Homemade Quinoa Sushi

Before I met Dorian, I did not really like Japanese food. The only Japanese food that I would eat when I went to a Japanese restaurant was tempura battered seafood/vegetables with ramen/noodles or rice. But things changed after I met Dorian. Dorian loves Japanese food, so he started introducing me to Japanese food and over time, I started liking sushi and sashimi especially salmon sashimi.

Now, I make sushi (which I learnt from Dorian and I think I make them better than him now :P). I started making sushi with normal white sushi rice but over time, I have tried to make my sushi healthier. I have made sushi with brown rice but now, I have switched to making quinoa sushi as it is healthier and contains more protein and fibre. I have yet tried making cauliflower rice sushi but it is definitely on my to-do list.

I do not add any sugar, salt or mirin to my sushi quinoa, just some rice wine vinegar. I usually use chicken breast, tofu and omelette as the main filling for my sushi. This time I used chicken breast and tofu marinated in Siracha sauce (hot sauce) and honey soy sauce. You can use crab meat or any other meat/seafood you fancy. For the mayonnaise, I used garlic aioli as that is what we had at home, but you can use whole egg mayonnaise or Japanese mayonnaise.

I hope you enjoy this sushi recipe and let me know if you prefer your sushi with the normal white rice or quinoa.

Makes 10 large sushi rolls

Ingredients

  • 10 yaki nori seaweed sheets;
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (1 1/3 cups uncooked quinoa);
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar;
  • 3 Lebanese cucumbers, julienned (I removed the seeds in the middle before I julienned the cucumbers);
  • 3 carrots, shredded;
  • 1.5-2 avocados, sliced;
  • 450g chicken breast;
  • 200g firm tofu;
  • 4 tbsp Siracha sauce;
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce;
  • 1 tbsp honey;
  • White pepper;
  • Mayonnaise or garlic aioli (this is optional-I only used aioli for 5 rolls and the other 5 rolls, I left out the aioli to make the quinoa sushi healthier);
  • Japanese bamboo sushi mat for the sushi assembly;
  • Bowl of warm water for the sushi assembly; and
  • Soy sauce and wasabi for serving.

Method

For the sushi quinoa:

  1. Typically when I cook quinoa, I would cook 1 cup of quinoa to 1.5 cups of water. But for the sushi quinoa, I want my quinoa to be slightly overcooked and sticky, so I added a bit more water;
  2. For 1 1/3 cups of uncooked quinoa, I used 2 1/3 cups of water to cook the quinoa;
  3. Once the quinoa is at the required texture of slightly overcooked, allow the sushi quinoa to cool for 30 minutes; and
  4. Add 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar to the sushi quinoa and mix well. Then, set aside for the sushi assembly.

For the chicken breast and tofu:

  1. Cut the chicken breast and tofu into strips;
  2. Marinate 225g of chicken breast strips in 2 tbsp of Siracha sauce and marinate the remaining 225g of chicken breast strips in 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp honey and a dash of white pepper. Marinate the tofu in the remaining 2 tbsp of Siracha sauce;
  3. Allow the chicken breast and tofu to marinate in the sauce for 30 minutes to an hour;
  4. Then, pan fry the chicken breast and tofu until cooked; and
  5. Then set aside for sushi assembly;
img_5117.jpg
Ready to assemble the quinoa sushi!

For the sushi assembly:

  1. On a kitchen counter, place a yaki nori seaweed sheet on a sushi mat. Then, add 1/3 cup of cooked sushi or slightly more towards the bottom of the yaki nori sheet;
    img_5121
    Flattened quinoa on the yaki nori sheet.
  2. Flatten the cooked sushi with the back of a spoon on the nori sheet. I usually fill 1/3 to 1/2 of the yaki nori sheet with flattened quinoa leaving a layer of 1/2 cm thickness;
  3. Spread 2 tsp of garlic aioli or mayonnaise on the flattened quinoa. If you are not planning on using mayonnaise or aioli, you can skip this step;
    img_5122.jpg
    Add mayonnaise/aioli on top of the quinoa.
  4. Add 6-8 julienned cucumbers on the aioli;
    img_5123.jpg
    Julienned cucumbers added on the yaki nori sheet.
  5. Then, add 3-4 strips of chicken breast or tofu on top on the cucumber;
  6. Add slightly less than a handful of carrots on the chicken breast or tofu;
  7. Finally, add 2-3 sliced avocado on the carrots;
    img_5126.jpg
    All the ingredients added on the yaki nori sheet.
  8. Now, it is time to roll the yaki nori sheet with its ingredients into a roll;
    img_5127
    Sushi being rolled into a roll.
  9. Bring the bottom of sushi mat over the ingredients on the yaki nori sheet slowly, tucking in the closer end of the sushi roll to start a roll and press lightly with both hands. Roll till end of the yaki nori sheet and to seal the roll, wet the edge of the yaki nori sheet with warm water. Then, allow the roll to seal and add more warm water if the edges are not sealing well (Watch the video below for the sushi assembly);
  10. Allow to the roll to rest for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing the roll into 8 to 10 sushi pieces;
    img_5129-1.jpg
    Allow the sushi roll to rest before slicing.
    img_5136
    Slice the sushi roll once rested!
  11. Repeat the above process until all 10 rolls are completed;
  12. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi; and
  13. The sushi pieces can be stored in the fridge up to 4 days in an airtight container.
img_5139
Enjoy your sushi with soy sauce and wasabi πŸ™‚

Happy sushi making,

Suba

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