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We entertain quite a bit at our house and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to spice up a dinner party. For many months now we’ve been enjoying sushi rolls filled with things we like (not raw fish though, we don’t like raw fish :-). We’ve used lox, eggs, and tofu strips, to name a few. Today, I wanted to create an appetizer that is vegetarian and vegan, naturally gluten free and, of course, good for you. That’s when I came up with this very simple vegetarian sushi roll.
While it may seem intimidating to make your own sushi rolls at home, they really are quite simple to do. You’ll only need a few items that will ensure your vegetarian sushi rolls turn out right:
Sushi Rice: The first thing you need is sushi rice. Don’t use any rice as it won’t be sticky enough for your rolls. Sushi rice has a high starch content, making it perfect for your sushi rolls. I use Sushi rice from Lundberg Farms and it works really well. The grain is the perfect size and the rice turns out perfectly sticky every time. I rinse my rinse until it’s no longer cloudy, and soak it for 1 hour before cooking in my rice cooker. You can buy Sushi rice on Amazon for a great price! Some stores carry Sushi rice, but I find it to be hit or miss. I love using my rice cooker to the make sushi rice too – it’s so much easier to cook rice (you can use your stovetop if you don’t have a rice cooker). If you want to consider getting a rice cooker, I suggest this basic model from Aroma Rice Cooker. I use my rice cooker at least 4-5 times per week – it’s a much-needed (and much-appreciated) appliance in my gluten free kitchen.
Sushi Roll Mat: The next item you’ll want is a bamboo sushi rolling mat. These are very cheap on Amazon and will help you get a tight, even roll. I recommend covering the mat with plastic wrap for easy clean up and to avoid sticky bits of rice from getting stuck in the crevices of the mat.
Nori: Nori means seaweed in Japanese and it’s an essential item to making your sushi roll. One Organic brand of nori comes with 50 sheets for $12 – a great buy over organic prices in grocery stores (and the brand gets great reviews too).
Fresh Vegetables: Of course, I always recommend that you use the freshest of vegetables. Use organic if possible, after all, the centerpiece of the dish is vegetables and you want them to be as fresh and flavorful as possible. Shop your local farmer’s market or natural foods grocery store.
Tamari-to-go (optional): If you’re taking your sushi roll on the road (and not serving it as an appetizer), buy these individually sized tamari packets to go. They are awesome! When we bring sushi rolls with us skiing (instead of sandwiches), these tamari packets are so easy to tote along too.
So without further ado, here is how I made this delicious vegetarian sushi roll appetizer!