Monday, April 16, 2012

Quinoa Spring Sushi

I know I have talked about quinoa before, and how I can't get enough of it.  Recently, I discovered the Quinoa Queen....she's all about quinoa, so you can imagine how happy I was. You can find her at  Last week she wrote about making sushi with quinoa instead of rice, so I tried it and loved it. 
As she suggested, I used the vegetables I had on hand.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a ripe avocado, but I will when I do this again.
After spreading the quinoa, I layered broccoli sprouts, slivered pickled radish, leftover chunks of salmon from the night before, chopped cilantro and a sprinkling of toasted black sesame seeds.  Lastly, fresh grated horseradish on top.  
I thought they were awesome, and totally worth the effort, which really wasn't that much.  I made some fresh wasabi with Penzey's powder, mixed it with Shoyu, an organically brewed soy sauce and thoroughly enjoyed that meal.

Here is the Quinoa Queens recipe:

DIY Quick-Pickled Ginger
First you’ll have to make the tezu – the vinegar-water pickling liquid. Conveniently, this is the same dressing you’ll use to season your quinoa, so the amounts below are in fact enough for both the pickled ginger and rolls. Use half measures if you are only making the pickled ginger.
4 Tbsp. (60 ml) brown rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. liquid honey (or light agave)
2 tsp. sea salt
*1 tiny piece of beet root added to the tezu will colour the ginger a lovely pink hue, but this is optional, as it is only cosmetic.

Whisk together. Set half aside to dress the quinoa.
60 grams/2 oz fresh ginger root, organic if possible

1. Peel the ginger and slice it thinly on a mandolin, grater or exploit your awesome knife skills.
2. Sprinkle the ginger with salt, toss to coat, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
3. Using your hands, squeeze the whole lot of ginger out over a sink, rinse well with cold running water and squeeze out again until it is as dry as possible.
4. Soak the ginger in a glass jar with half of the tezu (it should be submerged; if not add a little more). Let marinate for 15 minutes. Serve.
Cover and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Quinoa Spring Sushi
Makes enough for 6-8 rolls
Sushi Quinoa:
1 ½ cups quinoa (white, black, red, or a combo)
3 cups water
Spring Vegetables – use anything you like and that is in season.
Sesame seeds – roast them in a dry pan until they smell fragrant.
1. If time allows, soak your quinoa for up to 8 hours. Drain and rinse well.
2. Put quinoa in a pot with water. Bring to the boil, reduce to simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes until the water has been absorbed (do NOT stir!).

3. When the quinoa has cooked, transfer it to a large bowl to halt the cooking process and cool it down. When it is no longer piping hot, you may add just under half (only half!) of your tezu, the vinegar preparation. Fold to incorporate and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary. The quinoa should have a distinct sweet acidity, but not be overpowering. Now cover loosely with a towel and let the quinoa cool completely.
4. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare all the filling ingredients. Blanch the vegetables you want cooked and cut everything into long strips for ease of rolling.
I need to work on making the rolls tighter, but not bad for a first try.
To roll the Sushi:
1. Place a sushi mat (or piece of plastic film) down on a clean cutting board with the slats running horizontally. Place a nori sheet, shiny-side down on the mat, 2cm from the edge closest to you. Use wet hands to spread a thin layer of quinoa evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a 3cm-wide border along the edge furthest from you. Arrange the fillings across the center of the quinoa. Grate fresh horseradish root over top, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
2. Use your thumbs and forefingers to pick up the edge of the mat closest to you. Use your other fingers to hold the filling while rolling the mat over to enclose. Gently pull the mat as you go to create a firm roll.
3. Continue rolling until all the quinoa is covered with the nori and you have a neat roll. Shape your hands around the mat to gently tighten the roll. Use a wet sharp knife to cut into pieces, dipping your knife in water between each slice.  Arrange sushi on a serving platter and serve with pickled ginger and shoyu.

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