Thursday, 13 February 2014

Veggie Sushi for Valentine's Day

I’ve always by-passed sushi as it’s fish-based, so it’s never really been on my radar and I’ve never paid any attention to it.  However, I’ve been made aware of larger supermarkets now stocking vegetarian sushi, but still, I’ve never really entertained it.
But I was recently approached to trial a sushi kit for two where I could make my own vegetarian versions and I thought this would be an opportune time to see if I could be turned.

The kit, made by Yutaka has ample ingredients (bar fillings) to feed two people and it comes with a bag of rice, two large sheets of nori (pressed seaweed), sachets of shredded ginger, sushi vinegar, soy sauce and wasabi paste plus a rolling mat to help you assemble your sushi.
Using the instruction leaflet, I boiled the rice in its bag, let it rest, then prepared it in a bowl with the sachet ingredients.  I did however only use a little of the sushi vinegar (as it can be overpowering) and I omitted the wasabi paste (due to personal preference).

Laying the nori sheet on the mat, I placed a layer of rice on the sheet followed by some griddled vegetables I’d prepared earlier (asparagus, ribboned carrots and very thin slithers of red pepper).

So far so good. 
Crossing my fingers for a moment, I then embarked on creating the sushi roll.  The mat was a blessing and again, following the instructions, I ended up with a sushi roll that resembled the images on the pack.  
But before I succumbed to complete smugness, I did notice that my roll was somewhat portly compared to the benchmark pictures on the packet but not letting size be the issue here, I was pleased to find that they cut well and formed sushi parcels albeit a little bigger than anticipated.

The creation of sushi is indeed an art form and for a novice like me, the mantra of practice makes perfect is certainly applicable.  The key here is to keep the layer of rice and filling thin as once rolled, it becomes very padded which detracts from the original idea and although it tastes great, it becomes difficult to eat (as I discovered).  

But I am definitely going to make it again, now that I have grown a little in confidence with it and now that I have switched my mindset that vegetarian sushi is possible, tastes delicious and can be alternated with so many different vegetable combinations.  

Sushi-making and sushi-eating is a romantic way of spending Valentine's Day together and a quirky, healthy change from the usual 3 course fayre served with red roses, so this could be an option for all those looking for something different this weekend.
Now I've had my rehearsal, I hope my next batch using the Yutaka kit will be just as more-ish but perhaps I'll use a little less filling and exercise a little more practice in making them just like they are on the packet!
Yutaka’s Sushi Kit for 2 can be bought for £4.99 from Sainsbury’s supermarkets or from a variety of online stores.

Disclosure:  This post was written following kind receipt of Yukata's Sushi Kit for 2 .  This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website. 

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