There are literally hundreds of sushi roll varieties in existence today. In fact, no two sushi menus are exactly alike. There are inside out rolls, rolls wrapped in funnel shapes, rolls with no seaweed at all, and the list goes on and on. In fact, I began my sushi journey with a roll that contained no seafood. However, no matter why type of roll is your favorite, they all share one common ingredient: the sushi rice. So the presence of the cooked, sticky rice (or shari) makes sushi, well, sushi, right? Wrong! Sushi can be raw and still maintain the signature look, feel, and texture of the popular cuisine. The Art of Raw Food authorsÂ Jens Casupei and Vibeke Kaupert are certainly at no loss for delicious raw versions of the Japanese delicacy (they even include colored photos demonstrating how to properly roll your own homemade sushi rolls!)
But if sticky rice and seafood strike your fancy, you still may want to be careful about the choices you make when looking at your next menu. In Sustainable Sushi: A Guide to Saving the Oceans One Bite at a Time, author and sushi-fan Casson Trenor details where and how certain fish are caught, whether or not they are safe, and how they figure into the current fishery crisis. With a simple color key, Trenor clearly points out which fish are safe to eat (sustainable), which fish to use caution with, and which fish should be avoided altogether (unsustainable) until the particular challenges that they present are overcome.
So it’s true. Sushi can be prepared two totally different ways, with barely any of the same ingredients, and still be considered sushi. And what’s another plus? You can indulge in both types without any guilt while simultaneously helping out the environment! If you don’t know which type of sushi is for you, check out this raw sushi recipe along with some safe and sustainable fish to order next time you’re out for a night on the town.
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Sushi with ‘Salmon” StuffingÂ from The Art of Raw Food by Jens Casupei and Vibeke Kaupert
1/2 head of cauliflower
Look-alike salmon pĂ˘tĂ©Â (See recipe below)
2 teaspoons cashew butter or peanut butter
4 nori sheets
Thin slices of apple
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Look-alike Salmon PĂ˘tĂ©
1 cup walnuts, soaked 6 hours
1 stalk celery
1 large red bell pepper
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
For the look-alike salmon: Peel the shallot and chop it together with the celery and the red bell pepper. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the consistency is like pĂ˘tĂ©
For the sushi: Blend the cauliflower in a food processor until the consistency is like sticky rice. Place one nori sheet on your sushi mat and arrange the “rice” on the sheet, leaving about a 3/4 inch strip of nori uncovered at the far end (to be used for closing the sushi roll). Arrange a strip of the look-alike salmon across the nori sheet, about 1/3 of the way into the sheet and about 3/4 inch long. Finally, spread nut butter on a couple of thin apple slices and place them with the nut butter down on the look-alike salmon. Roll the nori sheet tightly and moisten the end of the sheet with a little water. Now you should have a whole roll or nori. Repeat until you have four rolls. Cut each roll into 8-1o pieces and garnish each with a bit of wasabi. Serve with soy sauce. Enjoy!Â
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Safe and Harmful Fish from Sustainable Sushi by Casson Trenor -
Safe to eat: Farmed Abalone, Arctic-Char, Crab, Mackerel, Imitation Crab, Alaskan Salmon and Flatfish, United States Sea Bass, U.S. Pacific Handlined Tuna
Stay away from: Japanese farmed Amberjack, Open-containment Barramundi, Bluefin Tuna Belly, Imported Blue Crab, Atlantic Flounder
Got it? You can test your sushi smarts on Trenor’s Sustainble Sushi website with a Virtual Sushi Dinner.
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Personally, my favorite type of sushi is the spicy tuna roll. What’s yours?