In High School I fell in love with cooking, which led me to working at a local sushi restaurant right next to University of Colorado at Boulder; arguably filled with the most beautiful women in the country. My journey began in the back...making rice and mixing wasabi. But over the next year I worked my way up through the kitchen and to the sushi bar. Yes, the sushi bar meant I could chat up all the beautiful girls I could handle.
It was on one rare occasion when a particularly gorgeous girl sat in front of me. Being the uniquely independent Boulderite she was (and I'm sure still is), she made a special request. Vegan sushi...no rice...just veg. Now at this point my wheels started turning. I questioned how I would impress the new love of my life. I could no longer pull out my special dishes of Hamachi (yellow tail tuna) and Ponzu (a citrus soy). So I got creative and this is what I made.
Toasted Nori Sheet - 4
Broccoli Sprouts - 4 small handfuls (one per sheet)
Alfalfa Sprouts - 4 small handfuls (one per sheet)
Red Beet - 8 battons (2 1/2 x 1/4 x 1/4 inch cuts)
Jicama - 8 battons (2 1/2 x 1/4 x 1/4 inch cuts)
Red Bell Pepper - 8 battons (2 1/2 x 1/4 x 1/4 inch cuts)
Cucumber - 8 battons (2 1/2 x 1/4 x 1/4 inch cuts)
Avocado - 8 thin slices, about half an avocado
Carrot - 8 battons (2 1/2 x 1/4 x 1/4 inch cuts)
Cilantro - spring
Basil - 8 leaves
Ponzu -1/4 cup
Ginger - 1/2 inch nob
Honey - 2 tsp
For the roll - First we must prepare all of our vegetables. I suggest that you cut them into small 'battons' (just shy of 2 1/2' x 1/4'' x 1/4'''). This will allow the texture of each vegetable to be recognized independently. Remember, we are going to roll this, so as long as the pieces are long and skinny, we are good to go! Lay your product out on a plate and hold on the side. Now it is time to roll...
On a dry surface, lay out the sheet of nori with the textured side facing up. If you are a vet, you can cut it in half and save some product. This will also make the roll a bit less chewy...otherwise you can lay the whole thing out. Next, evenly distribute the sprouts onto the sheet leaving a 1 inch space at the top. Place a few pieces of the basil and cilantro on the sprouts and then place a piece of each of the vegetables into the center of the nori. Ready...set...roll! Give the exposed nori a little brush of water so it will stick to the other side.
See, that was easy! Now for the challenging part: cutting. You want to cut the roll in half. Then we want to move those pieces next to each other and make three even cuts through the two halves. This will give us 8 beautiful pieces.
For the sauce - Peel and microplane (grate) the ginger into the ponzu. Whisk in the honey and serve!