Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vegetable Sushi (with How-To Videos!)

Before Austin moved to Durham he visited a lot. One of those visits fell around my birthday so, being the great boyfriend that he is, he decided to surprise me. I came home from work to find a beautifully set table, complete with new wine glasses, roses and a tempura and sushi dinner. Where the heck did he learn to make sushi? The University of YouTube, of course. Austin was even nice enough to leave a couple rolls unmade so he pass on his newly acquired skills.

That night he taught me how to make two different types of rolls, which I've tried to teach you in the videos below. The first kind is what I call the standard sushi roll. It's assembled with the nori (seaweed wrapper) on the outside of the rice and the filling. The other type is the roll with rice on the outside. For this roll, the nori is on the inside of the rice, wrapping the filling. When making rolls with rice on the outside, I learned that you can layer some thinly sliced avocado on top (as you can see in the video, my slices weren't that thin, but oh well) for a fancier effect. I'm sure if you consult an actual sushi chef they'll be able to give you the technical terms for these different rolls and the methods used to make them but for now my pet names and descriptions will have to do.

Making sushi at home is not as much of a production as it sounds like, really. With a little bit of practice and not too many ingredients you'll be able to throw together a sushi dinner pretty quickly and for a fraction of the cost of going out. Also, if you're more dexterous than I am (highly likely) you'll be able to produce pretty good looking rolls with which you can impress your family, friends and even yourself.

Vegetable Sushi
Makes about 3 standard rolls and two rice-on-the-outside rolls or 4 standard rolls
  • 1 recipe for Sushi Rice (see below)
  • Nori sheets, one per standard roll and 1/2 per rice-on-the-outside roll
  • Veggies for filling sliced into thin strips. I used the following, and had some leftover veggies:
    • 1 cucumber, peeled
    • 1 sweet potato, baked or steamed after slicing
    • 1 leek
    • 1 avocado
  • Soy sauce, as much as you need for dipping
  • Wasabi, more or less depending on your love for spice
  • Optional: Pickled ginger. I love it, others always leave it on the plate.
For the assembly, please check out these two videos I made. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth... well, lots of words.

Sushi Rice
Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe
Makes about 4 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 cups sushi rice (you can probably find it in most well stocked grocery stores or at your local Asian market)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
1.  Using a colander with small holes, rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Add it and the water to a medium pot with a lid. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 15 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and let the rice rest, with the cover still on, for another 10 minutes. Transfer the rice to a mixing bowl.
2.  Heat the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until the sugar and salt have dissolved a bit. Pour the liquid over the rice, stirring it with a fork to make sure its evenly coated. Let the rice come to room temperature before making your sushi; stirring it every now and then helps it get there a bit quicker.

Pssst! One last thing. If you like what you see here please show some comment love, follow Veggies for Real and/or add it to your reader using the gadgets on the right sidebar. Thanks!


  1. We should call you "Sara Child". I love these videos!!!. Well done Sara.

  2. Is this your first step towards having your own TV cooking show? Maybe the nuns would like a helper!

  3. Papa, thanks. The first one needs some tweaking. There's a weird noise at the beginning of it and it's kind of dark, but I can fix that. Mom, I'm still waiting for Papa send me the nun's pastry book. Remind him to bring it when you guys visit.

  4. Followed a link from an LJ vegan community. Your recipes look exciting, I'm here to stay!

  5. Awesome! I know people other than my close friend and family have been reading (thank you Blogger stats counter/tracker) but you're the first person I haven't actually met to post a comment. So thanks!