sushi: a plant-based version
Recipes, Uncategorized

Sushi: a plant-based version

If you’re a sushi lover and opted for a plant-based/vegan lifestyle, you might struggle a bit for ‘giving up’ on it. However, to most of the foods, you can create plant-based variations which, although are not quite the same, can be delicious and fairly similar. I absolutely love the Maki (sushi rolls) and as the amount of fish they have is small, the plant-based version is surprisingly good. Today’s recipe is all about how to make sushi: a plant-based version, in particular Maki.

Lisa and Prospero manifested in previous articles – read here and other articles – their love on Japanese food, and I admit that I share the same interest.

The flavour plays the main role in this recipe, but there are amazing health benefits behind the curtains. Makis are made with Nori seaweed sheets. As many seaweeds, they are considered a super-food as they are nutrient-rich ingredients.

Not only they are high in iodine (essential for thyroid health), magnesium, zinc, iron, and other minerals, they are also rich in vitamin B-12 and Omega-3 fatty acids, both essential on a vegan diet as they tend to be provided mainly by animal source foods.

Algae health benefits

Algae, in general, are one of the only plant-based sources of EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docosahexaenoic), two types of omega-3 (n3) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) which are essential for the health of the most important organs in our body. Whilst EPA is helpful to our joints, heart, skin and immune system, DHA has an important role in our brain, eyes and central nervous system.

These fatty acids can be derived either from ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) an essential fatty acid Omega-3 or from food such as seaweed and fish oils or ALA is considered an Essential Fatty Acid because our bodies don’t have the enzymes to make them, which makes it essential to have them from food sources such as nuts, seeds and oils. From ALA our body can produce both EPA and DHA, but when the dietary supply of essential fatty acid precursors is limited, the EPA and DHA have to be obtained from dietary sources such as seaweed.

This is the reason behind the recommendation of two portions of fish consumption per week. However, you can obtain those fatty-acids from algae, which avoids us to harm the environment and animals on fishing. A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can also suppress the necessity of dietary source supply of those non-essential Omega-3 fatty acids.

Nevertheless, seaweeds are very tasty and Nori seed isn’t an exception. It brings up the memory of the see and for the Maki lovers, I can guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed.

The recipe

Sushi a plant-based version

The ingredients needed aren’t many. Gather them together and let’s crack on.

Start by preparing the rice: initially soak it for 30 minutes. Then cook it with 35-400 ml of water for about 15 minutes with the lid on. Turn the heat off, add the seasoning, mixing all very well, and let it with the lid on to steam.

While it cools down, cut in stripes the carrots, courgette (and cucumber if you like), avocado and lettuce.

Get a bamboo sushi mat. If you don’t have one, that won’t be a problem! I don’t have it either. You just need a clean and dry kitchen towel or even a placemat like I’ve used!

Place the Nori sheet in one end of your mat and cover 2/3 of it with the sticky rice. Put only enough to cover the surface of the sheet (not too much, not too little). We recommend you to wet your finger in water before spreading the rice, in order to avoid it sticking to your hands. Place some veggies strips at the short end of the sheet if it isn’t square. You can also sprinkle with sesame seeds for a bit more deliciousness. Now comes the fun part!

Holding the matt, carefully roll up and over the filling, so that the end of the Nori sheet involves the veggies completely. You might want to hold them with your fingers while doing so, in order to avoid them moving out of place, in your first attempts. Once you have this first ‘fold’, press the roll with your hands, shaping it and allowing the rice to stick and holding all together – see in the third photo.

Finally, pull the matt, making all roll until the end.

Wet your fingers in water and pass it through the end of the Nori sheet in order to ‘close’ the roll. This way, the roll will stay closed and ready to be cut.

Make sure you have a sharp knife to cut the roll into Maki size pieces. To avoid food sticking to the knife, wet it with water.

Sushi a plant-based version

Serve them with soy sauce and enjoy!

SUSHI: A PLANT-BASED VERSION

Plant-based (vegan)lactose-free, gluten-free

3 servings

Level of difficulty: medium

Preparation time: 40 min – 1 h

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 courgette or cucumber
  • 2 or 3 leaves of lettuce (optional)
  • 250 g rice
  • 30 ml of rice vinegar
  • 18 g of sugar
  • salt
  • 18 g of sugar
  • sesame seeds to taste
  • soy sauce to taste

Directions:

The rice:

  1. Wash rice and soak it for 30 min
  2. Cook it with 350-400ml of water for about 15 minutes with the lid on.
  3. Turn the fire off and add the seasoning: 30 ml of rice vinegar, 18 g of sugar, and 8 g of salt. Mix all well.
  4. Put the lid on and let it steam (absorbing the water) until it cools down.

Preparing the Makis:

  1. Start off by cutting in stripes the carrots, courgette (and cucumber if you like), avocado and lettuce.
  2. Get a bamboo sushi mat, a clean and dry kitchen towel or even a placemat.
  3. Place the Nori sheet in one end of your mat and cover 2/3 of it with the sticky rice. We recommend you to wet your finger in water before spreading the rice, in order to avoid it sticking to your hands.
  4. Place some veggies strips at the short end of the sheet if it isn’t square. You can also sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Holding the mat, carefully roll up and over the filling, so that the end of the Nori sheet involves the veggies completely. You might want to hold them with your fingers while doing so, in order to avoid them moving out of place, in your first attempts.
  6. Then, press the roll with your hands, shaping it and allowing the rice to stick and holding all together.
  7. Pull the matt, making all roll until the end.
  8. Wet your fingers in water and pass it through the end of the Nori sheet in order to ‘close’ the roll.
  9. Make sure you have a sharp knife to cut the roll into Maki size pieces. To avoid food sticking to the knife, wet it with water.
  10. Serve it with soy sauce and enjoy it.
Sushi a plant-based version

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