If you follow me on instagram (@celine_squared), you might think that every meal I eat consists of rice and/or potatoes. You’d be pretty accurate, I can’t lie.
ONCE in a while, I do like to put a strictly veggie snack in my belly – this is a great and very portable way to do it.
My kids love helping me make these! I let them lay down the strips of veggies on the nori and then I roll it up and set it aside to wait to be sliced. It usually ends in me yelling to stop touching the knives or them fighting over bell pepper strips or some other minor chaos, but it’s fun as long as it lasts. (and yes I bought a rash guard bathing suit top because I wanted an extra layer of sun protection at the beach! Spending the last 9-10 years in Vermont, I got really spoiled not having to worry so much about slathering sunblock all over. This was the first year since 2006ish that I spent pretty much the entire summer on Long Island and I got way too tan. Those long sleeves really did help! My kids love wearing them too.)
What you need:
- raw or toasted nori sheets, they both work equally well – SeaSnax nori is my favorite! I have yet to find a better quality nori.
- bamboo rolling mat – no worries if you don’t have a bamboo mat; I’ve used a tea towel or a thin kitchen towel before and it works fine. You can find bamboo mats for cheap on amazon! Check your local Asian market first, if you have one. 🙂
- your favorite veggies/ herbs
- small bowl with cool water
So, as usual, you can’t just throw whatever you want into these kinds of wraps and expect them to hold together. No wet or mushy things. Slice things as thinly as possible for ease of eating. This is also where that julienne peeler I love so much comes in handy 😉
- bell pepper strips
- carrot noodles
- zucchini sticks
- baby greens
- basil, parsley, cilantro, mint* <—–MY FAVE
- thinly sliced cabbage
- cucumber slices
- thinly sliced melon (not too mushy! I’m not the biggest fan of melon but if you want to try it, I would use one not overripe and pat it dry with a towel before wrapping.)
- kelp noodles (can find in most grocery stores, ask for help if you don’t see them – they’re super crunchy and delish! Soak in lime or lemon before using to soften a bit)
Get all your goods chopped up and prepared.
a couple of my favorite simple combinations, just in case you’re feeling overwhelmed:
- mint, cucumber, carrot, kelp noodles
- avocado, mango, cucumber
- cilantro, avocado, cucumber, carrot, cabbage
Lay one sheet of raw or toasted nori on the mat, shiny side down.
Arrange your veggies on the nori, using about 1/2 of the space. Just like with rolling sushi, you want to leave a little room at each end of the sheet of nori. It’s also a good idea to lay either one big leafy green down first OR some baby greens down as a base, just for some extra support.
Pick up the edge of the bamboo mat with your thumbs underneath and flip the mat over onto the filling. Use your other fingers to hold everything as tight as possible. This definitely takes a bit of practice, as most sushi making does (use two hands! I’m just using one because my other hand is taking the picture)
Use the mat to mold the nori down on top of the filling and shape it into a log.
Now you can flip back the mat and continue rolling by hand. Make sure to keep everything as tight as possible so that the filling stays neat inside when you go to cut it and eat it.
When you get almost to the end, leave about an inch of nori free and wet it with your fingers in the water bowl. Then roll it over and hold it closed just like you do when rolling sushi. The water will hold the nori together.
Set your roll aside until you’re done making the rest.
If you’d like to cut them in half, go for it. I like the way they look sliced in half.
Pretty simple, right?! I love these.
Looking for a great dipping sauce to go along with these? Try this super easy sweet & sour sauce recipe.
- 1 T cornstarch
- 1 T water
- 2/3 c pineapple juice
- 1/3 c rice vinegar
- 1/3 c light brown sugar
- 3 T ketchup
- 1 T soy sauce or tamari
- optional, but recommended – 1/2 t red pepper flakes
- optional, chopped peanuts for topping
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Stir in cornstarch and water mixture and cook until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat immediately. Serve with rolls while still warm. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the top of sauce before serving, but not if you’re going to store it in the fridge. Keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the fridge.
(Sauce recipe found on seriouseats.com.)
Any questions? Message me on instagram, email me on the ‘about me’ page or leave them below. 🙂