Spring Harvest Sushi Rolls

Get your greens in this Japanese-inspired favourite!
bunch of asparagus tied with string on wooden tabel
Fortyforks/Shutterstock.com

Very soon, locally grown and harvested spring vegetables will be available for purchase. Two of my favourite vegetables are asparagus and garlic scapes. They are delicious, extremely nutritious and can star in any dish in a variety of ways. Begin by rinsing and chopping off the woody ends then sautéing in a hot skillet with butter and seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper. For a quick snack, garnish with toasted almonds or incorporate them into a more elaborate dish like these Spring Harvest Sushi Rolls. These brown rice sushi rolls do not contain any refined carbs, wheat, or dairy and are highly adaptable for a smorgasbord of seasonal ingredients. They make a great substitute to rice rolls or wraps.

This recipe  has a high mineral content of iodine, richly abundant in seaweed. If nature has taught humanity anything is that it abhors a vacuum. If there is a vacancy in nature something always comes in to take its place. If iodine is not present in the diet, other elements are capable of moving into the gap. Iodine is a halogen and has similar properties as fluorine, bromine, and chlorine. In their active form they become halides and are better own as fluoride, bromide, and chloride, which can be toxic and will block iodine from being absorbed. Bromide is used as an anti-caking agent in the baking industry. Fluoride and bromide are of particular concern because they are found commonly in the diet. Fluoride is a neuro-toxin and waste product often diluted into many municipal water supplies. For this reason it is important to incorporate iodine-rich foods in the diet. If you have a known thyroid disorder, speak with your endocrinologist or naturopathic doctor about appropriate iodine levels for your condition.

Ingredients

  • 100 gram salad shrimp - cooked
  • 1 pack roasted nori sheets
  • 1 cup brown sushi rice 
  • 1 tbsp. seasoned brown rice vinegar 
  • 1 cup mayonnaise  
  • ½ cup asparagus spears/garlic scapes, cut into 2-inch spears
  • ½ small daikon radish, julienned
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 avocado, sliced 
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ tsp. sea salt 
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Instructions

Sushi rice

  1. Rinse 1 cup of brown sushi rice well under a cold-water tap. Drain and transfer into a pot with 2 cups of water and sea salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, covered for 45 minutes.
  3. When rice is ready add cooked rice to a non-metallic bowl (ceramic or wooden). Add the brown rice vinegar and with a wooden spoon stir the rice to season.
  4. Stop stirring for a minute and then stir again, repeat this process three times total. The rice should be sticky and warm, not hot. Do not handle by hand until cool enough to touch and will not steam the nori sheets.

Filling

  1. While you wait for the rice prepare the filling. First make the spicy cayenne mayonnaise, simply add cayenne to ready or homemade mayonnaise.
  2. If you have not already thawed the shrimp, take it out of the freezer and put it in a bowl. In the sink run it under cold water until thawed (approx. 15 minutes).
  3. Drain the shrimp and pat dry with paper towel. Mix about 1 cup of mayonnaise with shrimp and store in refrigerator until needed.
  4. In a hot skillet, add butter and sauté the asparagus and garlic scapes until softened and dark green. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Wash and prep the vegetables. Slice and julienne them as thinly as possible.

Assemble

  1. Start with one sheet of nori. Fold it in half and use one half with the coarse side facing up.
  2. Apply a thin layer of sticky rice to half the sheet. Diagonally position the vegetable and shrimp filling. Take the corner of the sheet and roll it into a cone shape.
  3. Apply sticky rice to end of the cone to seal it together.