Shiitake, Avocado, and Pickled Ginger Sushi Rolls (raw)
In this recipe, we call for young ginger, which is a paler, almost pinkish color, and milder in taste then mature ginger-root. Along with un-toasted (and toasted) nori, you can find it at Asian markets, but the more commonly available ginger will work well, too. The beet juice used in pickling the ginger that goes into the rolls is optional, but we highly recommend it because it looks so pretty. And if you really want to cheat, you can just buy pickled ginger, if you can find any without preservatives.
If you can’t find fresh shiitakes, you can substitute another wild mushroom or thinly sliced portobello, or even use dried shiitakes that have been re-hydrated in purified water.
Wasabi is a very spicy variety of Japanese horseradish — fresh is best but it’s hard to find and extremely expensive. You can buy powdered wasabi at most health food stores and Asian markets and mix with water according to the directions to make a paste.
Try other variations of sushi, using different vegetable fillings.
“I like using jicama as a substitute for rice because it has a sweet quality to it that is similar to the seasoned sweetness of Japanese sushi rice. This is nice to serve if you are having guests. You can prepare all of the components ahead of time (except the avocado, which should always be sliced fresh) and then roll the sushi just before serving. We use biodegradable chopsticks at the restaurant that are made of corn and wheat — I love that.” – SM