Chef Rossi girl loves some tasty bites that can be made in advance. Nothing works better for this than her recipe for vegetable sushi rolls! The talent required for making perfectly formed rolls that cut magically into anally retentive spirals of perfection is not one that most possess.. even Chef Rossi makes lumpy sushi! But the taste is fabulous, darlings and when we serve enough sake or beer nobody notices a squishy roll or ten!
Start with short grain sushi rice. You can just follow the directions on the package or follow these.
Rinse rice well with cold water. Put the rice in a pot and cover with just a little more water then you had rice. Bring to a boil covered tightly. Sushi experts say the covering tightly part is way important in the cooking process which may be the beginning of why I have lumpy ass sushi, cause I like to peek like the neurotic babe that I am once every five seconds. Once its starts to bubble reduce to low heat and cook until the water is absorbed. This will take a good 15 minutes my dears. Now then this is not that nice aldente rice you cook for me when I’m coming to dinner. You want it mushy and sticky. When the rice is done, scoop into a bowl and drizzle with a shot or two of mirin. If you don’t have mirin mixing rice wine vinegar with a plop of sugar works just as well and maybe even better. Either way toss with rice. Sushi masters will tell you the trick here is to fan while you toss and I do agree with them, but only when someone else is doing the fanning. Leave a damp towel over the bowl until it cools down enough to handle.
Now then for your filling that’s where we can have some fun.
You can make fun combinations of any of these cut into a fine julienne. Pick any combo that suits your mood, but don’t go crazy. You don’t want to over crowd your roll so no more then 4 kinds of veges I’d say.
You’re going to need bamboo sushi rollers. Place one sheet of nori- (dried seaweed wrapper) on the roller. Dip your fingers in water so the rice doesn’t stick to them and press your sushi rice as flat as you can over the bottom half of the sheet. It makes it a little easier to roll if you leave an inch of no rice on the very bottom. You’ll need to keep dipping your fingers in water the whole time as this stuff is harder to shake off then my last 12 ex lovers!
Sprinkle the julienne veges of your choice horizontally across the roll in the middle of the rice and keep the veges tightly together.
Now its time to roll. Start at the bottom then pressing as you go roll and push up and over the vege bundle as tight as you possibly can until you have a complete cylinder. Keep rolling tightly and on the last edge moisten with water to seal the roll. Cover with a moist paper towel or cloth and some plastic wrap.
You’ll need a sharp knife to cut these into 6 or 8 slices depending on how big you want them and it helps if the knife is wet too. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger
Or just do what I do – mix a plop of wasabi paste and the juice of pickled ginger into a bowl of soy sauce and call it a day.
Rossi aka Chef Rossi Rossi- yes she only has one name- has been a writer for many publications, such as “The Daily News,” “Time Out New York” and “Mcsweeney’s” to name a few. She is the writer of the “Eat Me” column for “Bust” magazine and hosts her own hit radio show on WOMR and WFMR in Cape Cod called “Bite This”, now going into its 8th season. She has been featured on “The Food Network” and “NPR” and has just completed her first edible memoir “The Devil and Mrs. Goldstein!” As the owner and executive chef of “The Raging Skillet” a cutting-edge catering company known for breaking any and all rules, she has earned a reputation as the one to call when it’s time to do something different. www.rossirant.com www.theragingskillet.com, www.kvetchingandkooking.com