One of my clients mentioned that she had made quinoa sushi and that it was really delicious, so I decided to give it a go
Thinking about how to do it got me wondering how I was going to get the quinoa to stick together as it is not sticky like rice. Answer – mix it with rice!
I have often used the mix of quinoa and brown rice for meals and in salads and it goes superbly well in these California rolls.
They are relatively quick and easy to make and keep well for the next day, so they would make a great weekday lunch.
Feel free to put your own mix of fillings inside – a few other ideas are tinned tuna mixed with a little low fat Greek yoghurt and chives with avocado and cucumber or cooked chicken with red capsicum, carrot and lettuce. I have even heard of carrot and hommus being used as a filling which is not very authentic Japanese, but hey neither is using quinoa!! The main idea is to mix it up and have fun with what you create 🙂
The nori sheet (seaweed) that you use to wrap these California rolls with is a great source of iodine. Iodine is an essential mineral that’s vital to the proper functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid gland is responsible for managing growth and metabolism.
We only need trace amounts of iodine and usually get it from eating vegetables, however with our current mass farming practices, the soil in Australia is no longer rich in iodine. (Historically, dairy foods contained high levels of iodine due to the sanitisers used in dairy processing which contained iodophors. These sanitisation techniques have been phased out of the processes now involved in sterilisation of dairy equipment. As a result, dairy today has reduced levels of iodine and is a less reliable iodine source (1).) Bread is now made using iodised salt in an attempt to prevent iodine deficiency, however if you use low salt or organic bread (or avoid eating bread) you won’t be getting iodine this way. Other good food sources of iodine are seafood and eggs.
Quinoa and Brown Rice California Rolls
Makes 4 vegetable rolls and 2 salmon rolls
- 1/2 cup long grain brown rice
- 1/3 cup any color quinoa
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar*
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 nori sheets
- 1 teaspoon wasabi, optional
- 1 small Lebanese cucumber, sliced
- 3/4 medium avocado, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 medium beetroot (120g), peeled and grated
- 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 50g (approx.) raw salmon (use sushi grade salmon if available)
- Start by cooking both the quinoa and brown rice.
- To cook brown rice, measure out, put into a sieve and rinse. Transfer into a small saucepan with 2 cups water, place lid on saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes (check packet for cooking time as it varies greatly with brown rice from 25-50 minutes).
- To cook quinoa, measure out and place in a sieve and rinse well. Transfer into a small saucepan with 2/3 cup water, place lid on saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-18 minutes. When cooked, fluff with a fork.
- Mix together hot rice, hot quinoa, rice vinegar and sugar. Set aside to cool.
- While you are waiting for the rice mixture to cool, prepare the fillings.
- Place a sushi bamboo mat* down on your bench with the slats running horizontally. Have a small bowl of water close by.
- Place nori sheet on sushi mat with the shiny side down and using the back of a teaspoon, spread a small amount of wasabi along the front edge of the nori sheet.
- Measure out approx. 1 cup of the quinoa and rice mix and using wet hands, spread it evenly over the front ¾ of the nori sheet, leaving at least a 3cm-wide border along the edge furthest from you.
- For the vegetable sushi: Place cucumber along the front edge on top of the quinoa and rice, then follow with avocado, carrot, beetroot and lastly sprinkle with sesame seeds (see photo)
- Roll nori sheet up. Use your thumbs and forefingers to pick up the edge of the mat closest to you. Use your other fingers to hold the filling while rolling the mat over to enclose the nori sheet around the filling. Gently pull the mat as you go to create a firm roll.
- When it is half rolled up, dip one of your hands in water and wet the end of the nori sheet. Continue rolling until all the quinoa is covered with the nori and you should have a neat roll.
- Repeat with vegetable filling, then with salmon filling.
- When complete, you will have 2 very long vegie rolls and 1 long salmon roll. Cut the rolls in half (to make 4 vegie rolls and 2 salmon rolls) or in bite sized pieces.
- Serve with soy dipping sauce. YUM!!!
Per Serve (vegetable roll): 674kJ or 160 calories; P 5g Fat 6.8g SFat 1.3g CHO 25g Fibre 4g
Per Serve (salmon roll): 742kJ or 177 calories; P 9g Fat 8.5g SFat 1.7g CHO 22g Fibre 3g
*Rice vinegar and Sushi bamboo mats are available from the supermarket in the Asian section. My sushi mat cost a whole $1.79 from Woolworths!!
1. Information from http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/iodine-facts