Tonight marks my first attempt at nori rolls! A very necessary, yet overdue Radventure. They were successful enough to eat, but nothing especially attractive. Delicious, nonetheless! Allow me to elaborate...
Last night I mentioned that I ended up with quite a bit of excess shredded cabbage and carrots from my okonomiyaki venture. Luckily, I bought nori wrappers earlier this week, so this seemed the logical vehicle for my leftover veggies. Doesn't get much simpler than pre-cut fillers, right? Yeah...I'm embarrassed to admit that I spent about two hours in the kitchen tonight, making the things you'll see below. What can I say...genius can't be rushed (?). Yeah I'm not buying that, either. :)
The assembly line:
Nori wrapper with chosen fillings of homemade seedy scallion pate (recipe below), cabbage, carrots and a drizzle of Carrot Miso dressing. I made a second roll as well, and it contained a few cucumber matchsticks.
You would be right to note that one of tonight's projects was Gena's Carrot Miso dressing. Over the weekend, something possessed me to buy a 5-pound bag of organic carrots, but as much as I love juicing them, I'm not going through them nearly as quickly as I'd thought! Hence the carrot-heavy posts lately. Hope you don't mind! Carrots are very healthy, anyway...so long as I don't turn orange. I will keep you posted.
I served up my nori rolls with a healthy side of the dressing a) because I had major overflow after filling two dressing bottles with it (note to Gena: I got 4 cups from this recipe!) and b) it tasted so phenomenal that I figured I might as well go ahead and eat it like soup. I followed the recipe exactly except that I added 1 additional teaspoon of nama shoyu and 1/4 cup more water than called for. Tip for my homies who remain Vitamix-less, like myself: shred the carrots first by hand or in a food processor, then proceed as per the recipe. Your normal-people blender (like my Oster) should be able to handle it! Take that, Vita-poopies!
I think the number one lesson I learned from my first nori-rolling experience would be to wrap it tight! Squeeze the filling constantly as you roll and seal by moistening the far edge of the seaweed with water.
Observe loose fillings spilling out:
I would also advise using the sharpest knife in your arsenal. If I am lacking anything in my kitchen, it is good knives. Even my sharpest knife kind of mangled these rolls, which I've hidden from you with my oh-so-artistic photography. ;)
I enjoyed the nori with a very simple kale salad massaged with 1 tsp EVOO, lemon juice and S&P. Plus a good squirt of more Carrot Miso dressing! Oh, and sesame seeds, too.
Seeds were indeed the unsung theme of tonight's dinner! Well, aside from carrots, that is. I have accepted their ubiquity for the foreseeable future.
But we're talking about the "meat" of the nori rolls here.
I came up with this seed pate recipe on the fly, using things I had around. I usually shy away from raw onions, but seeing as I used oh, like 1/100th of the scallions I bought just for the okonomiyaki last night, I thought they might find a home in my dinner if they were blended up really fine. The pate came out quite well, all things considered, and I was glad to find that the oniony-ness was fairly mild and didn't linger on my palate too long!
- 1 cup seeds of your choice, soaked (I used a combination of leftover hemp seed pulp and pumpkin seeds)
- green shoots of 1 scallion stalk/bulb/whateverit'scalled, chopped
- 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until fairly smooth, scraping down the sides often.
Despite my wariness of raw scallions, I found that their flavor combined especially well with the sweet and Japanese-y Carrot Miso dressing, which I used liberally throughout dinner (which is currently drowning in the dressing as it digests in my belly, I'm sure...). I guess there's a reason you find scallions in Japanese food so often!
Moral of the story: make Gena's dressing, then make my seed pate, then wrap 'n' roll yourself somethin' toight like a toiger. Then achieve zen.