This raw vegan 'sushi' excludes fish and consists of rice-free nori rolls and wasabi paste. Sushi rice is usually sweet and has added sugar, and in this recipe the apples more than make up for the sweetness of it. The pumpkin seed paté makes this dish more hearty and protein-rich. Various vegetables are added for crunch and flavour, and the end result combines the flavours of sweet, salty and hot perfectly (apple, soya sauce, wasabi horseradish). This very healthy, protein-rich and starchy-carb-free dish will never get boring because there are so many different varieties that can be made, many of which are discussed below.
Cost: £5.80 (GBP)
Soaking time: 7 hours
Yield: Approx. 32 nori roll pieces
2 whole, grated
Cashew nuts, soaked and rinsed: 60 ml (1/4 cup)
Sea salt: to taste
Black pepper: to taste
Pumpkin seeds, soaked and rinsed:
240ml (one cup)
Scallions: three whole, chopped
Soya sauce (Nama Shoyu): 2 tbsp
Ginger: 2 tbsp, grated
Wasabi powder: 1 teasp
small piece, sliced into strips
Red bell pepper: one whole, sliced into strips
Fresh baby spinach: a handful
Carrot: one, cut into strips
Wasabi powder: 3 tbsp Water: 3 tbsp
I use toasted nori sheets because they taste nicer, even though they are not raw. Always store the nori sheets in the fridge, otherwise their taste will deteriorate.
Rolling sushi is an art. In this recipe you use the pumpkin seed paté to 'reinforce' or strengthen the nori sheet. Then you spread the apple 'rice' as thinly as possible over it. The strips of vegetables should be placed close to the edge towards you, which ends up in the middle of the roll when rolling. You may be able to carefully roll the sheet (if it's composed this way) without the help of a sushi mat or a kitchen towel but keep in mind that there are also many sushi-rolling tutorials online.
Keep in mind when experimenting with different ingredients that at least some of the vegetables rolled into the roll should add color and crunchy texture to the dish.
Note that the word 'sushi' really refers to the raw fish that is had with the nori rolls. However, I use the word sushi regularly to refer to the nori rolls, even though it's not strictly correct, so I thought it was appropriate to call this dish raw vegan sushi.
Much of the raw-seeming fish served with sushi is actually heat-treated to make it safer to eat. Something to keep in mind if you have previously considered sushi raw food. In any case, I advice caution if contemplating eating truly raw fish in any form, for reasons of hygiene.
The grated apples in the 'sushi rice' can be replaced with grated parsnip or celery root. They are not as sweet, which some people may prefer, and also they are easier to use since they are less soggy than grated apple.
Apart from the 'rice' and pumpkin seed paté, other ingredients that can be used inside the roll are: carrots, avocado, fresh coriander (cilantro), fresh baby spinach leaves, dried plum, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, etc.
You can also purchase pickled sushi ginger for serving with or prepare it by cooking thin slices of ginger in salt (1 teasp), sugar (1/4 cup), rice wine vinegar (1/4 cup) and water (1/4 cup). I find that the ginger is not necessary for this dish, however, and goes better if you have sushi fish as well.
This recipe is based on the 'Nori Rolls' recipe in the Cafe Gratitude cookbook, which is a raw vegan chain of restaurants in California. The book is called 'I Am Grateful' and the original recipe is called 'I Am Enrolled'. My first raw food experience was at the Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley, California, and I was extremely surprised by the amazing flavours of the food they served, as well as how healthy everyone looked. This cookbook contains more 'gourmet'-type raw food recipes, which require a little more time and effort than your average raw food dishes.
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Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.