Monday, August 1, 2011

Quinoa Sushi

Continuing with the trend of failing successfully, I tried my hand at making quinoa sushi over the weekend. It was my first attempt at working with quinoa beyond just being a base for something else as the main dish, and while I can't claim it a culinary masterpiece, I will say that I tasted the potential for something special enough that I'm willing to go at it again in the near future, in order to perfect it.

Nori Maki Roll + Assorted Veggies

The main issue, as you might gather from looking at the near crumbling columns in the photo above, is that, unlike short-grain rice, quinoa doesn't cling to itself very well. So once you slice into the norimaki, you are instantly at odds with an avalanche of sandlike grains dropping onto your plate as if you just flipped over an hourglass and you're desperately running out of time trying to keep it all together well enough to eat it in a decidedly decent manner. Quinoa sushi, is basically the "sloppy Joe" of sushis.

If you had planned on dipping your sushi in the traditional soy sauce dish, forget about it. Introducing liquid to the quinoa equation will exacerbate the already delicate situation. It essentially melts away like tossing a bucket of water on the wicked witch of the west. Oh, what a world, what a world....

Though this is technically a failure, I've already formulated ideas for succeeding the next time the sushi mood strikes me like a katana blade to the stomach. Maybe this time around I overstepped my boundaries and tempted fate by introducing too many outside elements that were never meant to be sushi: quinoa, spinach*, & sweet potato** being the main culprits, but I also used carrots & the more traditional kappa (cucumber). I'll certainly post any further discoveries in the swashbuckling misadventures of amateur sushi making, but for now I leave you with a failed swipe at glory; one in which I swallowed my pride, as much as I swallowed a paucity of blundered plunders. Moving on...


*The spinach was used as a second layer of wrap around the veggies themselves at the center. This was the most successful aspect of improvising the ingredients. I'm not sure I'd use this method with rice based sushi, but when used with quinoa, they compliment each other surprisingly well.

**This one especially, didn't go so well with the 醤油 (soy sauce) flavor, but for whatever reason, recently, I can't seem to avoid using sweet potatoes in nearly everything. It's a problem that I really haven't minded living with all that much.

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