Bonne année 🙂
A beautiful year just went by…Let us all graciously bid adieu to the year that gave us good memories, an opportunity to learn from mistakes, that made us wiser by a year and taught us all more about life…As year 2010 reduces to ashes and is reborn at the stroke of 12:00 – from its ashes will arise a new Phoenix – let us all welcome her with positive thoughts, joy, love and peace…Wishing all my readers, friends and family, a very peaceful and joy filled year ahead 🙂
8 times out of 10, invariably the question – “What is your new year resolution” pops up when you bump into a friend/acquaintance or sometimes a total stranger at the onset of the year!!! Well I have very very successfully managed to keep my new year resolution for the past couple of years (wink wink wink ;)) due to the simple fact that – my resolution is always – “Never to make any new year resolutions”…I have the same resolution this year too…So hoping to add another year to my track record…That aside, this year though I have another idea…and that is to focus on some aspect of life this year – not a resolution, more an idea to become aware of things that affect day to day life…and the word I have chosen this year for me and my family is ‘HEALTH’. Yes, I am going to focus on this word this year…Now the moment people read health- the immediate thought that passes through their heads is … “Ah, she is talking about weight loss- she is just sugar coating it in a nice package of words” – I must say a very normal human reaction to the word 🙂 But on a serious note – Health encompasses a wide spectrum of physical, social, emotional, mental, psychological, moral well being.Yes…loosing a couple of pounds(hopefully) is also on the cards (come on… I post soooo many food recipes here – don’t you think they would have affected my waistline??? ), but more than that, my attempt this year is to be more aware of what I am eating, why we eat certain foods, the factors that affect health, proactive measures for better fitness and health and the list goes on…In this process of discovery, I hope to shed a few pounds along the way 😉 – wishful thinking ! I don’t believe in dieting or starving..can’t do that. A well balanced diet with moderate exercise is the right approach in my belief for a healthy body,mind and soul – though this may not yield the size-zero figure some people are crazy after – but slowly and surely , you will strike that perfect balance between mental, physical and spiritual well being.
On this note, I request my readers to share their ideas on this topic as well as share links and information on this venture. I will publish the information send by the person with reference to the original source so that all readers can benefit. Please check the copyright laws and send only information with the permission of the original author. Readers can also share their personal tips or suggestions that they have followed in their life which have proved effective – all those age-old mothers and grandmothers handy tips etc….
Let us start the new year with a very healthy dish -today I bring to you vegetarian sushi rolls – one of the most healthiest food you can find. You can make these rolls with any kind of filling. I have mentioned what I have done here. The process of making is essentially the same, just the contents change based on the type of roll. Sushi is traditionally served with wasabi, which is Japanese horse radish, pickled ginger and soy sauce. Many types of sushi already have wasabi inside them, so you may want to take a test bite before adding more. If you do want to add wasabi, simply mix a little of it (it is the green paste on your plate) with your soy sauce. Then, pick up your sushi and dip it in the mixture and eat.
Sushi is one of my all time favorite food – simple, crunchy and the pickled ginger with wasabi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If we go to any Japanese or Thai fusion restaurants – 9 times out of 10, I end up having these. Harish and me enjoy having this soo much that I decided to make this at home and start figuring out how to do it. Did some googling and watched a couple of You Tube videos and I was ready to roll. Went to a nearby Asian market, got the Nori(Seaweed) sheets and that’s it. Normally people associate sushi to raw fish and non-vegetarian options. There are many vegetarian options in sushi that you can read about online in Wikipedia and other places. A brief excerpt here about some of them from these sources : you can use nearly any vegetable in your vegetarian sushi; you are only limited by your creativity and resources. However, there are some traditional combinations that you may want to try.
- Cucumber, cream cheese and avocado: This vegetarian sushi has the perfect combination of smooth and crunchy textures. Keep in mind that it is higher fat than some of the other vegetarian options because the cream cheese and avocado are both fat-laden.
- Tofu and Green Onions: This protein-packed sushi is low fat and delicious. You can try using fresh or dried tofu for variations on this classic.
- Mushrooms: While many types of mushrooms are popular in vegetarian sushi, the small size and shape of the Shitake makes it ideal for this preparation.
- Roasted eggplant and zucchini: For a hearty vegetarian sushi, try roasted or grilled eggplant and zucchini. The bold flavors are satisfying, but the resulting sushi is very low fat and healthy.
