sushi

Try it once and you’ll kick your own ass for not having done it sooner. Sushi has to be the single most unecessarily intimidating food. Especially when there’s no fish to deal with. Aside from the few givens (rice and nori), you can put whatever your gut desires in there. Oh, and it’s legally, by-the-dictionary, sushi (cold, vinegared rice), so the next time someone calls shenanigans on your sushi, pull out your Webster’s.

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Here are some ideas for fillings, but I’ve also used red onion, asparagus, and spinach, and Tom does a naught-but-sun-dried-tomato roll. Try seitan or tempeh too.
·tofu, 1/4-inch strips, baked at 350 degrees for 10 minutes then chilled
·avocado
·carrot, cut into the thinnest strips you can manage
·scallion
·cucumber (seedless…or just don’t use the center of a seedy one)
·red bell pepper

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Make the rice according to the package. This is a short-grain sushi rice, with a 1:1 rice-to-water ratio. As it’s cooling, mix in about 1T rice vinegar per cup of cooked rice. You can also add a little bit of sugar, agave, salt, or Bragg’s now, if you like. Wait until the rice has cooled to room temp before you start rolling.
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This nori is scored with cheat marks for cutting into bite-size pieces…but I almost never end up cutting on the lines. The mats are available just about anywhere, and fer cheap too.

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With wet fingers (keep a bowl of water next to your prep area) spread the rice out on the nori—not too thick—just enough to call it a layer. If it is thick, so what, it’s still good. You’ll want to go about 2/3 up on the nori, getting it all the way out to the sides. If the rice is sticking to your fingers, wet them. Then place a row of filling about an inch up. Using the mat, roll the nori/rice up over the filling and keep rolling until you get nori-on-nori action.

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With your finger, wet the edge of the nori so it will seal up the roll. Still using the mat, give the roll a little squeeze.

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If your sushi is warm or soft, you might want to throw the rolls in the fridge for a bit before cutting. With a good, sharp knife, cut the roll into pieces about an inch wide (or high, once they’ve flipped over). Use a sawing action if you have to so you don’t squeeze your filling out the side.

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Eat plain, sprinkle with sesame seeds (the black ones are way classier), or serve with Bragg’s or soy sauce and wasabi (powder in little can, mixed with water).

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