Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vegetarian Sushi with Roasted Peppers and Cucumber

I think that American cuisine (whatever that encompasses) is very boring. There is very little beauty and originality found in a mundane hamburger plopped in a squishy seeded bun. I try to expand my palette and my creative mind by eating more exciting, ethnic foods. Some of my favorites are Japanese, Thai, and Indian food. Last week, I decided to take my interest in eating authentically delicious food to a new level. I was going to make something extraordinary; I was going to make sushi!

During my first attempt, I made three rolls of vegetarian sushi stuffed with white rice, carrots, cucumber, avocado, and homemade gomasio(toasted sesame seeds, sea salt, and nori). Each roll was contained in a sheet of nori, so the contents wouldn't spill everywhere. There were very yummy, but I wasn't totally satisfied. I kind of took the easy way out, so to speak, since I used non-stick parchment paper to roll my sushi (instead of a bamboo sushi mat) and medium-grain white rice (instead of sticky,short-grain sushi rice).

For my second attempt (above picture), I was going to do it right. I made a trip to my local Asian market and picked up a big bag of short-grain brown rice and a bamboo sushi mat. I boiled the rice, let it cool, and prepared some roasted red pepper and cucumber on a cutting board. I cooked an egg on my stove top in little bit of sesame oil with a clove of grated garlic. Everything was set! I laid down a half sheet of nori (shiny side down) onto my fancy $2.00 bamboo mat, spread the sticky rice, and neatly arranged the prepared veggies and eggs over the rice. The roll was carefully rolled into a cylinder with the help of my beautiful bamboo mat and sliced with an extra sharp knife. I made three rolls, and they were delicious!