It’s taken me some time to get this recipe out, because I wanted to perfect white rice sushi before tinkering with a traditional dish for nutritional gain. In retrospect, I should have just started here, because it really isn’t that different to white-rice sushi recipes you will find. If you have ever wanted to make sushi – don’t bother with starting at white rice like I did, rather jump in here to create your optimal whole-grain version at home!
BROWN RICE SUSHI
- 2 cups brown rice (medium grain)
- 800mL water
- ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar*
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp fine-grain salt
- 10 pack nori / seaweed sheets
- Tamari / soy sauce
- VEGO: Pressed + marinated tofu
- PESCE: Tuna + a little mayo + chopped parsley, sardines, salmon – sashimi grade or canned
- Avocado – 1 large, thinly sliced
- Cucumber – sliced into sticks
- Capsicum – sliced into sticks
- Carrot – julienned
- Red onion – thinly sliced
- Alfalfa / snow pea sprouts
*do not use just any kind of vinegar you have on hand – if you do, you will get an awful-tasting end product 🙁 Rice wine vinegar is your only option here.
COOKING + SEASONING THE RICE
- The first step in most-sushi recipes is to rinse the rice. I have not found a need to do this. But if you like – go for it. It doesn’t ruin it either. I think this step is critical if using white rice. But as we are using brown rice, you can save your self 1 minute and a bit of water 🙂
- The rice should be cooked on high heat at first, stir every minute or two, until the water boils. Then, lower the heat to minimum and cover the saucepan. Stir very infrequently now until the rice looks to be cooked. Brown rice will take about 30 minutes from start to finish of this process. The water level will look low – that’s okay. If you add extra you’ll end up with gluggy, glue-like rice. Resist the temptation to top it up
- While the rice is cooking, use a small saucepan to make the vinegar syrup. Yes there is sugar in this, and don’t omit it. It won’t kill you in such a small amount, and if you don’t add it, your sushi will a) not hold together and b) taste pretty ordinary. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt, and stir on medium heat until dissolved. Set aside.
- The rice will still be cooking, so you have time to prep your veggies. Ensure you chop them into thin pieces. If they’re too bulky they won’t allow the sushi to roll well.
- Once your rice is cooked (the grains have popped open a little, drain off any excess water, then add your vinegar mix and stir through. At this point you can refrigerate your rice for rolling later (stick the whole saucepan in the fridge, with the lid on, or transfer to a bowl and cover; if you don’t the rice will dry out too much).
ROLLING AND FILLING
- Sushi mats are reusable and cheap as chips – from your local supermarket. Get 2 mats if you have someone else who can help in the rolling process
- Place your mat on the bench and lay down a single nori sheet. Doing a double spoon method, press a few dessert-spoons worth of sushi rice into the mat, so it covers the closest ⅔ of the sheet (see picture). Don’t use too much rice or you’ll have no room for fillings. Use the back of the spoons to press the rice firmly on to the sheet.
- No add a variety of your selected toppings. I start with the tofu/seafood, then layer on avocado, and lastly vegetables (again, see pic for positioning)
- Pick up the sushi mat at the end closest to you, and roll the nori and rice over the fillings, and once the veggies are covered, roll the mat over to mold and compress the roll. Continue until it’s all the way rolled up. This is the tricky part. Persist. Don’t worry if stuff falls out the ends! Repeat until all rice and fillings are used up
- Sushi tastes best when served immediately, and not super-chilled; but it does keep well for lunch the following day. Come day 2, albeit a little wilted, they are still completely safe to eat.