Homemade birthday sushi! (vegan/gf)

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Yesterday was the birthday of my bestest friend, Travis (who, lucky for me, also happens to be my future husband!), and we had people over for dinner and a party at our house last night.  I had been itching to try making sushi at home for a while, and then a week or so ago a friend posted THIS POST from Peas and Crayons, which made it look easy (and it was!), so I got on it.  I ventured out to Whole Foods (a store I only dare let myself go to except for toiletries, bulk items, and specialty items… sushi fixings fell into the last category), and I found a bamboo mat (for about $4), wasabi, pickled ginger (sans preservatives and fake colors – score!), nori (seaweed sheets), and sushi rice.  I tried my first go at sushi earlier this week, and it turned out AWESOME.  In Travis’ words, “This is the best sushi I’ve ever had.”  Well then.

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So here’s my message to you:  YOU CAN DO THIS!!!  I feel like just about anything tastes good in a sushi roll, and if you follow the instructions to a T on your sushi rice package, it sticks together like a dream.  Seriously, go to Peas and Crayons and listen to her wisdom.  I decided to fill my rolls with tofu and veggies a la my sister Shondra’s kick-butt Korean hand rolls.  These were my filling ingredients the first time around:

  • extra-firm tofu – I cut half a block into long sticks, then marinated them in an impromptu teriyaki sauce (tamari, rice vinegar, sugar, a couple drops sesame oil…), and baked at 350 for about 15 minutes while I cut up the veggies (and then I threw them back in the marinade to hang out while they cooled)
  • carrots – I julienned these very small, then blanched them (threw them in boiling water for about 5 min), and I also threw them into the tasty marinade
  • cucumber – julienned into cute little sticks
  • green onion – awkwardly julienned, but it did the trick
  • avocado – sliced very thin

For the party last night I separated the ingredients into 3 different kinds of rolls for our guests:

  • 1:  tofu, sweet red pepper (also julienned, not marinated), fresh basil leaves
  • 2:  carrot, pickled ginger, green onion
  • 3:  cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo (vegan mayo and chili sauce)

IMG_3491It was a Travis-themed party… Batman, Back to the Future, and Star Wars :)

I served up the rolls with a giant double batch of noodles with tofu, veggies, and cashew sauce (see my original post here), and I’m happy to say that it was a pretty great dinner.  I hope the birthday boy and our guests agree!  Oh, and I almost forgot, I made some delicious chocolate peanut butter cupcakes from one of my favorite eye-candy blogs, Sally’s Baking Addiction – get the recipe HERE.  No pics of the cupcakes because we ate them all first.  Oops.  :)

IMG_3487Seriously, it was super fun, and the sushi was fantastic!  Go for it!

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10 thoughts on “Homemade birthday sushi! (vegan/gf)

  1. Mama Mia says:

    Sounds like I might have to try it! I bet the kids would love it too (if they could get past the texture–Punkin is a bit picky lately). I can’t manage to get out to get sushi so I guess I need to try! was it expensive to buy the specialty ingredients? (we’re on a tight food budget…)

    • Julie @ Harvest Moon Kitchen says:

      The ingredients weren’t bad at all! The fillings are just normal things – whatever floats your boat – and some things aren’t NECESSARY, like pickled ginger (a few bucks, although the non-fakey stuff I got was more like $5, but there was also a ton of it), and wasabi (a few bucks?). The sushi rice is key (about $2.50 for enough for 6 rolls?), and then of course the nori itself (the seaweed sheets). Those were also only a few bucks, although I can’t remember exactly (and I can’t find the receipt!). Oh, and I mentioned it in the post, but a bamboo rolling mat is helpful, although not necessary (you could use something a little stiff like a thick towel?). And if you don’t already have rice vinegar in your pantry… get some. I use it all the time in stir fry sauces and in my black beans. If the texture doesn’t go over well with Punkin, that’s more for you and the rest of the family (ha), or you can try spring rolls, which use rice wrappers and no rice inside. Here’s a recipe to inspire you: http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/blog/food/nut-butter-a-kitchen-chameleon Happy rolling! :)

    • Julie @ Harvest Moon Kitchen says:

      Um, yeah! I am constantly salivating over your posts. So pretty, and so creative in a simple “duh, this dessert was just waiting for someone to think of it” way. :) The cupcakes were actually the first thing I made from your site, amazingly enough, and they were fanTAStic!

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