Monday, October 4, 2010

Southern Style Sushi

At first I was prepared to defend my stance against this sushi by saying that I was using the word very liberally. But upon reading more into the in's and out's of what makes sushi, I retract my statement. Most people would generally think of sushi being raw fish with rice wrapped in nori, but the possibilities of combinations are endless, and they do not have to contain raw fish or rice. In fact, I am going to go ahead and say that you can wrap just about anything in nori or sushi rice and call it sushi. I saw some pretty wacky combinations in my research. Here I combined Asian flavors and techniques with common Southern produce and combinations to make sushi with a distinct flavor and bright look.

Tender sweet potato poached in miso soup with crunchy raw apple and drizzled with peanut sauce. Roasted brussel sprouts, carrots and toasted pecans with Korean BBQ sauce and shaved peaches. Tempeh bacon, cucumber kimchi, avocado, tomato and herbed vegan sour cream wrapped in kale rolls.

Miso Sweet Potato Rolls

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and carved into half moon shapes
2 cups miso soup
1 fugi apple, skin on, cut into filets
1 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp red chili paste
2 tbl organic brown sugar
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup hot water (plus or minus)
1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts for garnish, chopped
nori sheets

In a medium sized pot, bring the sweet potato and miso soup to a boil. Add more water if necessary to cover the potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are tender.
In a food processor, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, chili paste, brown sugar and lime juice and blend until smooth. Drizzle the hot water in while the motor is on until you obtain a smooth consistency. You might not need all of the water, so pour it slow so you can keep track of the thickness.
Cut strips of nori, lay down apple filets horizontally. Place the sweet potato on top and wrap the nori around it, sealing it back underneath the apple. Drizzle with peanut sauce and garnish with chopped peanuts.

Brussels and BBQ Roll

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 cup brussel sprouts, cut into quarters
1 carrot, shredded
1/4c toasted pecans
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbl grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
nori sheets
1 slightly unripe peach, shredded

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil and toss the brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until the sprouts have a slight crispy edge, 15 minutes.
In a small sauce pan, combine the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, scallions, cayenne, soy sauce and sesame oil. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Using sheets of nori, lay down some roasted brussel sprouts, carrots and toasted pecans. Wrap up and cut into 2 inch pieces. Top with shredded peaches and drizzle with Asian bbq sauce.

TGA Roll
Tempeh, Greens, Avocado

2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
tempeh, smoked or fakin' bacon style, cut into matchsticks
1 hot house tomato, cut into matchsticks
1 avocado, cut into wedges
1 head of mustard greens, stems removed
1/4 cup herb & chive vegan sour cream
Cucumber Kimchi, recipe follows

In a small saute pan, heat the oil and saute the tempeh until golden brown and crispy.
Lay down 2 large mustard green leafs vertically on top of one another. Smear some cream cheese at the end closest to you. On top, arrange the tempeh, tomato, avocado and cucumber. Roll up tightly, folding in the sides first and rolling away from you. Cut in half for smaller bite sized rolls.

Quick Cucumber Kimchi*

1 cucumber, cut into 1/4 inch matchsticks
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp organic sugar, divided
1/2 tbl red pepper flakes
1/2 tbl freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 tsp vegetarian "fish" sauce**
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbl grated carrot
1 tbl finely chopped scallion
1 tbl white onion, thinly sliced

In a colander, toss the cucumber with a pinch salt and 1/4 tsp sugar and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the salt, remaining sugar, chile flakes, ginger, garlic, "fish" sauce and soy sauce. Toss in the carrot, scallion, onion and cucumber. Let sit for 15 minutes, turning once after 7 minutes.

* Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish consisting of fermented vegetables and spices or unfermented vegetable dishes.

** Vegetarian fish sauce is available largely in Vietnamese or Asian Grocery stores. Of course, it has no fish product in it, but merely has the same general flavor. If you don't want to purchase some just for this recipe, substitute more soy sauce.

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