Get Rolling with Vegetarian Maki Rolls
These Vegetarian Maki Rolls are the ultimate delicious gluten-free wraps. Organic brown rice, red Russian kale, green beans and grated beets create a beautiful mosaic pattern in each slice of this vegetarian sushi.
I like to use red Russian kale in my nori rolls because it is tender; the stem is like a green bean. You can trim it off or include it. Red Russian kale is also a good source of Vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin, which supports healthy eyesight.
Feel free to mix and match your local organic harvest of low FODMAP vegetables for infinite variations all year long.
Best of all, these nori rice rolls travel well, whole or sliced. Perfect for picnics, airplane travel, beach parties, potlucks, and party appetizers.
Eat Your Seaweed
If you are unfamiliar with nori, it is a delicate purplish-black sea vegetable formed into a pliable sheet, popularly used to wrap anything for finger food: brown rice and raw or cooked vegetables are among my favorites to make nori rolls. Also, you can also snack on sheets of nori; cut in strips, or crumble it up and use as a garnish.
I also like frying it with a little sprinkle of sea salt and serving it with a sunny side up egg. When one of my daughters was feeling like she was catching a cold, she would eat 10 sheets of nori as preventive medicine.
You Have Choices
You can buy raw and toasted nori. I prefer the slightly nutty, mildly sweet flavor of toasted nori. Whether you buy nori in a health food store, natural food coop or online, buy it from a company such as Maine Coast Sea Vegetables or Emerald Cove that certifies it GMO-free and organic, even though it is a wild vegetable.
The organic certification ensures that it has been sustainably harvested in clean oceans and dried in a pesticide free environment.
Dédé’s Notes: Leslie has given us instructions on how to make these rolls with and without a bamboo sushi mat, so be sure to read the recipe through to acquaint yourself with both techniques and decide which is best for you. Also, note that Leslie chose to use yellow wax beans as well as green beans for our photo shoot; only the green beans have gone through Monash University testing, so proceed as you see fit.
Vegetarian Maki Rolls
Contributor Leslie Cerier shows us how to make Vegetarian Maki Rolls with or without a sushi mat.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 8 rolls; serving size 1 roll
- 4 cups (720 g) room temperature or warm (not hot) cooked brown rice, preferably short grain
- 8 large (or 16 small) red Russian kale leaves, washed and dried
- 1/4 cup (44 g) sesame seeds
- 16 green beans, washed and dried, stem ends trimmed
- 1, 7-inch (17 cm) organic cucumber or zucchini, unpeeled, ends trimmed, cut into 16 slender spears
- 1 small (85 g) beet, peeled and grated (see Tips)
- 8 sheets toasted nori
- 4 ounces (115 g) soft goat cheese (chevre), organic if possible
- Wasabi, optional (see Tips)
- Organic soy sauce, optional; use gluten free if following a gluten free diet (see Tips)
Using a Sushi Mat: Lay a sushi mat on a clean work surface with the strings running vertical and the bamboo strips running horizontal. Place a piece of nori on a clean work surface the mat shiny side down. Spread 1/2 cup (120 ml) of rice on the bottom half of the nori, leaving the top 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) bare. Lay 1 large kale leaf or 2 smaller leaves across the rice. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sesame seeds on the kale, followed by 2 green beans, 2 long cucumber spears and 2 teaspoons grated beets. Gently press the filling into the rice. Spread 1 tablespoon goat cheese over the top inch of the nori with your fingers.
Starting at the end closest to you and using even pressure, use the sushi mat to roll the nori tightly and evenly around the rice and filling. Be sure to pull the leading edge of the mat back so it doesn’t become incorporated into the roll. Once the rolling is completed, give the mat a gentle squeeze along its entire length, then let the nori roll sit inside the mat for a minute to ensure a tight roll. Gently unroll the mat and leave the roll whole, and wrap for traveling in a sushi mat or plastic wrap. You can also slice the roll in half, or into 8 rounds, and place on a serving platter. I like to use my Kyocera America ceramic knives, or use a serrated knife. Wiping the blade between cuts will help make neat, clean slices. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, creating 8 rolls.
Rolling Without the Sushi Mat: Working directly on your work surface, after you place the filling ingredients across the rice on the nori, begin rolling with the side closest to you, then continue and roll the maki up like a jelly-roll forming a tight cylinder.
My Way to Roll: I have not mastered using a sushi mat for rolling. Instead, I roll up the nori roll like a jelly-roll as described immediately above and then wrap the sushi mat around the nori roll and give it a gentle squeeze to ensure a tight roll. Rolls are ready to serve or may be refrigerated for 3 days. I like to roll them inside the sushi mats so that they do not get squished and yes it is OK to have the ends open to the air. Alternatively, you can in wrap them in plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before eating
To serve, place a small dipping bowl of soy sauce and/or wasabi in the center of a platter and surround it with the sushi rounds. Decorate with edible flowers such as nasturtiums or day lilies. (FYI these flowers are edible but have not been tested yet for FODMAPs).
- As described above we suggest offering the soy sauce and wasabi just as you find it in Japanese restaurants, allowing diners to take what they like. To remain low FODMAP we recommend presenting reconstituted powdered wasabi in about 2 prepared teaspoons per person and the soy at about tablespoons per serving.
- You can use the shredding blade of a food processor or a box grater to grate the beet.
- Cook the rice with 3 slices of ginger. Note that hot rice will steam holes in the nori, so let it cool.
- For extra color and variety, swap grated white daikon radish, and carrots for the green beans and beets.
- Swap Chinese cabbage, red, green leaf, tender baby romaine or Boston lettuce for the Red Russian kale or use a combination of other salad greens: arugula, radicchio, baby bok choy, tat soi, mustard greens, baby or red spinach. Mung or alfalfa sprouts are also good choices.
- Add ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon fresh grated fresh ginger to each roll.
- Swap miso for the goat cheese, using 1 teaspoon per roll.
- For extra flavor and variety, add sprigs of your favorite herbs like dill, cilantro, and chives.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.