Black rice sushi rolls? Yes, and they are so good! I know that white sushi rice is the traditional version but I have been seeing sushi rolls made with brown rice so why not black rice?
This was a nice addition to our spread of snackies while we watched the Seahawks lose at the Super Bowl. I had made a tray of appetizers that included polenta points with sun dried tomato pesto, artichoke-olive bruschetta, freshly made hummus with pita chips and these black rice sushi rolls.
Half of the sushi rolls are filled with the vinegary black rice, ahi tuna slices and pickled ginger and they are delicious. The other half of the rolls are filled with the black rice mix, cucumber, carrot slivers, radish slices, avocado and arugula. These veggie black rice sushi rolls are my favorite with the crisp crunchiness from the carrots and cukes, the zing from the radish and arugula plus the creamy avocado. Yum, good!
Sushi rolls are not that difficult to make although it is important to buy the best nori seaweed wrappers. They can be found in most grocery stores but I like to buy them in one of the Asian stores where I can ask a clerk which is the best quality. Also, I will pick up some pickled ginger while I am there, a can of powdered wasabi and a bottle of soy sauce if I don’t have any at home.
The definition of sushi is cold vinegary rice that is formed into a variety of shapes. One version that I make is not to roll it but to squeeze a bit together in my hand and form it into a small elongated shape, press an indentation on top with my finger and place a slice of ahi tuna, fresh salmon or cooked shrimp or vegetables on top. That makes a quick snack if I don’t feel like making the rolls.
These rolls are made with a bamboo mat which helps get the roll started and keeps it firm. After it has been rolled I wrap the mat around it and squeeze it gently to keep it tight. They can also be made without using a bamboo mat in which case you could use parchment paper or plastic wrap. Actually, they are kinda fun to make.
Black Rice Sushi Rolls
Yield 6 Rolls
Black rice sushi rolls filled with fresh ahi tuna, and a crunchy veggie mix.
For the Sushi Rice:
- 2 cups black glutinous rice
- 3 cups water
- 4 tablespoons plain rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Roll Fillings:
- 1 package of roasted seaweed sheets
- 2-3 ounces sushi quality ahi tuna, fresh salmon or fresh fish of choice
- pickled ginger
- wasabi paste
- cucumber sticks
- carrot sticks
- radish slices
- avacodo slices
- arugula greens
- soy sauce for dipping
For the Rice:
- Rinse the rice and add it and 3 cups of water to a medium size pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add a tight fitting lid and cook for 30-35 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
- While the rice is cooking, slice and cut the fish and vegetables and set up a station to assemble the rolls. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to a small dish and zap it a couple seconds in the microwave to dissolve completely. Allow the vinegar mixture to cool before adding to the rice.
- Transfer the cooked hot rice to a large non-metal shallow bowl and sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the top. Using a plastic or silicon spatula, slice and toss the rice gently to mix and cool it down. The grains of rice should be a little sticky and hold together when a lump is formed. You can also help the cooling and drying by fanning it with a hand-held item such as a magazine, or set up a table fan to blow on the rice as you lift it.
To assemble the rolls:
- Lay the bamboo mat flat on a cutting board and place one sheet of the seaweed on the mat shiny side down. Spoon about a 1/2 cup of the rice onto the seaweed and gently spread it to the edges but leave a 1-inch boarder at the far end.
- Add a strip of your ingredients across the end closest to you and, using the mat as your helper, begin rolling and pressing to form the roll. Continue to the far end of the seaweed, stop rolling long enough to dampen the open edge with your fingers dipped in water which will seal the roll. Place the finished roll on a plate and continue making the remaining rolls.
- To serve, slice each roll in 1 or 1-1/2-inch sections and place on a serving plate with soy sauce and the remaining wasabi and ginger.
Be sure to transfer the rice from the metal pan to a large shallow wooden, glass or plastic bowl as the reaction of the vinegar and metal will change the flavor of the rice.