Spicy “No Tuna” Roll (vegetarian/vegan)

The other day I purchased sushi from my local grocer’s sushi bar. It was a spring roll wrap filled with shredded carrot, seasoned with sriracha mayonnaise, and included other fresh wholesome fresh veggie fillings like cucumber. But what stood out on my palate when eating this most delightful dish was the lemony citrus notes that made a subtle “ta-da” appearance on my tongue. Although I didn’t re-create this recipe exactly for its citrus presentation, what I did discover was a serendipity recreation of a “Spicy “No Tuna” Roll. If you’re anything like me, you hate raw tuna and cooked tuna for that matter except unless of course its presentation is made in a tuna fish sandwich. Perhaps, with a light sprinkling of lemon juice on this sushi roll, one might rediscover those citrusy undertones.

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and shredded

1/2 teaspoon of ginger zested/grated from one fresh/frozen knob of peeled ginger

1/4 of a whole cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into 2" matchsticks

1/5 of fresh avocado, peeled, cut into 2" matchsticks

Sushi rice (recipe follows)

2 sheets of Nori

Sriracha Mayonnaise Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of Hellman’s mayonnaise, I prefer egg mayonnaise (* See Cook’s Note)

1/4 teaspoon garlic chili sauce or your favorite sriracha sauce

1/2 teaspoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar, plus more for thinning

Additional Optional Accompaniments:

Sesame Seeds

Pickled Ginger

Wasabi

Soy Sauce

Lemon Wedges

Directions:

In a small bowl combine shredded carrot and fresh ginger zest.

In another small bowl mix together sriracha mayonnaise ingredients. If necessary, add a little additional rice wine vinegar to thin out the dressing. Add the shredded carrot mixture to the sriracha mayonnaise and stir to combine well.

Place a sheet of nori (roasted seaweed sheet) on a flat surface and spread your prepared sushi rice completely over the sheet with the back of a spoon. Make sure your sushi rice is warm/hot to ensure proper adhesion of the seaweed seam when rolling.

At the one end of the sheet closest to you, spread the carrot mixture along the length of the sheet in a 1" wide row on top of the warm rice. Then, place cucumber slices on top of the 1" wide row of the carrot mixture, making sure cucumber sticks are touching end to end. Next, place avocado slices on top of the carrot mixture in the same manner, touching end to end.

Now, carefully roll your Spicy “No Tuna” Roll, carefully and gently folding the filling ingredients over onto the rice-lined sheet of seaweed and using the “tuck and roll” method to secure a tight roll. Make sure when you reach the end of rolling the log, the final end (seam-side) is pressing down along the countertop. Now, press gently, but firmly, to ensure proper adhesion to the seam.

Allow sushi roll to rest a few minutes to allow for proper adhesion from the moisture of the rice to the seaweed in order to secure the seam before cutting.

Cut roll into 1" round increments and place on a plate or sushi plate. If desired, sprinkle with lemon juice, and/or sesame seeds. Add a serving of pickled ginger, and wasabi to your sushi plate (optional). Make sure soy sauce is available for seasoning as well. If you have additional cucumber sticks and avocado slices leftover, serve as additional accompaniments to the Spicy “No Tuna” Sushi Roll.

(*) COOK’S NOTE: To make this dish vegan, swap out the egg mayonnaise for your favorite vegan mayonnaise. People’s preference for mayonnaise becomes their “peculiarity” and is not only culturally specific but also references regional tastes. Hellman’s was our family’s favorite choice of mayonnaise here in the American northeast.

SUSHI RICE

Ingredients:

1 cup medium-grain rice

2 cups of water

Sushi Rice Seasoning:

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons of sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

Directions:

In a small saucepan place water and sushi rice and stir well. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer the rice for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl combine rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt is optional. Stir well. Place in microwave and heat until hot. Remove vinegar mixture from microwave and stir well with a spoon to dissolve sugar.

When rice is done cooking, pour the sushi rice seasoning over the rice and stir well.

Any unused portion should be placed in an air-tight container and kept refrigerated for up to 1 week.

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