Monday, November 1, 2010

Sushi and Watermelon Rind Kim-chi

I have had a decrease in timeliness when it comes to posting lately. Not that I've had a LOT to post, by any means....quite a few repeats these days. I do have a few recipes to get off my conscious, though, so let's move on to playing ketchup--er, catch up.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to make some sushi--or at least to roll some things in seaweed, as some of the maki does not contain any rice. I used this venture as a means to use up some ingredients I had lying around. My goal was to make a decent meal of sushi without making a special trip to the store. As you can see, I did all right!

In the first column on the left, I have a version of a spicy tuna roll, except this is a spicy shrimp roll. I used silken tofu instead of mayo in the spicy mayo. The second column is a mushroom, jalapeño, and cream cheese roll. Next is silken tofu and watermelon rind kim-chi. Last but not least, is a roll that used raw grated sweet potato and cauliflower instead of rice; the center contains fresh asparagus. I also created a handroll out of the left-over bits, which you can see in the picture below.

The watermelon rind kim-chi is a simple raw recipe that makes use of something that typically goes to waste. By using this easy pickling technique, you can eliminate trash and provide a nice spicy boost to many of your recipes. Personally, I love it on salads! You can see my jar of kim-chi in the photo below with my mis en place lined up and ready to go.

Watermelon Rind Kim Chi

rind from 1/2 large watermelon, skin and pink flesh removed, cute into 1/2" pieces (comes out to about 3 cups of rind)
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/4 c salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1" fresh ginger, minced
2 stalks green onion, chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
3 tbs crushed chili pepper flakes
1 tbs honey
2 tsp rice vinegar

Toss watermelon rind and carrot with salt in a large bowl. Allow to sit overnight at room temperature.

Add garlic, ginger, onions, chili flakes, honey, and vinegar to the salted rind mixture; toss to combine. Pack kim-chi into glass jars, adding a few spoonfuls of the red liquid that has formed. Allow to rest at room temperature for 24-48 hours, then transfer to the refrigerator. The flavor intensifies over time. Makes about 3 cups of kim-chi.

Sushi Rice

1 c sushi or short grain rice
1 1/4 c water, plus extra for rinsing rice
1 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs salt

Place the rice into a strainer and rinse with cool water until the water runs clear.

Place the rice and 1 1/4 cups of water into a medium saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the low cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, uncovered, for 15 more minutes.

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and slowly sprinkle in the vinegar mixture while slowly stirring. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Make sure rice is room temperature before rolling.

Spicy Shrimp Roll Filling

3 tbs silken (extra soft) tofu
1 tbs Sriracha
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp tamari
1/4 tsp salt
1 3.5oz can baby shrimp, drained well

Whisk tofu, Sriracha, lemon juice, tamari, and salt until well-combined. Mix shrimp into sauce to evenly coat. Makes about 3/4 cup of filling.

Sushi -- Maki-style*

sushi mat (typically bamboo, but any material that will easily roll will work)
prepared sushi rice (see recipe above)
nori (toasted or dehydrated seaweed sheet)
fillings of choice
small bowl of rice vinegar to wet fingers

Assemble your ingredients, making sure that fillings are cut into 1/4" strips. Lay the mat flat. Place a sheet of nori on top of the mat. Starting 1/2" from the edge of nori closest to you, thinly spread the rice from left to right edges up until 1" of nori remains at the edge farthest from you.
Place your ingredients in a horizontal line about 1" from the bottom edge of the rice layer. The filling should amount to about the diameter of one finger. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the rice and nori layers up and over the filling, using the mat to tighten as you go. Roll until you reach the edge farthest from you. Using the vinegar, wet the exposed edge of the nori and complete the roll. The tighter you roll, the better! To serve, slice into 1" rounds. Top with
Sriracha, toasted sesame seeds, or roe, if desired; serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Each roll makes 8 bite-sized pieces. Two cups of prepared rice will make about 6-8 rolls.

To create the hand roll, or temaki, shown to the right of my sushi rolls, place the ingredients on a diagonal, leaving a good two inches from what will become the bottom corner. Roll the nori corner to corner over the filling, stopping halfway to fold the bottom corner over the filling. Wet the edge with vinegar to seal the roll.

Raw Rice-less "Sushi" Roll

1/2 tbs rice vinegar
1/2 tbs sugar or agave nectar
pinch of salt
1/4 c raw sweet potato, shredded andpressed between paper towels to remove excess moisture
1/4 c raw cauliflower florets, finely chopped
4 stalks of raw asparagus, trimmed
1 nori sheet

Whisk together vinegar, sweetener, and salt. Combine vinegar mixture with sweet potato and cauliflower. Using the method described above, spread the sweet potato combination onto the nori as if it was sushi rice. Place the asparagus spears 1" from the edge of the sweet potato layer closest to you and roll as with a standard sushi roll. Cut into 1" rounds and serve.

*There are many places that describe how to roll sushi, complete with photos. I described the method to the best of my ability, but if you have never seen it done I suggest searching on-line for videos demonstrating the proper technique.


  1. I'm so glad you posted your kimchi recipe! What a great use for an otherwise useless rind. Love that you made raw-rice sushi, too! SP+cauli sounds excellent.

  2. Thanks! I adore sweet potato in my sushi (usually in tempura form). It just made sense to give it a raw attempt. Given the amount of food wasted in the country, I really like finding uses for things that would normally go to waste. I do compost scraps, but the bin on my balcony is getting full, and it isn't like I have a garden....