Maki-Sushi Rolls

Makes 3 rolls, 8 pieces per roll

Sushi is a small bundle-shaped parcel of rice with a protein topping of some kind such as fish, egg, etc. Sushi that is served rolled in a sheet of nori seaweed is called maki-sushi. These rolls are made using a bamboo sushi mat, which can be purchased at any Asian market. Sticky (glutinous) Japanese rice works well in these rolls, though brown rice can also be used (see variation). Use the ingredients listed below, or get creative.

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) water
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) white sushi rice
2 tablespoons (30 mL) rice vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) sugar or other dry sweetener
3 sheets nori seaweed
3 tablespoons (45 mL) eggless mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grated carrot
1/2 avocado, cut into 6 slices
6 cucumber sticks, each 1/4 × 2 inches (5 mm × 5 cm)
2 lettuce leaves, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) wide strips
1 tablespoon (15 mL) thinly sliced pickled ginger
Garnishes
1 teaspoon (5 mL) wasabi powder mixed with 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) water
2 tablespoons (30 mL) thinly sliced pickled ginger
2 tablespoons (30 mL) tamari or soy sauce
Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the rice, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

Stir the rice vinegar and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Drizzle vinegar mixture over the hot cooked rice and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool completely before assembling the rolls.

Place all the filling ingredients on the counter. Place the sushi mat on the counter so that the bamboo strips are lying horizontal to you. Lay a sheet of nori on the mat. Spoon 3/4 cup (185 mL) of the rice onto the nori and push the rice out evenly to the edges, leaving a 1-inch (2.5 cm) border at the bottom and top of the sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon (5 mL) of the mayonnaise in a single strip from left to right on the rice. Layer one-third of the carrots, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, and ginger over the mayonnaise. Dip your index finger into a bowl of warm water and moisten the top edge of the nori sheet to ensure a good seal when rolled. Using both hands and firm pressure, lift the mat and nori sheet over the filling and snugly tuck the bottom edge of the nori sheet under the filling. Roll the bamboo mat forward with even pressure across the mat in a jelly-roll fashion until the top of the nori sheet is sealed against the top of the roll. Repeat until all three rolls have been assembled.

Place the roll seam-side down on a cutting board. Trim the ends of any food that may have squeezed out during the rolling process. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll in half. Continue cutting each piece in half in order to get eight equal-sized pieces from each roll. Arrange on a serving platter.

For the garnishes, in a small bowl, mix the wasabi powder with a few drops of water, gradually adding more water until a smooth paste is formed. Place wasabi paste on platter along with pickled ginger. Serve with a small bowl of tamari for dipping.

Per roll: calories: 402, protein: 7 g, fat: 9 g, carbohydrate: 73 g (10 g from sugar), dietary fibre: 6 g, calcium: 54 mg, iron: 2 mg, magnesium: 51 mg, phosphorus: 98 mg, potassium: 604 mg, sodium: 455 mg, zinc: 1 mg, thiamin: 0.2 mg, riboflavin: 0.2 mg, niacin: 4 mg, vitamin B6: 0.6 mg, folate: 44 mcg, pantothenic acid: 1 mg, vitamin B12: 0 mcg, vitamin A: 504 mcg, vitamin C: 7 mg, vitamin E: 1 mg, omega-6 fatty acids: 1 g, omega-3 fatty acids: 0.1 g

Percentage of calories from protein 7%, fat 20%, carbohydrate 73%