Super Sushi

Ingredients
amaranth                                                                                       
avocado
tofu
butter or oil                                                                                                   
soy sauce
nori

I love sushi, which often confuses people who think sushi necessarily includes raw fish.  “Aren’t you a vegetarian?!” they ask.

Of course, but “sushi” refers to cold, cooked rice formed into bite sized pieces with various fillings or toppings, which may be fishy or vegetarian.

The other day, I created this Super Sushi recipe using amaranth, an ancient Peruvian grain, rather than white sushi rice.  Amaranth, similar to quinoa, is packed with protein and vitamins, so it’s a great way to make vegetarian sushi more nutrient dense.  When boiled, amaranth is slightly sticky, making it great for holding sushi together.  The versatile grain is also delicious as hot cereal, can be popped to add a nutty crunch to baked goods, and much more!

The first step to Super Sushi is boiling the amaranth.  Place about a cup of amaranth and 2 cups of water in a small pot.  Heat to boiling and then let simmer for about twenty minutes or until the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  It is crucial that all of the water is absorbed and the amaranth is dense and sticky.  If the amaranth is too watery, you’ll have to drain it to ensure Super Sushi rather than soupy sushi!

While the amaranth simmers, go ahead and start assembling your fillings.  I chose to fill my Super Sushi with tofu cooked in soy sauce and avocado, my personal favorite filling.  Some other vegetarian toppings that you might enjoy include egg cooked with soy sauce, cucumbers, carrots, asparagus and radishes.

Soak the tofu in soy sauce before stir-frying it in a pan with more soy sauce and butter.  To make this recipe vegan, use your favorite vegetable oil instead of butter!  Sesame oil is great for cooking tofu.

Your fillings are ready; it’s time to roll!

Place one sheet of nori on a bamboo rolling mat or a dish towel.  Bamboo mats are very inexpensive and can be found in many Targets, grocery stores, and Asian food markets.

Moisten your fingers and pick up some amaranth.  Spread the amaranth evenly over the nori, leaving about an inch and a half free at the top.

Place the tofu and avocado, or whatever fillings you’ve chosen, in a line at the bottom of the nori.

This next step is crucial.  Using your bamboo mat, begin to roll the nori, keeping the fillings in a tight, straight alignment.

Continue rolling the nori until the fillings are no longer visible.  Lightly moisten the remained inch and a half of nori and press it against the roll to seal.

Now you have a sushi burrito!  Before you can eat it, you’ll need to cut it into bite sized pieces.  Use a serrated knife to cut the sushi burrito in half.

Then cut each half in half and each quarter in half, resulting in eight bite sized pieces!

Repeat until you run out of ingredients!  Yum!  I made two rolls when I first developed this recipe, and those sixteen pieces of sushi were filling enough to be my dinner.

*Thanks to Anna Munsey-Kano for taking pictures.  “I can feel myself getting healthier,” she said when she tried the sushi.

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