Friday, November 8, 2013

Sips + Bites: Easy Veggie Sushi Bowl

For me sushi cravings are undying and constant! I really could eat sushi and sashimi all day, everyday! It was the worst when I was pregnant, I had never craved raw sushi and sashimi so much! To be on the safe side, I avoided it all together and only ordered cooked rolls and lots of veggie rolls, and still avoided it during the months that I was nursing Edison. It was well over a year (thanks to pregnancy and nursing) before sushi and sashimi made it's way back in my life, and boy was the reunion spectacular! I think I remember even indulging in a little sake that night too! ;) I've recently started to make sushi also, and while my rolls are not quite perfect, my husband, family and friends are enjoying the benefits of my practice rolls.

This recipe for a super easy veggie sushi bowl really quells the craving, and is safe for all you soon-to-be mamas too! It's a lot easier to pile all the ingredients in a bowl, and you can add any of your favorite veggies or sushi related fixings, like raw tuna, salmon, or any other sushi-grade fish. I did however steer away from the wasabi. I know that it's probably super yummy, but I will never be able to squash the vision of my dad taking a heaping pile of wasabi on his chopsticks and eating it straight (it was his first time and he was clueless) and I've never seen a man's nostrils flare as much as his did that day. Let alone the bullets of sweat dripping from his face. So, hold the wasabi please. ;)

While the prep for this recipe takes the longest in the preparation of the rice and the veggies, I promise you that the end result is worth it! It's a great dinner option too since guests can assemble their own bowls to their liking.


Sushi Rice
2 cups of cooked sushi rice, or brown rice 
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Cook the sushi rice or brown rice according to package instructions, or use a timed rice cooker. Note that brown rice does take longer to cook. While the rice is cooking, in a small bowl mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir or whisk until the sugar and salt have dissolved in the vinegar. Note that you can also make additional vinegar dressing to set aside for your sushi bowl.

Once the rice has cooked, place it in a large bowl and gently fluff it. Pour the vinegar dressing onto the rice and gently fold it in, taking care not to smash the rice. Once you have mixed it well, place a damp paper towel over the rice to help keep it from drying out. Let the bowl of rice sit until it cools and has reached room temperature.

While the rice is cooling, you can move onto prepping the veggies and other ingredients! 

Ingredients
1 cucumber (remove seeds)
1 avocado
Few sheets of nori (seaweed)
Pickled ginger
Sesame seeds (toasted or black)
Soy sauce 
Sriracha or wasabi 
Any other toppings that you prefer (carrots, tofu, chunks of cream cheese, raw tuna, raw salmon, any other sushi-grade fish, edamame, green onions, etc.)

It's best to remove seeds from the cucumbers, and cut into small chunks, along with the avocado. Slice the nori into thin shreds - I have found that using kitchen shears works great for this! If you are using any other ingredients, it's probably easiest to cut or dice them into smaller chunks.

Once your rice has cooled, begin assembly! Divide the rice into bowls and add your veggies and other ingredients. Top with the sesame seeds, nori shreds, and pickled ginger - and drizzle with soy sauce, Sriracha, wasabi, or more vinegar dressing. 

Enjoy! :)

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