I adore picnics. I think they are fun and romantic and make the most of the great weather, while keeping my house and kitchen clean. As far as I am concerned the less mess the better. I love cooking but the cleaning I think should be left to real professionals whenever possible. We all have our skills, and cleaning is my least favorite one. So I like to picnic in good weather as often as possible. This recipe is perfect for my family, as we are a Gluten free majority and the recipe is so easy, my kids can and do make it themselves from the assembled ingredients. You can watch them!
What is this fun and easy recipe? Sushi! Yes, easy sushi you can make at home and that will last in the fridge if made in advance, for 2 days. A few tips for sushi making. Pick a time to prep the ingredients that is not too rushed. I love to make the rice and prep the vegetables in advance. To limit that mess, put a plastic disposable tablecloth down for the kids to play and make the rolls they want. I also try to save the sushi leftover rolls uncut. I adjusted and adapted this recipe from the site Minimalist Baker. It’s been a staple in my home for years.
- 1 2/3 cups water
- 1 cup short grain brown rice rinsed
- 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
- fresh red bell pepper
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 2 packages of wild Smoked Salmon
- Tamari or soy sauce if not gluten-free
- Pickled ginger
- Sesame seeds
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil then add rice, swirl to coat, and lower heat to low and cover. Simmer until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender – about 18-25 minutes. Drain off any excess water if there is any.
Once the rice is done, kill the heat and add vinegar and stir with a rubber spatula or fork as to not overmix. It will appear wet but will dry up as you lightly stir to release heat. It should be sticky and completely dry once it’s ready.
While the rice finishes cooking, prep your veggies by chopping them into thin pieces. If they’re too bulky they won’t allow the sushi to roll well. I like to use a julienne peeler, it takes up the least room in my drawers. Serious precious real estate, then for peppers I just cut as thinly as I can. No need to be perfect.
Now it’s time to roll: Grab your sushi mat and top with a sheet of nori. Using your hands dipped in water (to avoid sticking), pat a very thin layer of rice all over the nori, making sure it’s not too thick or your roll will be all rice and no filling.
Then, arrange a generous serving of your veggies or preferred filling in a line at 3/4 from the bottom of the rice closest to you .
Start to roll the nori and rice over with your fingers, and once the veggies are covered, roll the mat over to mold and compress the roll. Continue until it’s all the way rolled up. If I am going to use these later on I wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and do not cut until i am ready to serve. When I am ready to cut the rolls, I find slicing with a very sharp serrated knife yields the best results. Repeat until all rice and fillings are used up - about 4 total rolls (amount as original recipe is written // will vary if altering batch size).
Serve immediately with pickled ginger, tamari or soy sauce, and wasabi. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator up to 2 days.