this recipe was supposed to have a fancy name like asparagus and roast capsicum nori rolls. Sounds fancy, right? But as soon as I cut into the first sushi roll I realised I had made a little face in my sushi! Well that looked cute so then I added some rice under the asparagus and it really did have a little face. Cute.
Woolworths sent me a big box all wrapped up with a bow on it! The kids were jumping around like monkeys and getting so excited about what was in the box – a present for them perhaps? So you can just imagine their faces when I showed them some asparagus and hollandaise sauce in a cooler bag! Oh the disappointment! Not for me. I was going to make up a recipe using some delicious fresh asparagus that is now in season.
I put my vegetarian thinking cap on – you might not know this but I actually have a Diploma in Vegetarian cooking from the Cordon Vert cookery school in the UK. Yes. I’m one of those people that either does something 100% or doesn’t do it. So when I started attending cooking classes at the school when I lived in London I knew I had to go for the diploma. Sadly they don’t offer it anymore but it was so great to learn lots of great skills and not have to cook meat or fish which I didn’t eat at the time.
So you’ve probably noticed asparagus in the shops at the moment. It’s in season and is great for you as it is high in folate, Vitamin C and Vitamin B group too. I’ve included that info for the health nuts out there. OK, so my challenge was to create a recipe using asparagus and Birch & Waite’s new chilled Hollandaise sauce. And I decided that asparagus would look great in sushi and that it would be a filling and healthy meal for everyone in the family. And a meal that they would eat! We enjoy a lot of sushi here at retro mummy and it’s so easy to make yourself. In fact the hardest thing is just making the rice and leaving it to cool. And anyone can cook rice!
Here’s what you’ll need
1 bunch asparagus
2 red capsicums
1 cup sushi/short grain rice
sushi seasoning (it’s basically a vinegar with sugar in it)
Birch & Waite hollandaise sauce (or mayonaise will do)
soy sauce/sushi dipping sauce
Rinse and pat dry your capsicums. Place on a baking tray lined with foil and pop in a preheated oven (say 180 degrees) for about 20 -30 minutes.
Turn a couple of times. You want to burn the skins on all sides so they just peel off. When they’re done take out of the oven and place in a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave for at least 10 minutes.
Now while your capsicums are in the oven, you are going to cook the sushi rice according to the packet or your preferred method. If you have a thermomix place the rice in the basket, rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Place basket in TM bowl, cover with about 1L of water and cook for 19 minutes, at varoma temperature and speed 3. Turn off machine and just leave it to finish cooking for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, spread out and leave to cool for at least 5 minutes. When the rice is cool you are going to sprinkle over a couple of Tablespoons of sushi seasoning and mix it through with a fork or spoon on the plate.
Break off the asparagus where it wants to break (you don’t want to eat the woody bit so get rid of that end), rinse and steam your asparagus. I was sent a gorgeous steamer for asparagus which is just a little bit fancy and did a beautiful job of steaming the asparagus in 2 minutes! With your Thermomix you could just pop it in the varoma and steam for a couple of minutes while your rice is cooking. Or if you’re short on time you can microwave the asparagus for just a couple of minutes but remember to always place asparagus in cold water straight after steaming to keep the lovely green colour. You want your asparagus to have a bit of bite and not too soft. Look at my lovely cooked asparagus.
Now lay out everything you need to assemble your sushi. This is when the kids can help roll their own rolls too. And make a mess.
Now, take out a sheet of nori. Place it shiny side down on your sushi mat (I’d love to show you a sushi mat but little people have been playing with it and it’s gone walkies) or down on your workspace. Wet your hands as I find that makes it all easier to handle and using your hands or the back of a spoon spread out enough sushi rice to cover a sheet of nori. Lay 2 pieces of red capsicum down on the sushi with the skin side down on the rice. Now you have 2 options. Lay the asparagus over the top or if you want to create more of a face then lay a bit of rice over the capsicum and place two asparagus stalks on top. Then drizzle the lovely hollandaise sauce over the top.
Roll tightly starting with the edge that is closest to you, use a little rice pressed into the nori at the end of the roll to help seal the nori. If you’re not using a mat just roll your finished roll a little to get a round shape. Then set your roll aside for a few minutes before cutting. This just helps the nori soften and makes it easier to cut and eat. Now I like to slice my rolls using a serrated bread knife and wipe it clean on a teatowel before cutting each piece.
Now for the version in the picture above don’t put rice between your capsicum and asparagus. And if you want to make this fancier and not for little ones lay 4 pieces of capsicum down on your rice ( 2×2) and the asparagus in between so that when you roll it the asparagus is enclosed in capscisum. Fancy. And in case you were wondering how I find the time to cook during the day – well I have helpers. Here is the behind the scenes shot!
and a close up of one little girl who had so much fun with the rice and sushi that she needed a bath! Once that sushi rice gets stuck in hair there is nowhere else to go but the bathtub!
Thank you to Woolworths for letting me create a recipe and sending me out the goodies. It was lots of fun and I’ll be making this again soon!