Every Saturday there is an organic market in Cape Town called the Oranjezicht City Farm Market. We go there as often as we can, stocking up on vegetables and fruits of the season as well as some of the most beautiful mushrooms our eyes have ever seen - including the beautiful pink oyster mushrooms used in these rolls.
They have a wonderfully delicate flavour, ready to be enhanced by whatever you with to cook it with. My favourite additions are simple - a bit of tamari, a bit of mirin, and sesame oil. Wonderful with noodles and rice alike!
We often sautee the oysters, julienne a variety of vegetables, and put the combination into wonderfully textured vegan maki rolls (as you might have heard, my husband loves anything and everything Japanese, including copious amounts of sushi rice each week).
As with any of my recipes - use the filling as more of a guideline and substitute the vegetables and mushrooms with whatever you have in your pantry.
For the rice:
3 cups/555 gr of sushi rice
700 ml water
1 ribbon of kombu (optional)
For the sushi seasoning:
90 ml sushi rice vinegar (Mizkan works very well)
2 tbsp of sugar
2 tsp of salt
For the mushrooms:
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp mirin
1 1/2 tbsp tamari
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
200 gr oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
for the filling:
1 carrot, julienned
50 gr of purple cabbage, julienned
3-4 pieces of tenderstem broccolini (optional)
1 large avocado, thinly sliced
4 nori sheets, more if needed
black and white sesame seeds, for garnish
tamari or soy sauce, for dipping
Wash the rice in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear. Place the rice in a pot with the water and soak it for 30 minutes.
Put the pot, lid off, on a high heat until it starts to boil, stirring gently every 2-3 minutes with a wooden spoon. Once it starts boiling, cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat down to the lowest. Cook covered for 8-10 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed and rice grains fat shiny. Turn the heat off and place a towel over the top of the pot so that no steam escapes. Leave to steam for 15 minutes.
While the rice is steaming, make the sushi seasoning. Heat all the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Be careful not to boil. Let cool once once.
When the rice is ready, gently spoon it into a wide bowl (wood or plastic, not metal) with a wooden spoon/spatula and pour the sushi seasoning over it evenly. Fold the rice gently to incorporate the seasoning and cool the rice.
For the mushrooms, combine the sesame oil, garlic, mirin, tamari and maple syrup in a bowl and add the chopped mushrooms. Let marinate for 5 minutes, then cook on a medium heat until soft and caramelised, 5-7 minutes. Leave aside.
To make the rolls, place a nori sheet on a bamboo rolling mat, shiny side on top. Cover the nori with rice, using wet hands, leaving 2 cm empty on the top. I keep a bowl of cold water near as I roll to make the process easier.
Arrange the vegetables and mushrooms in a line near the bottom of the sheet and roll up tightly, wetting the empty nori at the top so that it sticks together. Repeat with rest of nori sheets and vegetables, then cut the rolls into pieces and sprinkle sesame seeds over. Serve with tamari for dipping.