Tonight I went Japanese as result of all the Asian market shopping I did on Thursday in Viet-Town (so there will probably be a lot more Asian vittles to come this week!). I prepared 3 different maki rolls and created the “rice” using Pure Food & Wine’s method of processing jicama and pine nuts until rice-like, but in different proportions. I seasoned the mixture with sea salt and mirin and then dehydrated it to remove excess moisture.
These spicy-faux tuna maki rolls taste uncannily like the real deal. Fleshy, lower-moisture Roma (plum) tomatoes were ideal for the task. I sliced them vertically and scooped out the seeds and inner membranes, then diced them into a bowl.
I added sea salt, dulse flakes, and olive oil, tossed well, and then put them into the dehydrator for about 2 hours to remove any excess juiciness. Finally, I tossed them once again with chili paste, sesame oil, and chopped scallions.
I love the chewy texture of rehydrated shitake mushrooms. For this maki, I used a combination of both fresh and rehydrated mushrooms that were both marinated in nama shoyu, sake, and agave, then sprinkled with a little truffle salt. I rolled them up with sesame seeds and some lovely chive flowers.
This is absolutely one of my favorite maki rolls. Umeboshi plums are a pickled variety of Japanese plum known as “the king of alkaline foods” in the macrobiotic diet. They are magnificent for digestion and even taken as a hangover aid. They have a distinctive and powerful tart-salty flavor, incomparable to any other food. Umeboshi plums are available whole, in a paste form, or as vinegar. For these rolls, I used the paste.
Shiso leaves are sometimes referred to as “Japanese basil” but are actually from the beefsteak plant. It tastes nothing like basil, and like ume plums, has an incomparable flavor to any other herb. In my area, it’s tough to find so it’s a real treat when I score some. Shiso and umeboshi plums are a perfect, harmonious match, which is why you will commonly find shiso leaves included in a package of ume plums. Cucumbers are the perfect balancing and cooling compliment to the ume plum’s and shiso’s sharp flavors in these maki rolls.