We eat a lot of sushi… probably similar to the rate normal americans consume pizza. I don’t want to make this blog about weight loss, but sushi is my skinny secret. I don’t crave breads like I used to, I crave nori.
Sushi at home might seem intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really not hard. I’m no Jiro or anything… it takes a bit of a steady hand and some focus… (which gets harder with the more sake you consume)… but honestly if it comes out a little sloppy looking it’ll still taste good. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Inspired by nori rolls I’ve had at various raw food restaurants, I set out to create a flavorful sunflower paste in lieu of rice. Among other things, I topped it with raw shaved beets for some vibrant color. If you’ve been following, you’ll know that my husband Jack hates beets. I lied and told him that this was pickled red cabbage. He didn’t fall for it, but he also didn’t hate them in here. (another score for me).
(note: if you’re rolling sushi for the first time, make extra so you have some to mess up)
makes 4 (small) rolls
sunflower-miso paste: (can be made ahead)
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 6 hours
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup (or honey or agave)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (toasted oil might technically not be a raw food, sub for non-toasted if you are a raw-only person, otherwise I recommend the toasted version for a nicer flavor)
2 nori sheets, cut in half (widthwise)
2 large collard leaves, cut in half lengthwise, stem removed (*see note below)
8 long cucumber slices, about the size of a chopstick if you can cut it that small
1/2 beet grated, grated
1/2 avocado, sliced lengthwise
micro sprouts, a few pinches for each roll
for garnish or on the side:
sesame seeds, a few pinches for garnish
soy sauce or tamari, for dipping
pickled ginger, on the side
Make the sunflower-miso paste by placing all ingredients in a small food processer. Grind the ingredients together until you get a paste consistency.
Place nori, shiny side down on a bamboo mat, close to the front edge of it (near you).
Place collard leaf on top of the nori, be sure that the collard doesn’t extend beyond the nori in the back. (if it sticks out the sides it’s ok). The nori will need to stick to itself after you roll up the roll, otherwise it’ll fall apart.
spread a little less than 1/4 of the paste in the front 1/3 of the nori/collard piece (my photo above doesn’t show it well, but there is empty space behind the pile of filling).
Place the other ingredients (don’t fill it too much) on top of the paste. Take a bit of water and using your finger, dab a strip of water on the back edge of the nori (it’ll help it stick together when it’s rolled). Roll it up, using the bamboo mat to help. Place the roll cut side down.
With a very sharp knife, cut the roll into pieces. Wipe off knife with a damp cloth in between each cut.
*note, If you’re a beginner, start without the collard leaf. The moisture of the paste touching the nori (like rice in traditional sushi), will hold it together more easily. Getting the edge of the nori to stick with the collard leaf in there is a little tricky.