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June 12, 2015

How to Make: Spicy Aubergine Sushi

By Stuart Turner

We've seen a lot of great seafood and meat sushi recipes, but there's no tastier way to get your 5-a-day than in sushi form! That's why today we're going to teach our lovely SushiSushi fans how to make sushi maki rolls with a spicy aubergine filling. Aubergine is a popular vegetable in Japanese cooking, but it's usually used in tempura and curries rather than in sushi - in honesty, when you go to a Japanese sushi restaurant you're more likely to see pickled radish, cucumber and avocado as the vegetables of choice, but we do love a bit of sushi experimentation!

These maki rolls make for a fantastic lunchtime treat - they're full of good stuff, and we recommend serving them with healthy Japanese pickles and miso soup for a bento that's high in vitamins and all the other good stuff your body loves! This dish might be healthy, but we promise it doesn't taste boring - quite the opposite in fact, with a delicious mix of spices making the aubergine super moreish. 

AND if you are having a sushi party and you want a vegetarian option that rivals a spicy tuna roll, this is it.

So let's get cooking! Here's what you will need:

  • 1 Cup of Sushi Rice
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Paste / Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tsp Chilli Paste or Sriracha
  • 1 Thinly Chopped Spring Onion
  • 1/2 Thinly Sliced Aubergine
  • Nori Sheets
  • Sesame Seeds

Recipe:

Begin by cooking up some great sushi rice! It's really simple, just remember the number one rule is to wash the sushi rice well before you cook it to get rid of excess starch. Cook the sushi rice as per the packet instructions, and when it is cooked but still warm, add the dressing of salt, sugar and rice wine vinegar mixed together. Mix in well, then leave the sushi rice aside to cool.

Use a griddle pan to cook the aubergine - when you've sliced the aubergine dab out excess moisture with kitchen roll before covering in a mixture of the chilli and garlic pastes. Grill on a hot pan with sesame oil. Cook until it is tender, soft and browned - try a little, because there is nothing tougher than under cooked aubergine!

Let the aubergine cool down and when the rice is cool too lay some nori sheets on a bamboo mat. Wet your hands and spread the sticky sushi rice across the nori sheet about 1cm thick. Then place a line of the cooked aubergine about 1 inch from the bottom of the sheet. fill right to the ends, and consider adding red pickled ginger or chives at this point depending on your taste. Carefully roll up using the mat, just like a jam roly poly! 

When rolled slice into 8 pieces - use a very sharp knife to avoid squishing your sushi and to keep it nice and round. 

Sprinkle the finished sushi with sesame seeds and spring onions. Serve with a soy, chilli and rice wine dressing!


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