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 just 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 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 the blog, 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. Score one more for me.
- 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, honey, or agave
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 nori sheets, cut in half widthwise
- 2 large collard leaves, cut in half lengthwise, stem removed*
- 8 long cucumber slices, about the size of a chopstick if you can cut it that small
- ½ beet, grated
- ½ avocado, sliced lengthwise
- Microgreens, a few pinches for each roll
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Soy sauce or tamari, for serving
- Pickled ginger, for serving
- Make the sunflower-miso paste: Place the sunflower seeds, tahini, lemon juice, miso, ginger, garlic, vinegar, brown rice syrup, and sesame oil in a small food processor. Pulse the ingredients together until you get a paste consistency.
- Roll the sushi: Place a ½ sheet of the nori shiny side down on a bamboo mat along the edge nearest you.
- Place a ½ collard leaf on top of the nori, checking to 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 ¼ of the paste in the front ⅓ 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 cucumber, beet, avocado, and microgreens on top of the paste, being careful not to overfill. 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 the nori over the fillings, 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.
- Repeat steps to make the remaining 3 rolls.
- Garnish rolls with sesame seeds and serve with tamari and pickled ginger.
If you’re rolling sushi for the first time, make extra so you have some to mess up.