Nori Maki With Tempeh and Vegetables

Nori Maki is a general term for easy-to-eat sushi rolls that can have any variety of rice and other fillings. This recipe from the National Gourmet Institute stands apart from the rest as a delicious example of plant-based cuisine. The filling consists of mirin-flavored brown rice, marinated tempeh, and an assortment of vegetables including carrots, string beans, and scallions. Prepare with sheets of toasted nori, and enjoy with a flavorful Asian dipping sauce.

Ingredients

  • Rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • Maki
  • 18 string beans, trimmed
  • 6 sheets toasted nori
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and cut into thin diagonal slices
  • 1 small avocado, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium-large carrot, peeled and cut*
  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons shoyu or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons umeboshi paste
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi powder, mixed with water to make paste
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 1/4 cup shoyu or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 teaspoons ginger juice**
  • PREP TIME 20
  • COOK TIME 60
  • Serves 36 rolls

Directions

Rice

  1. In a pressure cooker, bring water and rice to full pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to very low and cook for 45 minutes. Place cooker in sink; run under cold water to bring down pressure. Remove lid and spoon rice into a large bowl. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine vinegar and mirin in a small bowl. Sprinkle over cooled rice, mixing well with two forks.

Maki 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice tempeh in half, crosswise, creating 2 long, thin slabs. Slice each slab into strips that are 1/2-inch wide by 1/4-inch thick. Arrange tempeh in a single layer in an 8″x 8″ baking dish (there should be little or no room in between strips).
  2. Whisk together maple syrup, mirin, shoyu and vinegar in a bowl and pour over tempeh. Cover baking dish and cook until marinade is fully absorbed (about 40 to 45 minutes). Transfer tempeh to a plate and cool to room temperature.
  3. Blanch or steam carrots and string beans until just tender then shock and drain.

Dipping sauce

  1. Whisk together shoyu, maple syrup, mirin, water and ginger juice. Serve with nori pieces.

Rolls

  1. To assemble rolls, place one nori sheet on the near edge of a sushi mat with the shiny side down (have a small bowl of water nearby to moisten fingers). Transfer 3/4 cup of rice to nori sheet and spread evenly with wet fingers, leaving the top two inches (far edge) of the nori bare. Using a chopstick, spread some wasabi and umeboshi paste across the middle section of the rice, making two thin lines.
  2. Sprinkle with seeds and arrange tempeh, avocado, carrot, string bean and scallions lengthwise on top of seeds and paste.
  3. In a rolling motion, bring edges of nori and mat up and over rice and vegetables. Moisten the strip of bare nori, using wet fingertips. Lift up far edge of mat (so it does not get caught in the roll), reposition and finish rolling.
  4. Lift roll off of mat onto cutting board. Using a moistened sharp knife, gently cut off the jagged edge of the roll, using a sawing motion. Continue slicing the roll into six even pieces, cutting off second jagged side.
  5. Repeat procedure five times with remaining nori, rice, seasoning, tempeh and vegetables. Serve with dipping sauce.

*Cut carrots into 1/4-inch thick slabs, then 1/4-inch wide strips.

**To make ginger juice, peel and finely grate a small piece of ginger. Squeeze ginger to extract juice.