November 16, 2009

daring cooks challenge | sushi

the november 2009 daring cooks challenge was brought to you by audax of audax artifex and rose of the bite me kitchen. they chose sushi as the challenge.

once again i was super excited about this month's sushi challenge. i love japanese cuisine!! but i certainly didn't want to make a boring avocado or cucumber roll. so i did a bit of research and looked to some of the vegan japanese restaurants in town for inspiration. below is the menu i settled on:

dragon sushi roll (per the requirements of the challenge)

seaweed salad
tempura shitake mushrooms with wasabi mayo
soy sauce marinated mountain potato with shiso leaf
cavi-art tobiko

vegan spam musubi

first things first....getting all my ingredients together. luckily steve and i have made sushi many times before, so i already had the basics in stock: rice vinegar, rolling mat, nori sheets....etc. for the tobiko i made a quick stop at locali for some vegan caviar. i really wanted to pick up a jar of their red cavi-art, but sadly they only had a the black kind available. the girl at the counter informed me that they would most likely not be restocking the other varieties. bummer....i really love this stuff.

for the other ingredients steve and i headed out to a japanese market. we happened to be on the west side so we made a stop at mitsuwa marketplace and picked up some mountain potato, shitake mushrooms, japanese cucumbers, shiso leaves, seaweed salad and scallions. then back to the house we went to get started on our sushi.

first the sushi rice was prepared with some rice vinegar, sugar and salt.

next my nigiri components were laid out....starting at the top left hand and moving clockwise: shitake mushrooms, japanese mountain potato and shiso leaves, japanese cucumber, scallions, wasabi mayo, roasted nori and sesame seed seasoning, wasabi, vegan ham, seaweed salad and cavi-art caviar.

we roasted the nori sheets, fried the "ham" in some grapeseed oil, marinated the mountain potato in soy sauce and tempura fried the shitake mushrooms. we then assembled the nigiri pieces:

next we moved on to the dragon roll. the bbq unagi (eel) in your typical dragon or caterpillar roll was replaced with bbq marinated tofu which was cut into strips and tempura fried right before rolling. the ingredients from left to right: japanese cucumber, bbq marinated tofu, avocado slices and cavi-art caviar.

sadly the avocado was not as ripe as i would have liked it to be, which made rolling and cutting it a bit difficult. this however didn't take anything away from the overall was GOOD!!! had it not been eaten so quickly i might have been able to get some shots of the inside.

overall i'd say the results were great. i especially liked the shitake mushroom tempura nigiri and the mountain potato marinated in soy sauce which was complimented well by the shiso leaf. can't wait to try out different varieties and get creative with some asian ingredients. the possibilities are endless...


  1. WOW you know how to impress a host don't you. Your list of ingredients sounds so wonderful and your artful photos are brillant and show off the ingredients and the final sushis so well. Bravo on your vegan version of the Daring Cooks' sushi challenge.

    I noticed you didn't add the blog-checking line in your posting it is needed so the web-robot can check you off (the blog-checking line is what it looks for in your posting).

    The Blog-checking line is below:-
    The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.

  2. I adore this colorful pictures. the sushi looks absolutely delicious.
    love the green plate by the way.