Brown Rice Veggie Sushi

Nutritious sushi with easy-to-find veggies

2 C (15 oz/450 g) brown rice
water for cooking rice
1 T mirin (Japanese sweet seasoning wine)   * see Hint below
1 T natural cane sugar
2 t rice vinegar (brown or white)

2½ ounces (75 g) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, rinsed and cut into julienne strips (1 C)
1 T water
4 ears baby corn (fresh or canned), cut in half lengthwise
8 green beans
4 sheets sushi nori (thin 7" x 8" / 18 x 21 cm sheets of toasted seaweed)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into julienne strips
¾ C (6 oz/180 g) pickled ginger
2 tablespoons wasabi paste (or 4 teaspoons wasabi powder blended with 2 tablespoons water)
Low sodium soy sauce or tamari   or  Ponzu Sauce (see recipe in the Hint below)

Wash rice under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain for 15 minutes. In a rice cooker (use 3 cooker's measures of rice and water) or in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine rice and water (2 3/4 cups/22 fl oz/660 ml). Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Do not stir. Cook, covered, until all water is absorbed, about 35 to 40 minutes.
While rice is cooking, combine mirin, sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan. Warm over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl add cooked rice and lightly fold in mirin mixture with a a plastic or wooden spoon. Let cool to room temperature, but do not refrigerate.

Sauté mushrooms in pan with 1 tablespoon water. Cook over low heat about 1 minute. Drain excess liquid and set aside.  If using fresh baby corn, cook in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.   Cook beans in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, plunge into ice water, drain again and set aside.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over bamboo sushi mat to make rolling easier. Place one nori sheet on top of plastic wrap. Spread about 1/4 of the rice evenly over the nori, leaving a 1/2-inch (1.25-cm) strip bare along the two long sides. About 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the edge of the rice nearest you, lay 2 corn halves end to end. Place 2 green beans next to corn, followed by a row of mushrooms and a row of carrot strips. Roll up the nori, first rolling the mat over away from you, and pressing to shape the roll. Roll up without catching the edge of the mat. Moisten the bare edge of nori with a little water and press against the roll to seal. Repeat for each additional roll.

With a sharp, wet knife, slice each roll into 1" (2.5 cm) pieces. Serve with side plates of pickled ginger, wasabi and soy or Ponzu sauce on the side. Provide small dishes or bowls where wasabi and Ponzu (or soy sauce) can be mixed for dipping the sushi in.

4 servings, each: 230 Calories,  4% from fat (1.3g),  85% from carbohydrates (49g),  11% from protein (6g),  275mg Sodium,  5.5g Fiber

Healing Heart Hint

For a more traditional sushi, use thin strips of cucumber, pickled daikon, turnip or other vegetables and watercress as a filling.

As a variation popular with other types of sushi, you can add a fine line of wasabi paste to the vegetables as you roll the sushi. Start out with a very small amount of wasabi, it is a powerful condiment which can clear the sinuses and bring tears to the eyes.

Ponzu Sauce
3 T low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
3 T rice vinegar (brown or white)
3 T mirin (Japanese sweetened sake/rice wine)*

Combine ingredients in a bowl and blend with a fork.

*If mirin isn't available, combine 2 T sweetener with ½C dry white wine or cooking sherry.

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©2000 Dr. Neal Pinckney Healing Heart Foundation