Let just say I love Asian cooking, because of its pure taste, fresh ingredients and short preparation time. Delicious, easy and healthy!
When you say Asian cuisine, you might think of sushi. There is nothing like that nice fresh, pure taste, and the possibilities are endless. Sushi is a popular Asian dish and traditionally prepared with fish, but excellent with vegetables as well. The possibilities are endless, marinated, grilled, sautéed, it’s all possible. I have exchanged rice for quinoa, it works well for sushi rolls - it holds together nicely and has a great texture and flavour.
One of the nicest things about sushi is the anticipation! Roles of a good sushi takes some practice, but the "basic" versions anyone can become an expert. So invite a bunch of friends for fun night making sushi rolls!
Make sure that the quinoa is already boiled, cooled and flavored, and cut all vegetables. And you have a sushi mats for your guests so they can start rolling!
For the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa well and cook according to the directions on the packaging. In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer gently without boiling, as it can affect the taste. Once cooked, season the quinoa with the vinegar and let it cool.
Prepare the vegetables: Slice the carrots, sweet peppers and eggplant in very thin strips and as long as the sheets of nori. You can remove the skin from the eggplant before slicing if you prefer.
Cut the zucchini and cucumber Julienne (as thin as possible), this will give a nice texture. Cut the avocado into strips. The spring onions can be cut into the lenght of the nori sheets.
Fry the eggplant in garlic and chilli paste.
Prepare the wasabi mayonaise: Mix 8 tablespoons of mayonaise with 4 teaspoons of wasabi.
Put all the vegetables in a bowl ready for your guests in order to jointly roll the sushi. Of course, all combinations are possible, but with these vegetables, I make the following combinations and I use the wasabi mayonaise in all types.
The quinoa can be used in the same amount as rice, use the wasabi mayonaise instead of wasabi.
5 sushi roll combinations to enjoy:
- Hosomaki: Avocado and cucumber
- Futomaki (5 vegetables): carrot, cucumber, spring onion, avocado and capscium (sweet pepper)
- Hosomaki green: Zucchini and spring onion
- Hosomaki eggplant: Spicy eggplant, fried in garlic and chili paste
- Temaki (cone): Cucumber, zucchini, carrot, avocado, capsicum, spicy eggplant
Are you ready to roll? Here's a good link to a cheat sheet which show you how to roll sushi. You can print it out for your guests!
To fill the sushi everyone takes a sushi mat. Place the nori shiny side down. Spread a layer of quinoa as thin as possible over the nori, without any gaps. Leave a 2cm strip at the top of the nori as this becomes your "adhesive" edge to hold it all together. Spread a dash of wasabi mayonnaise over the quinoa and top with the vegetables of your choice. Next roll the sushi tightly making use of your mat. Keep the rollers on the slab edge and set aside until all the rolls are ready.
The Temaki (cone) is different: Take a halved nori sheet and cover the left half with quinoa. Then gently create with your fingers a "funnell or cone shape" from the lower right corner to the upper left corner. Fill with the vegetables. Fold nori with the quinoa after filling and roll it up like a cone. Paste the nori down with a drop of water or some wasabi.
Cut the sushi rolls with a sharp knife which is slightly moistened and serve with soy sauce and wasabi.