Miles and I made a new friend yesterday. Meet 'extreme sushi', so raw there isn't even any rice. We decided in the interest of health, detox and being thinner for the wedding (ha!) to try one night a week of raw food. Rather depressed by visions of endless salads I was excited to find this sushi recipe. It uses a pâté in place of the rice, making them rich and still filling. They are noticeably harder to roll than normal sushi, though, as the pâté is much squishier than rice and so just wants to come squirting out the end!
We made our pâté from carrot and red onion, hence it is rather more 'orange' than the 'pink' of the original recipe. Frankly, there was substituting going on all over the place - we used rocket instead of watercress and sun-dried tomatoes instead of the evil cucumber. Also, I didn't quite have enough cashews so almonds found their way in too. I think the moral of the story is, this is actually a very flexible recipe so I suggest going wild (well, as wild as vegan raw food night gets!).
The recipe we used was originally printed in Waitrose magazine a couple of years ago as part of a feature on the café at Triyoga in Primrose Hill, which, at the time, served mostly raw food (it's changed management since then, I believe).
Serves 6 as a starter
Preparation time: 40 mins, plus chilling
11g pack nori sheets
100g bag watercress, stalks cut off
1 carrot, peeled and cut into julienne strips
2 x 5cm pieces cucumber, cut into julienne strips
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1 tsp tamari
1 small red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 medium beetroot (raw), peeled and chopped
100ml olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
200g cashew nuts
1 tbsp roughly chopped ginger
1/2 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup
Put all the pâté ingredients into a blender and blend till completely amalgamated and smooth (may need to scrap down the sides a few times). Refrigerate the mixture for 2-3 hours to firm up or, if you're in a hurry, freeze it for 30 minutes.
Lie a nori sheet on a sushi rolling mat or clean tea towel. Arrange a handful of the watercress on the lower half of the sheet then spread about 1½ tbsp of the pâté over the watercress. Arrange some carrot, cucumber and avocado over the pâté, then a little more watercress. Carefully roll up the seaweed to create a neat roll, using a dab of tamari to seal the sushi. Slice with a sharp knife and serve immediately.