This recipe contains numerous tips for making these beautiful vegetarian nori rolls. Take your time and you’ll be rewarded with a sensational result. Masako Fukui gives four different filling ideas – the kampyo filling is deliciously unusual (kampyo is strips of dried gourd sold in packets at Japanese grocery stores).

Makes
6

Preparation

1hr
15min

Cooking

2hr
10min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 4.3 (135 votes)
Yum

Ingredients

Sushi rice

  • 4 cups koshihikari rice 
  • 120 ml rice vinegar 
  • 2½ tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp salt 

Kampyo filling  

  • 50 g kampyo (dried gourd strips)
  • salt
  • 200 ml dashi stock (see miso soup recipe or use instant dashi powder or liquid) 
  • 3 tbsp sugar 
  • 2½ tbsp shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) 
  • 1 tbsp cooking sake 

Shiitake filling

  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in a bowl of cold water until soft 
  • 3 tbsp sugar 
  • 3 tbsp shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) 
  • 1 tbsp cooking sake 

Carrot filling

  • 1 large carrot, cut into long, thin strips 
  • 200 ml dashi stock
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tbsp mirin 

Tamagoyaki (omelette) filling

  • 2½ tbsp dashi stock
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 1½ tbsp shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) 
  • 1 tsp mirin 
  • 6 eggs, beaten 

To assemble

  • 6 nori sheets 
  • rice vinegar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Soaking time 30 minutes

To make the sushi rice, wash the rice well in cold water and soak in fresh water for 30 minutes. Place the rice and 4 cups of water in a saucepan and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed (alternatively, steam the rice in a rice cooker). Remove the lid, cover with a damp cloth and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Heat the rice vinegar, sugar and salt over low heat until the sugar and salt dissolve. Place the rice in a mixing bowl and evenly pour over the vinegar mixture. Mix in well with a cutting action so as not to squash the rice. Fan for a few minutes until the rice has cooled a little (it can still be warm when assembling).

To make the kampyo filling, rub the kampyo with salt then wash in cold water. Put in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil, then refresh in cold water and squeeze out the excess water. Simmer with the remaining ingredients until tender.

To make the shiitake filling, remove the mushrooms from their soaking water and measure 2½ tbsp of the water into a saucepan. Thinly slice the mushrooms and remove their stalks if necessary, then add with the remaining ingredients to the pan and cook until all the liquid evaporates.

To make the carrot filling, cook the carrot in boiling water until just beginning to soften. Drain, then simmer in the remaining ingredients until tender.

To make the omelette filling, place ingredients other than the egg in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Mix into the egg without over-beating. Cook the omelette in a lightly-oiled frying pan (ideally a Japanese square omelette pan). The omelette should be quite thick. Leave to cool and cut into thick strips.

To assemble the rolls, place a sheet of nori shiny-side down on a work surface (or ideally on a bamboo rolling mat). Wet your hands with rice vinegar and spread 230 g of rice over the nori, leaving a 1 cm border on one long edge. Be careful not to squash the grains of rice as you spread it.

Place the filling ingredients in a line down the centre of the rice. Dip your index finger in rice vinegar and run along the exposed edge of nori to moisten it slightly. Roll the rice and filling up inside the nori to form a squarish cylinder. You should apply firm but gentle pressure (the mat helps if you are using one). Slice the rolls into rounds.