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(Plant-Based) Sushi at Home

By Nancy Eisman
Image of (Plant-Based) Sushi
Millions of people love sushi, filling loud, busy bars and restaurants all over the world. Most of these happy customers don’t even consider making the little embellished rice bundles at home, relying on the masters for speed and fishy freshness.

We don’t eat fish at PB-411, but still like to enjoy the cold seasoned rice with add-ins and ons. Most establishments have overlooked the plant-based possibilities sushi offers, so pulling out the sushi mat and loads of fresh ingredients full of colors, textures, and a world of flavors is definitely the way to go for me.

Now I love California Roll as much as anyone, but come on, think outside the roll, because there are endless possibilities for a gorgeous and delicious sushi banquet of your very own design. Here are just a few suggestions:

1. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the sushi mat before adding the nori, etc. This makes rolling easier and keeps ingredients from falling thru the cracks.
Image of Sushi mat
2. Use quinoa instead of rice – red gives your morsel a nice hue.
3. Use a thin slice of roasted pepper tied with a strip of scallion for a faux fish look.
4. Think of your sushi mat covered in rice/quinoa as a blank canvas for any ingredient and add-ons you like.
5. Add a collard green or chard leaf (ribs removed) over the grain layer before embellishing for extra flavor and nutrients.
6. Use beet juice to color white rice, and then combine with bright green and orange veggies for big pops of color.
Image of preparing sushi
7. Avocado and Mini Cucumbers are the best friends of plant-based sushi home chefs.
8. Garnish inside-out rolls with criss-crossed chives, or fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.
Image of sushi roll
9. Form a nori sheet into a cone, seal with water, then fill with whatever suits your style.
10. Use flavored, roasted seaweed snack squares to build sushi stacks.
11. Try some of these great ingredients in your concoctions: micro greens, steamed beets, roasted Brussels sprouts, shredded red cabbage, edamame hummus, watermelon radishes, finger limes, sautéed wild lobster mushrooms, Hawaiian-style tofu, nira grass, fresh mango, pineapple and dragon fruit.
12. Include zesty sauces to enhance and garnish your sushi. Here are recipes for 3.

Avosabi Sauce:

1 avocado, mashed
⅛ teaspoon wasabi powder
½ teaspoon rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt

Whisk ingredients together until smooth and squeezable, adding water if necessary to thin the sauce.

Sweet & Spicy Chili Sauce:

¾ cup plant-based mayo
1 teaspoon chili paste
½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Whisk ingredients together until smooth and squeezable, adding water to thin the sauce if necessary.

Soy Good Sauce:

½ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoon scallions, chopped

Whisk ingredients together.

Sushi Quinoa:

1 package quinoa, seasoning packet removed
5 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.

Combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and heat until dissolved. Cool to room temp.

Pour seasoning liquid over hot quinoa and combine using a wooden spoon. Adjust seasoning if desired.

Pickled Ginger:

3” piece of ginger, peeled
Seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon beet juice

Use a vegetable peeler to thinly slice the ginger. Place in a bowl and cover with the seasoned rice vinegar. Add the beet juice. Set aside at room temp for at least 1 hour before using.
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