I'd say I'm currently on a sushi kick but the truth is I'm pretty much always on a sushi kick. You'd think that sometime between my discovery of sushi in 2006 and today, I'd have grown tired of it but no.
The weather is warming up quickly here in Tempe and while I really enjoy cooked rolls...a cool, fresh & raw sushi roll tastes really great for a nice lunch on these warm afternoons. You're free to use actual rice in this recipe, and I do occasionally (brown rice works great!) but once in awhile, I want that lightness that comes from an entirely raw meal. And the cauliflower rice shown here is so yummy, you'll hardly miss the real stuff.
I love to eat raw and for us, that interpretation includes raw meat occasionally, and only from the best sources. I stopped by the sushi counter at AJ's Fine Foods recently for some lunch and when chatting with the sushi chef, discovered happily that they sell the raw fish they use.
They order in a particular type of fish to serve at the bar, a grade 1 rather than grade 2, which is what is typically sold over at the seafood counter. The grade 1 undergoes a brining and a minimum 7-day freezing to eliminate possibility of bacteria. And then they only pull the fish out for one day to serve, anything unused by the end of the day is thrown out.
The grade 1 fish is much pricier, about $25-$30/lb, depending on whether you want tuna, salmon, etc. But I've found when making sushi at home, I only need a little bit (4 oz. covers 4 rolls well) and I still come out much, much cheaper than when I dine out for sushi.
If you don't live here in the valley, check your nearest sushi bar (likely at a higher end grocer) and ask if they sell their sushi grade fish. And if raw fish isn't your thing, this roll is delicious without it.
Mango is one of my favorite things in sushi these days. My friend Whitney and I get together for sushi occasionally and one of our favorite spots recently added a Mango Philly Roll and I'm telling you, I dream about that thing on a regular basis!
Yields: 4 rolls of 8 pieces
4 large nori sheets
cauliflower "rice" (see below")
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 mango, sliced
1/3 english cucumber, sliced
4 oz. raw sushi grade salmon, cut in long thin slices (optional)
1/2 lemon, half sliced thinly
2 scallions, finely diced
sesame seeds, for garnish
coconut amino (or nama shoyu) for dipping
To assemble sushi, lay 1 sheet of nori on a bamboo mat covered with a square of plastic wrap (or you can just use plastic wrap), making sure the nori is laying the long way from right to left.. [This video is helpful for learning to roll sushi.] Cover the nori with a thin layer of the cauliflower "rice," but leave a 1" border on just one side of the nori. Then, lengthwise on top of the "rice," lay the avocado, mango, cucumber, and salmon in a line down the middle. If using salmon, take a small wedge of lemon and squeeze it over the ingredients before rolling. The acidity of the lemon juice will begin to "cook" the fish and help to kill any possible bacteria (if you're worried about that).
Carefully pick up the opposite end to the 1" border free of "rice," and begin to roll over the ingredients, tugging tightly as you roll to keep the roll free of gaps in the middle. Continue to roll until hitting the border free of "rice" and squeeze the roll gently all along the length of it, shaping it round as best as possible.
Carefully remove the bamboo mat and plastic wrap and allow the roll to sit for a minute or two to let the nori bind to itself well. Then, with a very sharp knife, carefully cut the roll in half. Then cut each half in half again, and once more cut the four pieces in half, resulting in 8 individual pieces. Arrange the pieces on a plate and garnish with lemon slices, scallions, and sesame seeds, as desired. Serve with coconut aminos and raw spicy mayo (recipe below).
Raw Cauliflower "Rice"
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 T. raw tahini
1/2" nub ginger, shaved
1 t. EVOO
1 t. seasoned rice vinegar (if you are worried about 100% raw, sub raw apple cider vinegar)
a few drops raw honey, to taste
1/2 t. sea salt
In the bowl of a large food processor, combine all ingredients and process until well-combined, scraping the bowl down occasionally to make sure all ingredients are uniformly incorporated.
Raw Spicy "Mayo"
1/2 c. coconut cream (cream removed from top of refrigerated can of coconut milk)
1 t. Sriracha sauce (adjust to how spicy you like it)
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of sea salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Transfer to a squeeze bottle with a fine tip for easy application.
Last year: Buckwheat Crepes with Strawberry Maple Jam