Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls (vegan)

This blog is now hosted at http://veganchickie.com

We have had this recipe a few times. In my old meat eating life I used to really love Japanese food, so sushi is one of the things I really get a hankering for now and then. This recipe is the first in the Veganomicon cookbook and we originally made it as part of a vegan yum cha feast, these days we have it on its own, it is the perfect Sunday lunch!

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Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls
(Veganomicon)

Ingredients:

For the sushi rice:
1 cup sushi rice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (this is not the same as regular vinegar)
1 teaspoon sugar

For the spicy tempeh filling:
1/2 package tempeh
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1 teaspoon hot chile sesame oil
4 sheets nori seaweed
1 teapsoon wasabi (optional)
1 scallion, sliced lengthways in narrow strips
1 avocado, peeled and sliced into thin strips
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Wasabi and Soy sauce to serve

Method:
In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the rice and 1 1/4 cups cold water. Turn the heat to high, bring the water to the boil and stir the rice just once. Lowe the heat to low, cover the pot and steam the rice for 20 – 22 minutes. Empty the hot rice into a large glass or plastic bowl. Sprinkle with the rice vinegar an sugar, folding the rice gently with a spoon. The rice should be moist and have a very mild vinegar flavour. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool for 10 – 15 minutes. When rice is slightly warmer than room temperature, it’s ready to work with.

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While the rice is cooling, prepare the filling by steaming the tempeh. Allow the tempeh to cool for 10 minutes, chop into small cubes, and place in a medium sized bowl. Add the mayonnaise and chile sesame oil and mash until chunky.

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Fill a shallow cup with about 1/3 cup of water and a tablespoon of rice vinegar, and keep near your sushi workstation. Follow these steps to the perfect nori roll:

1.   Place the nori sheet on the bamboo mat. With wet hands, take a snowball shaped handful of rice, about a cups worth. Gently pat onto the bottom two thirds of your nori sheet. The layer of rice should be less than 1/3 inch thick

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2.   Place a small amount of filling across the centre of your rice. Lay them horizontally in a straight line. The less filling the easier the sushi will be to roll. Aim for about 1 1/2 teaspoons of tempeh and 3 strips of avocado.

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3.   Using the mat, rently roll up that sushi starting from the rice topped end; try to keep your grip relatively tight for a firm roll. When you’ve reached the seaweed only end, pat gently with a little bit of vinegar water to seal the roll.

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4.   Slice your roll into 1 inch pieces with a sharp serrated knife.

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We serve with soy sauce and wasabi (and actually we also spread a thin layer of wasabi on the rice before we add the tempeh! We like it hot!

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