It can be challenging to convince clients to add fermented foods into their diets. They tell me the “fermented” flavor brings up connotations of “funky” and “sour” and it’s not so appealing at first, but over time I usually prevail. 😉
There are ways to use fermented ingredients that compliment and enrich your foods, as opposed to send you running for the door! We often forget that well-balanced foods incorporate sweet, sour, salty and sometimes spicy flavors. In fact, some of my favorite foods (Vietnamese!) incorporate these combinations of flavors in most dishes.
Ease into cooking with fermented foods with the foundation of all things fermented – sauerkraut. Kraut has come a long way from its placement on those killer hot-dogs! I’ve found that if you can add kraut to sushi, you can eventually add it to just about anything…even sushi. I took inspiration from Real Food Daily’s Kimchi Maki Roll to create my own.
Sauerkraut Meets Sushi
Makes 2 rolls
¾ cup sauerkraut, drained (I prefer Sonoma Brinery)
1 tsp. organic tamari or coconut aminos plus extra for dipping
½ tsp. powdered wasabi
1 large avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
1 medium cucumber, peeled
1 carrot, peeled and cut lengthwise in strips
2 green onions, sliced in half lengthwise
8 (8-by-8-inch) sheets organic nori
Pickled ginger, for serving (optional)
2 cups cooked (1/2 cup uncooked) sprouted brown rice
1 T. organic seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. mirin
pinch sea salt
Cook rice. While still hot, drizzle the vinegar, mirin, and salt over the rice. Gently toss all together. Let rice cool completely before assembling the roll.
Place drained sauerkraut, wasabi, and tamari in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Slice all vegetables lengthwise, cut the avocado, cucumber, onion, and carrot Use a vegetable peeler to cut the carrot into long ribbons.
To prepare the wraps, fill a small bowl with hot water. Lay a sheet of nori on a flexible surface, such as a bamboo sushi rolling mat or a tea towel lined with plastic wrap. Spread about one cup of sushi rice evenly over the nori, leaving about an ½ inch of nori on the edges.
Spread ¼ cup of the prepared sauce on the rice. Lay cucumber, a few carrot ribbons, half green onion, and avocado slices evenly, moisten the exposed nori on the far edge with a little warm water from your bowl. Pull the mat up with your thumbs, hold and tuck the fillings with all fingers. Roll forward and tuck the nori forward, while pulling back the mat slightly each time you roll forward. Just before you reach the end of the sheet of nori, moisten the end with a little cold water. Continue rolling until you have a cylinder shaped roll. Tightly wrap the bamboo mat around the roll, and squeeze gently to seal the nori roll. Remove the mat and place the sushi roll on the cutting board.
Moisten a sharp knife with cold water and cut the roll in half. Cut each half in half, then each quarter in half, moistening the knife each time before cutting. You should now have eight equal size pieces of sushi.
Repeat the above steps until you have 2 rolls or 16 pieces of sushi. Serve with pickled ginger and additional tamari if desired.