I’ve cooked and burned rice on the stovetop exactly twice. After the second time, I bought a rice cooker and enjoy that babysitting or destroying rice is no longer a part of the process. $50 well spent! Rice cookers are especially great for making sushi rice because they cook the rice super-evenly for rice-challenged folks like me, help the lazy be who they are (dump rice in cooker, add water to cook, push button, wait, rest and fluff) or keep the sushi-making process low-key and minimally fussy as possible.
VEGAN DYNAMITE ROLLS
Yield 4 rolls
FOR THE SUSHI RICE
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
FOR THE KING OYSTER MUSHROOM
- 2 cups diced king oyster mushrooms (slice into scallop-sized rounds, discard tops. Slice each round into 4 to 6 pieces), soaked in warm water for about 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup water, whisked with 1 TB Ener-G
- 1 cup cornstarch, plus more if needed
- plenty of canola, vegetable or grapeseed oil
FOR THE DYNAMITE SAUCE
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo (I use Vegenaise)
- 1 TB sriracha, to taste
- 4 toasted nori sheets
- 4 TB black sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- chopped scallions, to garnish
- To make the sushi rice, place the rice and water into a rice cooker and cook according to the manufacturer instructions. Once done, season with the rice vinegar, sugar and salt and set aside to cool.
- To make the mushrooms, place several inches of oil into a small, heavy dutch oven or cast iron pot (I use Lodge’s cast iron) over medium-high heat. It will take anywhere from 5-7 minutes for the oil to be ready. While you are waiting, throw a fourth of the chopped mushrooms into the Ener-G mixture and toss to coat. Shake off any excess moisture, then place into the cornstarch, gently tossing with your hands.
- Test the oil for readiness by throwing in a pinch of cornstarch. If it sizzles immediately, you are ready to fry. Shake off any excess cornstarch from the mushrooms and gently lower them into the oil using a skimmer and fry until golden brown, no more than 3 minutes. Transfer the fried mushrooms to a paper towel to drain while you repeat the process in batches with the rest of the mushrooms.
- To assemble the rolls, divide the cooled rice into 4 portions. Slide a sushi mat into a large Ziploc bag or cover with plastic wrap. Place one sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the mat. Moisten your fingers with some water to prevent rice from sticking to them, then spread the rice evenly over the nori sheet, leaving about an inch exposed at the top. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of the sesame seeds, if desired.
- Divide the fried mushrooms into 4 portions. Drizzle one portion with the dynamite sauce until evenly coated. With the exposed end away from you, form a thin line of some of the mushrooms along the side closest to you, adding a couple slices of avocado. Roll the sushi away from you, gripping the mat tightly but gently.
- Once rolled, seal the end with water or add a few grains of rice to the end to help seal. Now cut the sushi in half with a very sharp knife (I run the blade under scalding water for a cleaner cut), then each half into halves, then those halves into halves to make 8 pieces. Place onto a serving plate, spooning the leftover mushrooms over the top.
- Repeat this process to make 4 rolls. Finish with chopped scallions and extra sriracha, if desired.