Nori Maki Yields 4 rolls
A vegetarian sushi ideal for travel, picnics and quick meals, this roll is a complete meal on its own.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
1 cup organic short-grain brown rice
1 cup organic sweet brown rice
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon mirin
18-ounce package soy tempeh
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup tamari or shoyu
1/4 up maple or rice syrup
1/4 cup water
4 sheets toasted nori
6 teaspoons umeboshi paste
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
4 collard green leaves, stemmed and steamed
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch julienne strips
1 medium cucumber, seeded, peeled and cut into 18-inch julienne strips
1 large carrot peeled, blanched and cut into 18-inch julienne strips
2 scallions, cut into 18-inch strips vertically
1/4 package pickled ginger
Nori Dipping Sauce
1. Rinse rice under water, drain and cook according to directions on package. Remove lid from pot and run a rice paddle around the edge to allow air to escape. After the steam settles, transfer the rice to a bowl and let cool. Douse rice with brown rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon mirin; mix gently with two forks or your hands. Be careful not to overmix or rice will become too mushy to handle.
2. Cut the tempeh in half and slice each half horizontally through the middle. Combine ginger, garlic, tamari, mirin, maple or rice syrup and water. Pour mixture over tempeh; let sit at least 30 minutes in a shallow dish. Preheat oven to 375°F. Braise tempeh; turn once until both sides brown and marinade cooks off, about 20 minutes. Cool and cut into 1/4-inch-thick pieces.
3. Lay your sushi mat on a flat, dry surface with the bamboo slats running horizontally. On the mat, place 1 nori sheet with the shiniest side down and the longest edge coming right to the bottom edge of the sushi mat. Rinse your hands with water to prevent the rice from sticking to your fingers and spread a 1/4-inch thick layer of rice evenly over 2/3 of the nori sheet, leaving 1/3 inch at the top and 1/4 inch at the bottom uncovered.
4. Spread 1 1/4 teaspoons of umeboshi paste over the rice and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Lay 1 collard green leaf across the rice. One inch up from the bottom of the nori, horizontally arrange avocado, cucumber, carrot, scallion and pickled ginger. Use 2 to 3 pieces of each vegetable so that they stretch from edge to edge.
5. Starting from the edge closest to you, roll the sushi mat away from you, around the vegetables. Use your fingers to wrap the nori tightly around the vegetables. When the leading edge of the mat completes the first roll and touches the rice, stop, and pull the leading edge of the mat up. Use your fingers to keep the nori roll tight.
6. Continue rolling until you reach the uncovered edge of the nori. Moisten this end with water and complete rolling to seal the nori together. Wrap the bamboo mat tightly around the nori roll and gently squeeze the roll with your hands several times to ensure a tight roll. If either end has any vegetables or rice sticking out, gently tuck these into the roll.
7. After the first roll is done, set it aside and repeat steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 with remaining nori sheets. To prevent the sushi from drying out, store in an airtight container and cut just before serving.
8. When ready to serve, wet the blade of a well-sharpened knife and slice each roll in half, then slice each half again by cutting down the middle. You may cut straight across or on the diagonal to make eight 1/2-inch slices. Serve with Nori Dipping Sauce and wasabi paste.