About once a week, we order take-out from a little Japanese place around the corner. I always order the same few things, my favorite thing being the spicy, crunchy avocado roll. Spicy ... crunchy ... yes.
I am a huge fan of recreating things that I would normally be tempted to order in or eat out, like dumplings, and sushi. I just feel better knowing what types of ingredients I am using and that there is nothing fake or artificial hiding that I might not know about. And, this way I can add some extra yummy things like crunchy shallots (god only knows what those "crunchy" bits my take-out sushi are made from).
This version of a nori roll does not require any fancy sushi rolling, in case you're intimidated to roll your own sushi. Although, if you do feel comfortable and you want to roll this bad boy up, by all means go for it. If you're like me and you want to take the less ambitious route for this one, you can just pick this up and eat it like a taco. A yummy Japanese taco.
Nori is incredibly good for you and is such a great thing to incorporate into your diet on a regular basis. It contains a long list of vitamins, but most notably a high amount of B12, which is great for those who eat a mostly plant based diet. Another great benefit for plant based people (or anyone, really) is that nori contains a high amount of protein and amino acids. And when you make your own nori wraps, you know you are getting a good quality nori. It is easy to find in the grocery store since it is the most widely used seaweed, it's usually in the Asian food or Japanese section.
Once you make this and see how easy it is, I am sure that you are going to keep a pack of nori around for when want to have this for lunch or for a snack. You can mix up combinations based on what you have in the fridge, any raw vegetable combination would work and would probably take less time than waiting for one to be delivered.
spicy avocado + crunchy shallot nori wraps
1 cup of purple sticky rice (or regular sushi rice, if you prefer)
1 sheet of toasted nori, cut into two pieces (if your sheets are smaller, then just use two pieces - do not cut)
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
2 shallots, sliced long lengthwise
about 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (or a gluten-free flour, if you prefer)
1/3 cup of sunflower oil (or another high-heat oil for frying)
for the spicy mayo:
1/4 cup of Veganese (or regular mayo)
1/2 teaspoon (or more if you like) or siracha
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
a dash of brown rice vinegar
some sesame seeds, or gomacio for garnish
- Start by cooking the rice according to the instruction on the package. When the rice is done, allow it to cool down a bit before making the rolls.
- When the rice is cooking, prepare the spicy mayo. Whisk together the ingredients in a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
- Prepare the shallots. Place the flour in a small bowl, and toss the sliced shallots with the flour. Place the oil in a deep saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Have a slotted spoon and a paper towel lined plate nearby. Test the oil by tossing in a shallot, it should start to sizzle. When the oil is hot, carefully add in the shallots. Move them around with the slotted spoon just a little while they are cooking. They should take about 3-5 minutes to brown, and once they are a golden brown brown color transfer them to the paper town lined plate.
- Lay the two sheets of nori out on a flat surface or a plate. Then, place a spoonful of the purple sticky rice onto the nori. Using your fingers, flatten the rice out so that it covers the entire piece of nori. If the rice sticks to your fingers, use some water to help release it.
- Then, layer the rest of the ingredients. I like to do a layer of gomacio (or sesame seeds), then the avocado, then the spicy mayo, and top with the crispy shallots.
- To eat, I just like to carefully pick it up with my hands and fold it in half like a taco. Of course, if you are feeling ambitious you can roll this like you would a sushi roll if you have a sushi mat handy.