My kid is completely obsessed with sushi rolls, and I’m starting to figure out that it’s the format itself that elicits all her fondness – she will eat anything wrapped up in nori and rice. Take these rolls, for example – there are strawberries, which Paloma loves, but there is also asparagus, which, at this stage in her life, she would never consider eating on its own. But last week, I made one batch of this sushi, most of which was eaten by Paloma with no notice of asparagus, and the next day she asked me to make more of the ‘same exact thing’… If that’s what gets her eating asparagus, I’m all for it!
For the adults and the less picky, these sushi rolls have it all. They are summery, light and bright, a great small meal or snack for the sunny days ahead. I used black rice, one of my favorite grains out there, for a little more bite and nutrition. There are sweet summer strawberries, tender, crisp asparagus, and spinach for that extra green. Avocado is always a great finishing touch to any vegetable sushi, its buttery texture just goes so well with rice and slightly crunchy nori.
There’s a certain belief out there about sushi being difficult to make at home, but unless you are shooting for Jiro-like perfection and tradition, it’s not a big deal at all, I promise. With a casual approach, it only takes a few fun motions to roll up a mean sushi meal for yourself.
- 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar - divided
- 3 cups cooked black forbidden rice
- 1 teaspoon neutral coconut oil
- about 8 asparagus spears - tough ends cut off
- sea salt and black pepper - to taste
- 1 avocado - quartered
- ½ lemon or lime - juice
- 4 nori sheets - raw or toasted
- about 4-6 medium strawberries - sliced
- about 2 cups baby spinach
- Drizzle brown rice vinegar over cooked black rice in a medium bowl, mix to coat evenly.
- Warm coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add asparagus to the pan, followed by a pinch of salt and black pepper and saute for about 5 minutes, until bright green and crisp-tender.
- Slice each avocado quarter into three wedges. Squeeze lemon or lime juice over the avocado to prevent discoloration.
- Place one nori sheet at a time on a sushi mat or a cutting board, shiny side down and lines going horizontally. Measure ¾ cup of black rice and cover the nori with it evenly, leaving a 1-inch border at the side opposite to you, parallel to the horizontal lines of the nori. Wet your hands to prevent rice from sticking to them when distributing.
- Arrange 3 avocado wedges along the side of nori closest to you, slightly overlapping them. Top with about 5-6 strawberry slices, overlapping those as well. Place 2 asparagus spears next to strawberry slices, tips facing the edges, followed by a few spinach leaves.
- Lightly moisten the uncovered border of the nori with water. Start rolling by folding the end of nori closest to you over the filling, squeezing firmly, and continue rolling to the end. The moistened border will stick and seal the roll. Wrap the sushi mat around the roll and squeeze gently to form the roll into its final shape. If not using a mat, squeeze with your hands to stabilize. Put the roll aside, seam-side down, and repeat with the rest of nori sheets and filling ingredients.
- Place one roll at a time on a cutting board and slice in half with a sharp, moistened knife. Then cut each piece in half again, wiping the knife in between cuts if necessary, and repeat by cutting each of the 4 pieces in half one last time. You should have 8 pieces. Serve immediately with tamari.