If Alex and I can agree on one thing, it’s sushi. (OK, we agree on a lot of things. Most things, really. Except sports and salsa dancing – you take a guess who likes which.) We’re both huge sushi fans, which may sound odd for cooks who focus on vegetarian cooking, but we consider ourselves flexitarian: our diet is flexible enough to eat meat on occasion, though we mostly eat vegetarian at home (see this post about why we eat what we eat).
As a good flexitarian, raw fish is my biggest delicacy. It is Number 1 on my Top 5 Foods list, which, incidentally, we started discussing with some friends over sushi the other night. If you’re wondering, we came up with the following:
Sonja: 1. Raw tuna (tartare or sashimi) 2. Truffles 3. Sushi 4. Dark chocolate 5. Paella
Alex: 1. Short ribs 2. Ripe tomatoes 3. Raw tuna 4. Coffee 5. Celery hearts
Have you ever pondered your Top 5 Foods?
In the meantime, here is an ode to sushi – vegetarian-style, and home cook friendly. While we’ve had friends make us sushi before (and it was AMAzing, thank you Lynne + Kirk), it’s a little more accessible to pile it all into a bowl. While this does take a bit of prep time making the rice and chopping the vegetables, it’s worth it in the end. We loved the fresh orange and soy dressing along with the crunch of the nori paper and sesame seeds against the fresh vegetables. It gives the air of eating sushi without being nearly as labor intensive. We loved it as a weeknight meal where we prepped the components beforehand (though you do need to plan ahead a bit on the rice – this is where a timed rice cooker comes in handy!).
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 sheets nori paper
- ½ cup edamame (we used frozen shelled, which is easiest if you can find it)
- 3 carrots
- 2 green onions
- 1 cucumber
- 1 avocado
- Make the rice, according to the package instructions or in a rice cooker (brown rice takes around 45 minutes total).
- Over low heat in a dry skillet, toast 2 tablespoons sesame seeds for several minutes, stirring frequently and watching closely, until lightly browned.
- In a small bowl or canning jar, add ¾ cup fresh orange juice, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons sesame oil. Whisk vigorously to combine (or if in a jar, shake vigorously). Set aside.
- Slice the nori paper into thin shreds (it is a little tough, but do your best to make thin ribbons).
- Prepare the edamame according to the package instructions (if fresh, place shelled edamame in boiling water for a few minutes until bright green).
- Peel and shred the carrots. Thinly slice the green onions. Chop the cucumber into thin strips, and the avocado into slices or chunks.
- To serve, place rice in a bowl. Top with carrots, cucumber, avocado, green onions, sesame seeds, and nori shreds. Drizzle with dressing.