Happy Good Friday for all of you who celebrate Easter! Today I spent my Good Friday in my room, studying my one and only final exam coming up on Monday. I also went for a lovely walk, the weather was gorgeous, blue sky and sunny…but a bit on the cool side.
We are all moving out of our student house in a few days, so I have been trying to eat up everything I have in the freezer and pantry, so that I don’t put anything to waste. My meals have been ho-hum, you don’t know how excited I am to move back home to a nice big kitchen and home cooked meals! Yesterday’s dinner consisted of frozen peas and corn…meat balls and fried zucchini…pretty random right?
Tonight I wanted to make something that I would actually feel satisfied with, so I whipped up some homemade sushi. Have you ever tried making sushi before? Before I attempted at making sushi, I thought it would be a disaster…I had my first homemade sushi experience about a month ago at my friends house. We made quinoa veggie sushi and wow…was it ever amazing and extremely easy, far from becoming a disaster. I thought at first that the ingredients were a little random to have in it, as it included sweet potato, beets, apples and shredded carrots, but honestly, the ingredients took on the flavour and consistency of “normal” sushi ingredients, my taste buds were deceived.
The first time I made sushi, there were three of us making them…we made a TON! As you can see, sushi can be huge or small
Tonight I made two types of sushi, avocado/mango/cucumber and avocado/mango/smoked salmon cream cheese. This is probably one of the easiest meals to make, and I’m not exaggerating! You don’t even need sushi tools (ie the mat)
Quick Quinoa Sushi
– nori sheets (seaweed)
– vegetable ingredients (ie, avocado, cucumber, mango, carrots, etc)
– you could also use fish or teriyaki chicken (I did not though)
– rice vinegar
– white sugar
1. First off, you must cook your quinoa and allow to cool.
(1 cup will make 4 rolls…2 cups will make 6, etc)
2. If you choose to make 2 cups of quinoa, combine 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup of white sugar and 1 tsp of salt in a pot over the stove. Heat until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Poor the vinegar/sugar mixture overtop of the quinoa, mix, and set aside to cool.
4. Next, stir about 1/3 cup of tahini (sesame seed paste) into the quinoa, this is what binds the quinoa together. (I am sure you could use other nut butters as well, experiment!)
5. While your quinoa cools, slice up your ingredients into thin slices. (should be about 1 inch thick, it can be up to 4 inches long). Ingredients could include avocado, mango, cucumber, red pepper, sweet potato (cooked), what ever you wish to have in your sushi!
Mango, cucumber and avocado (pardon the avocado, it was way too ripe and a bit brown, I also haven’t finished slicing the avocado into thinner strips in this picture)
6. Once your quinoa has cooled down, and you have all of your inside ingredients prepared, you are ready to start assembling the sushi
7. There are 2 sides to the nori sheets, 1 side is very shiny, and the other side is dull with grooves. Place the shiny side face down, you want to work with the dull side.
Can you see the lines/grooves on the sheet? There are about 5.
8. As you can see, there are grooves that run width wise, scoop about 3/4 of a cup of quinoa onto the sheet of nori and spread using a spatula over the sheet, leaving 2 grooves plain on the top.
9. Once the quinoa has been evenly spread, place your ingredients in the middle of the sheet.
10. Now it is time to roll! This may be the trickiest part. You want to try to roll it as tight as you can, rolling until you get to the part of the nori where you didn’t put the quinoa on.
11. Dip your fingers in a bit of water and paint some water onto the bare nori, once it is slightly damp you can finish rolling. The water allows the nori to stick together.
12. Now you have a log. Have a tall glass of water handy so you can dip your knife into it before cutting, the water on the knife will make for a smoother cut as the water helps disintegrate the nori a bit.
I find using two different knives works best. First I use a serrated knife to help cut into the nori, and then I use a chef’s knife to cut the bottom of the nori. Cut the log into 6-7 pieces, depending on how big you want your sushi to be.
13. And you’re done! Serve with some soy sauce (gluten free tamari) and a little bit of wasabi!
(Left – mango/avocado/cucumber. Right – mango/avocado/smoked salmon cream cheese
I wasn’t sure how the smoked salmon cream cheese would taste in the sushi, but wow, was it delicious! I usually have salmon cream cheese sushi when I’m out for sushi, so I thought this would take on that taste. I was also adventurous with the pairings.