In sushi school, one of the skills we worked on daily was learning to cut vegetables into long, thin continuous sheets that could be used as wrappers. It requires a special kind of knife as well as a special kind of patience. These cucumber-wrapped rolls offer a similar flavor without all of the headache by using a spoon to hollow out the cucumbers.
Rice Prep Time: Up to 1½ hours (note that Ponzu Sauce should be made a day in advance)
Sushi Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes 4 Rolls (20 pieces)
Four 7-in (18-cm) lengths whole cucumber
1 cup (200 g) Traditional Sushi Rice, Brown Sushi Rice, Quinoa Sushi “Rice” or Multi-Grain Sushi Rice
2 mint sprigs, finely chopped
1 cup (250 g) Edamame Hummus or store-bought hummus
One 4-in (10-cm) length carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
½ cup (85 g) pomegranate arils, or more, to taste
Vegetarian Ponzu Sauce
Cut each cucumber length in half crosswise. Use a spoon to hollow out the core of each cucumber.
Mix the sushi rice with the chopped mint. Use a wet spoon to press 2 tablespoons of sushi rice into each cucumber, leaving room for the remaining ingredients.
Spoon the Edamame Hummus into a plastic bag. Snip away one corner of the bag and squeeze some hummus inside each cucumber piece. At this point, turning the cucumbers onto their sides rather than standing them on end will keep the filling from slipping out.
Slide some carrot sticks inside each cucumber. Use a chopstick or spoon to poke several pomegranate arils inside each cucumber. Seal with a dollop of the remaining Edamame Hummus.
Dip the blade of a very sharp knife in water. Use a swift sawing motion to cut each roll into 2 or 3 pieces. Sprinkle more pomegranate arils on top of each piece if desired. Serve with Ponzu Sauce for dipping.