Lately I've been using Quinoa as an alternative to rice in my meals. Quinoa are the seeds from a flowering plant that is grown primarily for it's edible seeds. When cooked it has a light fluffy texture with a mild nutty flavor. I've been using it on salad for a light and satisfying meal.
I found some seasoned seaweed in the pantry--and an idea came to mind! I could use some of my leftover quinoa instead of rice when I make sushi. I thought to myself, what a genius idea, until I Googled and found tons of sushi roll using quinoa as a substitue for rice. Oh well, I am not going to be disheartened by the fact that I wasn't the first to think of it, what is it they say, "great minds think alike." Most importantly is that this is my version and I love it.Recipe: (makes 3-4 rolls)
1 cup Quinoa grains, rinsed and strained
1¾ cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. mirin
½ tsp salt
3-4 pieces of nori seaweed
1 roasted pepper, sliced into strips
1 cooked beet, peeled and sliced into strips
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced into strips
4 stalks asparagus, cooked and blanched in ice water bath
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger juice
2 Tbsp. blood orange juice (regular orange is fine too)
1 tsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. cornstarch (mixed with a few drops of water to a smooth paste)
white and black sesame seeds for garnishing
1. In a saucepan, cook quinoa with broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until all the water has absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. The grains are done, when it appears soft and translucent. Remove from heat aside to cool. Spread cooked grains on a large platter and pour mirin and salt over cooked grains. Stir well to mix. Cover with a kitchen towel.
2. Gently heat the sauce ingredients over medium heat. Whisk until mixture has thicken and smooth. Season and adjust with more sugar or vinegar to your taste. Remove and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
3. To assemble sushi: Place a piece of seaweed on a clean bamboo mat. Grab a handful of cooked quinoa and gently spread it over seaweed. Arrange strips of vegetables in a neat row about an inch from the edge that is facing you. Using the closer edge of the bamboo mat, roll to close on the filling with the nori making a rectangular shaped and tighten it from above. Continue rolling, keeping it tight until on all sides until the end. Cut with a wet and sharp knife into 6-8 equal pieces. Serve with sauce and pickled ginger on the side.