Mar 152012

Seafood Free Sushi Rolls made without meat or dairy

Okay okay, I know that the word sushi inherently means the recipe should include rice and probably some fish. Our ‘sushi’ rolls don’t even have rice though, nevermind the lack of seafood! In fact we changed up our recipe to make it a super low fat alternative, even compared to other raw sushi rolls. They take a bit more prep time than some of our other recipes, and they don’t keep well in the fridge (nori gets soggy), so save these for a special night when you have a few extra prep minutes, or make them for your next raw food potluck!

What you’ll need (serves 2-3 as a full on meal):

  • 1 package nori seaweed wraps
  • 1 jicama
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 sweet bell pepper
  • 1 cup alfalfa or other sprouts
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 3 tbsp agave or liquid honey
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt (optional – to taste)

Note: Jicama is sort of like a tropical potato. It’s sweet and mild. When I first tasted it as a kid, I thought it was just like eating fresh peas out of the pod straight from the garden. You might have to close your eyes to get the same sensation! At that time we could only get it during season, but now I find it in most big North American grocery stores year round. If you don’t like jicama, try using parsnip or turnip as an alternative.

Nori rolls are even easier to find than jicama. You’ll find them in the Asian food section of the store if it has one. Otherwise they’ll probably just be around the spaghetti and pasta section. If your regular grocery store doesn’t carry them, your Asian market definitely will. Nori usually comes from Japan or China, and you shouldn’t pay more than a few dollars for a package of 10. I’ve occasionally seen it priced at close to $10 and stocked in the organic food section, even though it isn’t organic. Don’t get tricked. Alternatively you can click on the photo to purchase raw and organic nori from Amazon (50 sheets/pkg). Nori (like other sea vegetables) is loaded with healthy minerals, and very high in protein and fiber. It’s a great source of calcium, iron and iodine, and has high levels of vitamins A, B and C. Try to eat some sea vegetables every week to fully enjoy their nutritional benefits.

What to do:

For the rice:

  • To make our rice substitute, we used jicama. Its white and has a mild and sweet flavor, which I find somewhat close to rice. You could also use parsnip or turnip to get a similar result.
  • Chop the jicama in a food processor or mince with a knife if you don’t own one.
  • Add in the agave, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Optional: Dehydrate your rice mixture for 2 hours. Because it is pretty wet, this rice can make the nori wraps go soggy pretty quickly. It’s OK if you are going to eat them right away, but if they are going to sit out on a tray at a party, you may want to dry the rice a little bit before rolling your sushi.

steps for raw vegan sushi roll preparation

For the rolls:

  • First julienne or finely chop all your vegetables. You can see from my photo that I’m not a master chef and I don’t have very good julienne skills. Do your best! You want long thin slices.
  • Next, lay a nori wrap on a dry, flat surface (your cutting board works perfectly. We used a sushi rolling mat, but you can get nice looking sushi rolls without one.
  • First cover the bottom 1/3 of the nori sheet with your jicama mixture, it should look a little bit like mushy rice.
  • Layer on the rest of your vegetables.
  • Get the tip of your finger wet, and run it along the top of the nori wrap, this will make it stick to the bottom when you are finished rolling.
  • Roll up tightly. Make sure your rolling is even all the way across. It’s a bit trickier without the mat, but definitely doable.
  • Once you have a single long roll of sushi, use a sharp knife to cut it into pieces a few inches long. Remember you want to be able to fit it into your mouth! Most nori wraps come perforated, so you have a guide on where to cut.
  • Lay your sushi on a plate and enjoy with nama shoyu, wasabi and marinated ginger or your favorite sushi toppings.

Remember, we made this recipe to be very low fat! If you don’t mind a higher fat recipe, the rice can also be made into a pate using nuts and spices, and sliced avocado goes great in sushi wraps. These are one of my favorite things to bring to potluck dinners. They make great finger food and everyone can eat them regardless of their diet preference.

What is your favorite food to bring to raw potluck dinners? Share your ideas below!

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