you really can’t taste them, maybe because they are slightly pickled. They are full of nutrition and goodness, so it’s a great idea to sneak them in when you can, especially if you don’t like them fixed other ways! 🙂 I don’t always put beets in my sushi though, and I’ve included a picture of how it looks without them. YUM!!
Let me know in the comments below or send me an email if you have any other veggies you like in sushi, as well as a sauce you really like! I’m always looking for new things to try! Have a great week!!
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