Vegan Sushi: Crispy Eggplant Dragon roll




Vegan sushi alert! Crispy Eggplant Dragon roll! I am absolutely crazy about sushi. Especially when they hit all those perfect notes of savory, sweet, sour, crispy, sticky and spicy. I could eat it all day, every day. When I make a fresh batch, like these crispy eggplant dragon rolls right here, for instance. I honestly do sometimes eat them for breakfast lunch and dinner until they are completely gone. Call me crazy. But before you judge me, try them for yourself. Because I have a feeling that I won't be the only one.


When I started to incorporate more plant-based meals into my diet, I was most skeptical on how sushi without any fish would taste. Now in most restaurants, I wasn't very impressed with the vegan options. They were usually simply prepared maki with cucumber or avocado, a pretty good wakame salad here and there. Overal pretty decent, but I wasn't convinced yet. 


This had to be done better, I thought. So I started getting into making my own sushi at home. It is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be and once you really get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless. Let your creativity run wild! I'll be sharing some of my favorite vegan sushi combos that I have been trying out. Starting with this one right here. Dragon rolls are my favorite. Even though I replaced the traditional shrimp in this recipe with eggplant, honestly it has been the best damn dragon roll I've ever had. It's absolutely bursting with flavor!


Ingredients:

- 1 cup of sushi rice

- 1,5 cup of water (check the back of your sushi rice pack, to male sure you get the right water to rice ration)

- 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar

- 1 tbsp of sugar or agave nectar - 1 avocado

- 1 Japanese (or normal) cucumber - Toasted nori sheets

- Soy sauce Eggplant Fries and Dynamite Sauce: Get the recipe HERE

Optional:fried crispy onions to garnish

You'll be needing a sushi mat and some plastic wrap (cling foil) as well. 

Time: 45 minutes

Portion: 4 sushi rolls


Directions:

1. Start with rinsing your sushi rice thoroughly until the water runs completely clear. Then bring your water to a boil, add the sushi rice and check the back of your rice pack to see how long it needs to cook. It usually takes about 20 minutes. Next, cut your cucumber into thin slices and slice the avocado very thinly as well. Fan out the thinly sliced avocado, we will be using it later.


2.Mix together your rice wine vinegar and sugar. When you have turned off the heat, gently fold the sugar and vinegar mixture into the rice. Now put the lid back on and let it cool of for another 10 minutes or so.

While the rice is cooking and cooling of you can go ahead and make your eggplant fries along with preparing the sauce.


3. After your sushi rice is cooled off, we can start assembling our sushi rolls. Roll out your sushi mat and cover it with a plastic wrap. Get your nori sheet on there and start spreading out a thin layer of sushi rice evenly on your nori sheet. Flip your nori sheet on the other side. The rice covered side is now facing your mat. This way the rice will be covering the outside of our roll. On the inside lay out a small stroke of the fillings. One or two slices of cucumber, two eggplant fries, some fried crispy onions and add a stroke of dynamite sauce. Slowly and firmly roll everything together. 


4. Now fan out the avocado on top of the roll. Then cover with some plastic wrap and roll it again, assembling the avocado firmly in place. 


5. Slice your roll into sushi parts with a large sharp knife. Serve with some soy sauce, pickled ginger, wasabi. You can also add some dynamite sauce on top and sprinkle with fried crispy onions.

Enjoy! Love,

Nerini