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Village Greens' Staff Sushi Challenge: Karen

Ooo, there's a new challenge to report on and this time it involves a number of staff at Village Greens. It's our sushi challenge. After Paul presented me with a lovely box of homemade sushi on my birthday last year it has been a goal of mine to try it for myself. More recently my colleague Emma suggested we both try to make some for Veganuary....of course, I said, that sounds like a blog series to me so here it is. Hopefully the other Village People will play along too.

So, as I mentioned, it's Veganuary so the sushi I made was all vegan. As I'm a beginner I thought I would start with the basic rolled sushi. Maybe in the future I'll try something much fancier as the other challengers raise the bar!

I had already bought the sushi rice and nori sheets and a little search around the internet showed me I could put pretty much anything in there! There was no need to go out and get anything special so I could work with what my kitchen had to offer.

I prepared the rice which took no time at all to cook, just 10 minutes although 30 minutes to rest with the lid on after this and then further time to cool down. Once cooled I added a little sugar, a little salt and some rice vinegar.

I used the waiting time to rummage around for fillings and this is what I came up with:

- peas

- carrot

- ginger

- broccoli

- roasted pepper

- sprouts

- and cranberry sauce!

I then began to assemble the sushi. I had made pickled carrot and ginger by slicing carrot thinly with a peeler and a knife and adding rice vinegar, a little sugar and some warm water. I used my fab shredding plate to grate the ginger and added this too. I left this for about 15 minutes before using it.

I made two rolls of sushi although they had different fillings in each half. The first roll had the pickled carrot and ginger throughout although one side also had peas!

The second roll had broccoli and roasted yellow pepper in one side and yes, Christmas dinner in the other. This included sprouts, chestnut and some cranberry sauce.

To assemble I covered the nori sheet with a layer of the rice leaving a centimetre uncovered at the top and bottom. I laid the filling across the rice about two thirds down and then used a sushi mat to roll the sushi up. I dabbed some cold water on the edge of the nori to seal the sushi when it is rolled. The mat is not necessary but it helps.

Once rolled the rolls need slicing. To do this I used a sharp serrated knife which I read I should dip in a cup of cold water between slices. And here we are, my first entry into this challenge...

In summary, I think I could have rolled it much tighter, it was definitely looser than sushi I've had before and was a little difficult to handle. The flavours were nice but I would maybe add something a bit more...saucy! The cranberry sauce was really nice! I know Paul added asparagus cream to his too. Maybe I could have mushed the peas a little! The pickled carrot with ginger was really nice, really flavoursome.

So, I've learned a lot from this exercise. It's helped me use up some ingredients but I think next time I'll put a little more thought into the flavour combos so if you're in the shop and have any ideas, let me know. It's not cheating!

I hope you've enjoyed this blog. I'm Iooking forward to learning from the efforts of my colleagues and hopefully blogging again about my much improved sushi skills.



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