I enjoy making sushi–and my family enjoys eating it. But sometimes I want the taste of sushi without the time and effort it takes to roll it. One way I get around the task of making sushi rolls is to have “Roll Your Own” nights: I’ll prepare the rice and fillings and cut the sheets of nori into quarters, and we’ll each make our own little cones of sushi right at the table. Kids love making their own sushi, so I really recommend this activity to parents whose kids aren’t sure about sushi yet; it will probably turn them into sushi lovers.
When I’m really running short of time, or when I’m preparing other dishes such as miso soup, carrot stick bundles, or portabella rolls, I often skip the rolling altogether and make Sushi Salad. I combine seasoned sushi rice with whatever vegetables I have on-hand. If I’m really lucky, I’ll have a bunch of asparagus and an avocado, but this week those items were unavailable so I had to make do with what was in my refrigerator: carrots, red bell pepper, edamame, cucumber, and some of the mushrooms left over from making portabella rolls. Though it was lacking asparagus and avocado, this version of sushi salad came out so well that E. was a little disappointed that it wasn’t in her Totoro bento box on Monday because her father had already grabbed the leftovers for his lunch.
Sushi Rice Salad
3 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 cup boiled edamame, shelled
10 baby carrots, sliced thick
3/4 cup cucumber cubes
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup chopped portabella or shiitake mushrooms (prepared as for Portabella Rolls)
1 tbsp. slivered almonds
1 tsp. black sesame seeds
slivers of nori for garnish
wasabi mayonnaise (vegan mayo mixed with prepared wasabi to taste)
Mix all ingredients except nori together and top with pieces of nori. Serve at room temperature with a dab of wasabi mayonnaise, if desired.