Thursday, December 6, 2012

Playful Pink Sushi Rice

eye - catching pink sushi rolls

a look at the inside with fillings before it is rolled
ready to be sliced

bamboo sushi mat with clear wrapping prevents mess this step is optional 

Vegan Sushi Rolls with Pink Rice
minced beet or beet juice is used to make pink rice
If you already make sushi at home you will love this version with it’s colorful and playful presentation of pink rice using just a little bit of beet to give it’s color. I like to add carrot to the filling for even more eye - catching pop.

Monday I took a much-anticipated vegan sushi class at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. I really wanted to learn techniques and new recipes related to vegan sushi.  The pink sushi roll really appealed to me since I had never seen one before not to mention how easy it is to make. Using beet rather than a food dye adds the vibrant color. With so many natural wonderful colors in vegetables, spices and fruits, there should never be a need for food coloring when possible. What I also love about the rolls is the striking presentation – looks stunning on a plate and I’m sure bringing these to a get together will stir some oohs and ahhs!!!

Special Items
Nori Wrap – dried green sheets of seaweed used for rolling sushi. Available at specialty markets and health food stores.
Bamboo Matt for rolling

Ingredients for Brown Rice
2 cups medium grain brown rice
3 cups cold water
pinch of salt

Ingredients for Sushi Vinegar
1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
½ tsp maple syrup
½ tsp brown rice syrup
¾ tsp sea salt

Beet Juice or Cooked Minced Beet
½ Beet
Beet added to the brown rice will make it pink
1.boil a beet until fork tender and then mince about 2 tbsp or you can do the alternative
1 tbsp + 1 tsp raw beet juice

1. add rice, water and salt to a pot – cover and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn heat to low and simmer 45 minutes when done keep lid on and let sit 15 additional minutes to steam.
2..combine the above vinegar ingredients in a small bowl mix well set aside
3. Transfer rice to a large bowl and add the sushi vinegar and mix well. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit 10 minutes.
3. add the minced beet or beet juice to the brown rice; mix well and let sit until cool.

Suggested Fillings
carrot - shaved or grated
pea shoots
roasted pumpkin - I tried this and loved it

Instruction for Rolling Sushi
If my instruction does not seem clear please leave a question and I will be happy to respond, but if you are already making rolls at home the pink rice might be a fun try.

1. use a sushi matt and cover it in plastic wrap to prevent rice from sticking, I used tape on the backside to keep it together. Nori wraps are used to roll the sushi be sure to have the shiny side down and have a small bowl of water to dip your fingers - having your hands moist will prevent the rice from sticking to them while adding the rice to the nori sheet.
2. add the rice in thin layer filling the sheet ¾ of the way down the wrap starting at the end closest to you and working towards the other end, there should be some of the wrap  as you reach the other end that does not have rice, you will need this clean to seal the end of the roll once you begin rolling.
3. once the rice is added you can layer your toppings such as avocado, shaved carrot, shaved cucumber, pea sprouts, zucchini, or whatever else you like.
4. careful not to add too much ingredients or will be difficult to roll
5. to roll, slightly lift the end closest to you and roll it in -use your thumbs to push while using your fingers to ensure it’s moving along tightly – you want to tuck with your fingers as you are rolling, when you get to the end of rolling add a little moisture with water to the last ½ inch of the nori wrap this will help seal the roll imagine licking an envelope this is about the moistness you need to help seal the roll – so don’t add too much liquid. While doing this keep one hand on the roll while using the other hand to moisten the end, this will prevent your roll from unrolling.
6. Once your roll is sealed remove it from the rolling matt and lay it on a cutting board, using a sharp knife slice the roll into 8 pieces and clean the blade in between each cut using a damp cloth or paper towel. Use a saw like technique when cutting the sushi and be gentle, try not to cut in one slice or you might squish the sushi. Transfer to a pretty plate.

recipe adapted from Natural Gourmet Institute
check out their online calendar of upcoming classes available to the public.


  1. Hi! :) Thanks for posting this, I have been experimenting with beets myself to give food some natural color. May I ask how you extracted the juice from the beets? Thanks again :)

    1. grate the beets then squeeze out the juice


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