This blasphemous sushi surprised even me. I am accustomed to homemade sushi my way, vegan and with whole sushi rice. But this raw version is so smart that it seems diabolical. It allows a drastic cut in calories giving a nice expedient to eat lots of raw vegetables in a exotic and delicious way. The pronounced flavor of raw cauliflower is softened and mitigated by vinegar rice, and the smell of seaweed and wasabi create that magic scent that sushi lovers perfectly know.
Seaweed is my favorite answer to the classic question made to a vegan: “… and from wheeere you take your prooooteins ?!?!?” 😀
After this answer, who asked the question usually turns around and walks away, but if he/she is curious enough or has just a little time to lose, then I can play around and talk about Chorella … Spirulina … Klamath… Nori ... … that sound like names of enchanted forest’s fairies.
And, in fact, seaweed are a little enchanted.
Let’s talk about Nori seaweed, the one that is used for making sushi. Nori seaweed is rich in easy to assimilate proteins and is characterized by a wide spectrum of amino acids including arginine also, useful in strengthening the immune system. It is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids omega 3, vitamins (A, C, niacin and folic acid), minerals, first of all the calcium, essential trace elements such as manganese, zinc, copper and selenium and is, as all of the algae, very rich in iodine. Controversial and debated its content of vitamin B12, but it seems that, unlike Spirulina and Klamath, which vitamin B12 is not bioavailable , vitamin B12 present in the seaweed Nori is, at least partially, metabolically active.
Not bad, our little fairy.
And now few words about Mr. Cauliflower. Of course, he is not exactly glamorous, you know.
Our friend cauliflower uses a scent that is a bit ‘his mark, as those old men wearing the same perfume for life, when he is in a room, you feel it. And it is a scent that does not evoke lust, you know, Mr. cauliflower is a sober man. Between him and Nori there is a spiritual relationship, a platonic love. The top notes of the eau de cheufleur, spicy and pungent, are given by the isothiocyanates, sulfur molecules that play a key role in the elimination of toxins. Cooking, especially if prolonged, degrade these molecules making more labile effectiveness, that’s the reason why eating raw cauliflower (and all cruciferous in general) maximizes the nutritional qualities. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, selenium, effective in the repair of oxidative damage, and vitamin C, which plays a key role in the absorption of iron of which is fairly rich. Mr. Cauliflower is also rich in chlorophyll, the plant pigment similar to human hemoglobin that has anti-anemic and healing properties, expecially if you eat it raw.
The seaweed and cauliflower rice are the basis of our raw vegan sushi, I suggest you to create fillings based on raw and seasonal vegetables. I have stuffed mine with red cabbage, carrots, avocado and fresh mint from my balcony (last season’s harvest I suppose, since I live in France and is going to start the season of the Yeti).
Special attention should be paid to a key ingredient of this raw sushi because it greatly facilitates the preparation: flax seeds. They are a mine of polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega 3 (useful in protecting the cardiovascular system and in the treatment of hypertension and osteoporosis), of manganese, phosphorus, copper and magnesium and B vitamins. Flaxseeds should be consumed preferably powder ground in a coffee grinder or broken in a mortar but only immediately before use, or in the form of oil. In preparing this sushi flax seed powder is mixed with water to make cauliflower rice a little bit sticky.
VEGAN RAW CAULIFLOWER SUSHI RICE
For about 20 pieces of sushi:
For cauliflower rice:
-500 grams of raw cauliflower
-2 Teaspoons of flaxseed powder mixed with 6 teaspoons of water.
-4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
-a pinch of Himalayan salt
For the filling:
– Fresh mint leaves
– 1 ripe avocado
– raw red cabbage, julienned
– raw carrot julienned
– Sesame seeds
– sheets of nori seaweed
– Julienne red cabbage and carrots
– Cut the avocado into thin slices
– Finely chop the cauliflower in the food processor using S blade
– Place the cauliflower rice in a colander and sprinkle with salt, mix with your hands and squeeze it.
– Transfer the cauliflower rice in a bowl, add the powdered flaxseed and water mixture the rice vinegar and mix well
– Lay a sheet of nori with the shiny side facing outward and oriented as in the photo on your bamboo mat
– Take a handful of rice cauliflower, further squeeze between your fingers in a bowl of water (that will also help you to rinse your hands during the preparation) and place it on the nori sheet delicately flattening with the palms of your hands, taking care to leave 1 cm free along the outer edge of the seaweed
– spread on the cauliflower layer a very small amount of wasabi with your fingers or with a brush and place the filling ingredients on the seaweed as shown in the picture
– Using your bamboo mat as support, roll the seaweed and its filling in on itself, the mat serves as a “mold”, to obtain a perfectly cylindrical roll
– Transfer the roll on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut in half, place the the two halves parallelly to each other and cut in four cross-sections for a total of eight pieces of sushi
– Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce and wasabi
And what about you? Do you love homemade sushi? Do you have some secret tips and tricks? Share them with us! 😉