NewsTuesday 18th April 2017
Sushi on the beach
Going to the beach is good for your health – and spring going into summer is an ideal time to release the tensions built up over winter, replenish vitamin D levels and celebrate life.
In Oriental philosophy, says Oliver Cowmeadow, principal of the International Macrobiotic School and a practitioner of 35 years, it’s a time of Tree energy, when we can throw off winter and expand out into nature.
“It’s a great time to get outside and be active, to be exuberant and creative,” he says. “Going to the beach is a great reminder of the power of the natural world.”
It can be difficult to eat healthily when out and about, especially for vegetarians and vegans.
Ideal for a beach picnic is sushi which includes seaweed, a super food that contains all 56 minerals and trace elements needed for health.
Oliver explains: “Sushi is easier to make than most people realise and is increasingly popular. It can take a bit of practice to roll, but once you get the hang of it, it takes about the same time as making a sandwich once the rice and tofu or tempeh are cooked.”
These are a great vegan picnic or travelling food, with grain, vegetables, protein and sea vegetable all rolled into one!
2 cups short grain brown rice
Mirin (rice wine) or rice vinegar
1 block of tofu or tempeh
1 bunch of spring onions
Sushi mat or bamboo place mat
1. Wash the rice in a sieve under a tap, then either pressure cook 2 cups of rice with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt for 50-60 minutes, or boil 2 cups with 4 cups of water and salt for the same time. (Pressure cooking creates a stickier rice that is great for making sushi – but if you don’t have one you can boil the rice instead.)
2. There is no need to stir or wash the rice during or after cooking, simply transfer it one spoonful at a time to a serving dish.
3. Sprinkle some 2 tsp mirin or rice vinegar on the rice and mix through.
4. While the rice is cooking, cut your block of tofu or tempeh into strips 1cm square. Dry them with a tea towel so they don’t stick, and fry in sesame or olive oil until golden on all four sides. Season with 2-3 tsp shoyu and cook 1 more minute.
5. Place one sheet of sushi nori on your sushi mat, shiny side down, and spread a thin layer of rice over it, leaving 2cm at the top and bottom without rice.
6. Sprinkle 2-3 tsp sesame seeds on the rice.
7. Put strips of tofu or tempeh in a line across the middle of the rice from the left to right side of the nori, and smear with a tasty mustard.
8. Cut a spring onion in half lengthwise, turn one half around so the root and green parts are together, and push them up against the tofu or tempeh.
9. Use the sushi mat to roll up the tofu or tempeh and rice, being careful to keep the mat from becoming part of the roll. When you have rolled up all of the nori and rice with the tofu in the middle, wrap the mat around the roll and give it a gentle squeeze to help it all stick together.
10. Take the mat away, and use a sharp knife to slice your roll into attractive shapes, and put in a box to take to the beach! Uncut, it will keep for 24 hours (you could take it with you rolled in the mat and cut as needed).
Variations – try putting hummus or smoked salmon in the centre, and strips of cucumber or carrot along with them. In fact you can put almost anything you want down the middle!
If you would like to learn more about cooking healthy macrobiotic food, see our short courses.