Two new vegan sushi discoveries, and one teriyaki roll recipe
I love sushi. Who doesn't love sushi? Everyone, that's who. Apart from people that are allergic to seaweed or something. But apart from them, almost everyone loves sushi.
But most people think that sushi involves raw fish (most people are wrong, it's sashimi that's the raw fish - sushi is the vinegared rice), and coming by vegan sushi is really harder than it ought to be. (It should be easy, because all sushi should be vegan, you say? I hear you.)
So, it's with some joy that this sushi-loving vegan can report two new vegan sushi discoveries in the capital.
The first is Happy Maki, an itinerant sushi purveyor that was last seen at the Moveable Feast (the great veg*n popup that is now sadly no more) and recent Veg Fest.
Happy Maki sells sushi rolls handmade before your very eyes, and they're rather good. I picked up a couple when I visited the Moveable Feast for lunch - the avocado K.I.S.S (not sure why it's written as an acronym - maybe it stands for Kwik! It's Sushi Satisfaction?) and the teriyaki chicken, I think.
The teriyaki chicken wrap involved cucumber, sweet potato, chicken-style pieces, and lots of sesame seeds and teriyaki seeds. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with chicken style stuff, and one that's been mostly at hate lately. The teriyaki chicken roll was the equivalent of chicken turning up at my house with a bunch of flowers and convincing me to take it back because this time it had really changed.
The avocado KISS (I'm not writing the full stops in, that's too much like hard work) was double avocado, red pepper, cucumber with a bit of soy and sesame to go with it. In my head, I have big list of things that all vegans seem to love - you know, like leafy greens, waffles, and Hallowe'en - and avocado is definitely on that list. By that logic, vegans should like this double as much. I know I did.
My next vegan sushi discovery wasn't quite as much on my love list, but still, it's good to know it's out there.
The Japan Centre in Piccadilly is a great spot for picking up Japanese cooking essentials, and it has a large readymade sushi section. The other day when I was browsing said section, I saw one of their onigiri marked as vegan, so obviously I whisked it home to shove it in my face.
The rice ball had soy beans, avocado, and cucumber - it wasn't overly blessed with flavour, but having picked up some wasabi and soy sauce at the Japan Centre, I was able to remedy that.
After all that sushi based gluttony, I decided I needed to make some at home. Don't judge me - vegan sushi addiction is in the DSM-5, I'm pretty sure. The only known cure is to eat more sushi, I believe.
I thought I'd try and make some teriyaki chicken rolls at home, so wandered off and bought some analogue that I'd not tried before. I wasn't overly impressed, so I guess I'm back to the not-love side of my equation.
Teriyaki chicken sushi rolls
For the rice
100mls (that's mls, not g) of sushi rice
1tbsp of mirin
1tbsp of rice vinegar
For the teriyaki chicken
One handful of vegan chicken pieces
1tsp each of soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin
Half tsp of dark brown sugar
A few sticks of green pepper, avocado, and carrot
One sheet of nori
How you do it
Wash your rice until the water runs clear. This is boring, but you have to do it, trust me.
Drain and leave it to one side for half an hour.
In the meantime, mix up all the sauce ingredients bar the chicken until you have a teriyaki sauce. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the vegan chicken, then add the sauce and stir until it's absorbed by the chicken. Take it off the heat and leave to one side.
You might have a bit of time til your sushi rice is dried out, so you could always chop up your veg now.
Once the half hour's up, put the sushi rice in a small saucepan, ideally with a glass lid. Add 130ish mls of boiling water, put the lid on, and whack the heat up high. When you see the water's got back up to boiling point, turn it down low, low, low and leave for seven minutes. Don't take the lid off at any point. Seriously, don't, it monkeys with things. Once the seven minutes are up, take it off the heat and leave for 10 minutes. Don't take the lid off, at all.
Once the 10 minutes is up, then you can take the lid off.
Add your mirin and vinegar to the rice, stir thorougly and leave to cool.
Once that's cool, get your nori, spread the rice over it, line up your teriyaki chicken and vegetables and roll. If you need any tips on how to go about that, this dude can help you out.
Cut into six slices with a damp serrated knife and enjoy. Enjoy the sushi, not the knife or cutting. That wouldn't be right.