Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sushi 'Roll-less' Salad

I admit, I heart sushi; I heart it with all my heart strings! This past weekend I couldn't get out of the house so I decided to make a version of sushi that is much easier and user friendly. Side note: I can actually roll sushi, and I'm pretty darn good at it if I can toot my own horn for a minute. Once, many years ago, I rolled sushi for a party of almost 500 people!

Avoiding digression and back to my salad... I just thought it would be fun to take another route on the sushi roll so I made a salad. This particular version does not have any fish in it but you could very easily add your favorite!

2 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups brown rice
4 Tablespoons sushi rice vinegar (or do rice wine vinegar with about 1 Tablespoon sugar, mixed together)
2 Tablespoons tamari
1 english cucumber, sliced lengthwise in thin strips then cut on the diagonal in about 1 inch pieces
1 cup matchstick carrots
4 scallions, chopped
1 sheet nori, toasted and crumbled
About 3-4 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375.

In a pot, boil the water, Earth Balance and Salt. In a covered baking dish (or dish you can cover with tin foil) put the dry rice. When water mixture is boiling, turn off stove and pour water over rice. Stir quickly and immediately cover with lid or tin foil. Put in oven and bake for 1 hour.

Note: This is Alton Brown's way of cooking brown rice and it is truly genius! I love it! This is the only way I cook any kind of rice... thank you Alton, and p.s. I love your show!

In a small bowl, combine sushi rice vinegar (or rice wine vinegar and sugar) and tamari and mix to combine. Set aside.

While rice is cooking, prepare your cucumber, carrots and scallions. Note: I bought pre 'matchsticked' carrots. You can also thinly slice your own.

On a flat pan, griddle or skillet, gently toast the nori sheet on low. I let it toast on one side for about a minute on low heat, then flipped it and did the same on the other side.

When rice is done, remove from oven, take lid or foil off and fluff with a fork. Transfer into a bowl (or use the same pan) and add the carrots and scallions. Stir together then add vinegar/tamari mix; stir again. To this mix, add the cucumber and stir again.

Crumble nori on top and lightly mix it. Note: you don't want it completely combined... the nori will give it some color contrast.

If serving family style, transfer to serving bowl and top with sesame seeds. If serving individually, transfer into individual bowls and top with sesame seeds.

This dish would be great as a side or main dish. It is filling from the chewy brown rice and healthy with all the veggies and good carbs. It would also be great with some kind of fish incorporated, if you so choose. It's a great choice for a ladie's lunch or summertime picnic... any way you have it, it's yum!


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