Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shrimp Maki

Having tried my hand at temaki (a simple, cone-shaped sushi preparation), it was time to pull out my bamboo mat and roll maki.  I used vegan shrimp for this sushi roll, but you can omit it, or use tofu instead if you prefer.

  • 6 nori sheets
  • 4 and 1/2 cups prepared Sushi Rice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked Sophie's Kitchen shrimp
  • 12 (7-inch long) julienne-cut strips carrot
  • 12 (1/4-inch thick) slices peeled avocado
  • 6 (7-inch long) green onion tops
  • 1 cucumber
1. First, be sure all your vegetables are prepped and lined up on your work surface.  Cut the cooked shrimp into smaller pieces. Peel the cucumber, halve lengthwise, seed, and cut into 12 (7-inch long) julienne-cut strips.

2. Cut the top quarter off of each nori sheet along the short end, and discard.

Note: nori sheets come in a standard 9x7-inch format, so you're cutting along the 7-inch side. 

3. Cover a sushi mat with plastic wrap, and place on a work surface.  Place the nori, shiny side down, on the sushi mat (the long end should be facing toward you).

4. Pat 3/4 cup rice over the nori with moist hands, leaving a 1-inch border at the end of the nori furthest from you. 

5. Arrange 1/4 cup shrimp pieces (about 5 pieces), 2 carrot strips, 2 avocado slices, 1 green onion top, and 2 cucumber strips along the top third of the rice-covered nori.

6. Lift the edge of the nori closest to you and fold over the filling (the sticky rice will help it adhere).  Lift the sushi mat away from you, and roll toward the top edge, pressing firmly on the sushi roll as you go.  Continue rolling until you reach the top edge; press the mat against the sushi roll to seal, and let stand for 5 minutes.  Carefully remove the sushi mat.

Note: this is the best way in which I can describe the motion - once the sushi mat is in front of you, it's really quite intuitive, and remarkable the way the nori folds around all the filling and is glued in place by the sticky rice.

7. Repeat the procedure 5 times, with the remaining ingredients.  Cut each roll into 8 pieces using a sharp knife; I found it easiest to cut from the center and move outward.

Serve this with the works of course!  Dissolve wasabi paste in soy sauce, and dip the sushi before each bite, then cleanse your palate with a delightful slice of pickled ginger (try the Ginger People). 

I also recommend miso soup or steamed edamame on the side.  I'm not a huge fan of sake, but certainly pour a glass if you are; Japanese beer or a cup of green tea would also be great.  And of course you can't go wrong with a bowl of green tea Soy Delicious ice cream to cap off the night.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (8 pieces), Calories 367 

Tasting Notes:
Before I talk about taste, a little victory dance is in order - I rolled sushi!  And it wasn't nearly as difficult as I imagined.  The flavors in here are strong and complex, from the fermented rice to the salty nori to the creamy avocado and crisp carrot.  Definitely pop these into your mouth in one bite for the full effect. The fishiness of vegan shrimp still tastes odd to me, so I would have enjoyed it better with tofu.


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