September 17, 2009

24-Carrot Nori Rolls

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, 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 then proceeded to consume my dinner with my new chopsticks from Cambodia (thanks, Nat!).

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!

Seedy Scallion Pate
  • 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.

MixMyGranola update! Raoul alerted me to two new developments on the MixMyGranola scene: Trail Mixes and their new Granola Club! Check it out and enjoy a 10% discount for Soap & Chocolate readers. Just enter promotion code SOAPYCHOCO at checkout.


Gena said...

My stress levels this week do not in any way indicate zen-inspiration-like capacities. But thank you for lovin' the dressing!! Nice tip on the vita-poopie alternative.

Gina said...

Love the nori rolls. I would love to make my own sometime, how fun!

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Wow, seriously awesome job considering those are your first nori rolls! I love the idea of the seed pate; will have to try.

Olga said...

So...when are you having me over for dinner?

You should be a chef! :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Rockin' out the nori action, huh. Well la-dee-da to you, that makes me the last person in the world who's never made nori rolls. BUT, tonite I made some cucumber wraps with my new mandolin. Gena, if you're reading this, you have singlehandedly gotten me into more kitchen gadgets in the span of 6 mos than I've had my whole life..but I dig it! Anyway Diana, your nori rolls look fab.

And I am proud to be included in your and Gena's company on Haley's blog when she gushed about our recipes. Makes me feel good and totally rocked my world :) Hayley if you see this here, thanks again! And Diana your chopsticks look tres chic, too. Had to mention those!

Tina said...

Just splendid! I've been in a nori-mood myself :P

Very nice pics!

K from ksgoodeats said...

Wrapped tightly or not, those look incredible!! I haven't tried any kind of sushi (crazy, right?!) but I would definitely eat that!

I laughed at 'soapychoco' ;)

elise said...

i must make that dressing. crafty photog skills to avoid the mangled portions...i do that ALL the time - haha. i am in desperate need of knives too. so lemme get this straight, you have nothing between your massive scary cleaver and butter knives? (kidding) i know how hard nori rolls are to cut. did you do anything to the nori first? last time i made nori rolls i was less than successful cutting...i ended up eating the last few rolls as burritos bc i was so sick of the state my knife left them in!!

Diana said...

K -

I totally laughed at the promo code they gave me too. :)

Elise -

I didn't do anything to the nori sheets before rolling, just rubbed a tiny bit of water on the far edge so that it would seal, and that part worked alright. What I noticed after the fact is that there are perforations on the nori! I was perplexed by that at first and then ignored it, but later it occurred to me that maybe that is intended to assist with cutting pieces apart. So next time I'll roll perpendicular to the perforations and see if it comes apart more neatly. I still need better knives though!

Heather said...

Whoa, those rolls look ridiculously good!

Jenny said...

I gotta tell ya, half the time I never know what the heck your making with all your fancy raw lingo - all i know is it looks fab and I want!

Abby said...

WOW, those nori rolls look AmAzInGG. I love love love kale. I also realy enjoy your blog. I admire your creations and love getting ideas from your posts!! I have just started my own lil blog (uh def a work in progress, but we are getting there).

Have an awesome Saturday! :)