- Carrots, daikon radish and cucumber: If what you want in your sushi is big crunch, this may be the choice for you. All three of these vegetables are prepared in thin slivers and wrapped into the center of a sushi roll, that is then sliced. The daikon has a spicy bite to it that is perfectly complemented by the sweet carrot and refreshing cucumber. Often, the daikon sprouts are used, as well.
- Tempura sushi: Sometimes sushi is battered and deep fried, tempura style. Vegetarian tempura works quite well with carrots, eggplant, zucchini and sweet potato.
- Egg sushi: Japanese scrambled eggs, called Oboro, are often used in vegetarian sushi. For those vegetarians who eat eggs, it is not only delicious, but a good source of protein.
Some other ingredients that are commonly used in vegetarian sushi are kelp and seaweed, bamboo shoots, cabbage, edamame (green soybeans), pickled ginger, chilis or chili paste, beets and taro. There are also varieties of sushi made with fruit, such as plums or persimmons. If you are eating in a restaurant ask about their house specialties, and if you are making sushi at home, try to create your own innovative combinations
Sushi is a must try at home if you are into healthy eating!
I did not have my DSLR handy while making this dish, so used my mobile camera – hence the quality of the pictures is not great. Kindly excuse – will try to get better shots of the process next time!
- 1/2 cup of sushi rice
- 1 cup of water
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp of rice vinegar
- 1 tsp of sugar (Optional)
- vegetables – avocados, carrot, green onions, basil leaves, sprouts ( soybean,alpha-alpha etc), cilantro, tofu etc- all julienned.
- 4-5 sheets of nori (dried seaweed)
- Black or White roasted sesame seeds – optional
- soy sauce or tamari
- pickled Sushi ginger
- wasabi paste
- Wash rice in strainer until water runs fairly clear. Transfer rice to a pot or rice cooker and pour in water. If cooking in a pot, bring water to boil, then cover and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the water and sticks together. Sticky rice!
- Allow rice to cool for around 15 minutes and add rice vinegar. If required you can ass some salt too. Gently fold rice until mixed well.
- Allow the rice to cool to room temperature. I typically make the rice ahead of time and allow it to cool for a few hours. It’s easier to handle and the sushi tastes better. I also like the filling to be cold, so I usually refrigerate the vegetables before hand.
- Once the rice is ready to go, you can place your Nori on a bamboo mat or aluminum foil. Make sure the rough side of the Nori is facing up- shining side down. I used a regular table mat since this was the first time…but am going to buy a sushi bamboo mat as i think the length of the mat and rolling will be much faster and better with it.
- Before handling the rice, pour a little water and rice vinegar into a small bowl or measuring cup. Dip your fingers in this mixture and it will keep the rice from from sticking to your fingers.
- Now grab a handful of rice about 1/4 of a cup and spread the rice thinly over the Nori, except for on the top and bottom inch of the sheet. Horizontally, spread the rice to the edges.
- Now, arrange you vegetable in the nori. Lay the slices on the center-to-bottom portion of the Nori.
- If using Sesame Seeds, now’s the time to lightly sprinkle the seeds over the entire bed of rice. The black ones are very tasty.
- Now, there’s a method to properly rolling a sushi roll. I start by taking the very bottom portion of the Nori sheet and tightly begin wrapping it around the filling. Then slowly continue rolling it, keeping it very tight the entire time. To seal the roll, dip fingers in the water solution and dampen the end of the Nori, similar to sealing a stamp.
- The roll is complete. If not serving right away, simply through this in the fridge. Once ready to serve, grab a knife, get it wet and slice the roll into 1 inch bites.
- Serve with a little pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce and your set to go.
1) Since I was trying this for the first time- I did not buy the sushi rice as I didn’t get a small packet. So made it with normal white rice at home. I just overcooked them a little bit so that when drained, they are a little mushy and sticky. Then added the rice vinegar and it was good.
The rolls I made at home were a hit, so am planning to get a bag of sushi rice now…So if you have sushi rice, go for it, else you can also try with the normal rice at home.
2) Use you imagination to figure out the filling you want – seasoned tofu, marinated paneer, herbs, squash, zucchini etc.
3) It is important to roll the sushi firmly and correctly to get the right look and feel. If the description above seems a little confusing- watch the video attached below from YouTube. It is said that “A picture is worth a thousand words” -similarly a visual depiction is some cases help. The chef here has done a very good job of explaining it well – Vegetarian Sushi