Veggie maki rolls with roasted asparagus

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If you liked my roasted asparagus recipe, give this a try! Home-rolled veggie sushi is surprisingly easy to make and very gratifying because it’s pretty to look at and so tasty. Each bite-sized piece is like a kaleidoscope of veggie-ricey goodness. The nuttiness of the brown rice is a nice contrast to the slightly spicy onion and radish, and also complements the subtly garlicky roasted asparagus. Makes a light yet filling entree or an attractive appetizer. I love bringing the leftovers to work for a mood-boosting lunch. This recipe makes 6 rolls, so enough for 6 as an appetizer, or 3-4 as an entree.

Ingredients:

  • 6 pieces of sushi nori (toasted seaweed sheets)
  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 6 pieces of oven-roasted asparagus (see my recipe here)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 medium sized radish
  • 1 scallion

Put your rice, water, and salt in a medium sized pot over high heat and bring to a rolling boil (or just use a rice cooker if you have one).

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Meanwhile, prep your veggies: slice the carrot, cucumber, and radish lengthwise into long, thin strips (see below). Slice the scallion finely.

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Once your rice has come to a boil, turn down the heat and cook (covered) on low heat for about 30 min until all the water is absorbed. Once it is fully cooked, take it off the heat and let cool. Mix in the 1 Tbsp rice vinegar. If you have time, it is easiest to work with when cooled to room temp.

Set up a workstation for yourself with the sliced veggies, seaweed sheets, and rice. You will need a flat clean surface to roll the sushi, a large plate for the finished rolls, and a sharp serrated knife to cut the rolls.

To assemble the sushi rolls, lay a sheet of seaweed down, rough side up. Lay down a thin layer of rice on the top end, occupying about 1/3 the width of the seaweed square. Then, close to the edge, layer down your scallions, radish slices, carrot, cucumber, and a piece of asparagus along its whole length. Now, gently roll it towards you, into a cylinder.

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You may want to dab a little bit of water along the far edge of the seaweed to help it stick together. Set aside your completed rolls on a large plate.

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Slice the rolls into about 1/2 to 1 inch thick slices using a sharp, serrated knife. I find that giving the roll a quarter-turn in between each slice, and cleaning the starch off the knife frequently, help you cut with more precision.

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Serve at room temp. Soy sauce for dipping is nice but completely optional (I enjoyed mine without it).

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