I love making sushi. Love it. It’s so much fun: choosing and arranging your fillings, rolling them up inside the iridescent nori wrapper, slicing the rolls into delicate, beautiful rounds. I first made my own sushi when I was working as an intern at Farm Sanctuary, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn how easy it is.
Still, I very rarely make sushi at home nowadays. Much as I love it, it never quite feels like a balanced meal—I always come away feeling like I’ve eaten a whole lot of rice and not much else. And I get hungry again quite soon—my body is, uh, extremely efficient at digesting starches. So I save sushi as a treat to eat in restaurants occasionally. But I miss those flavors. And spring’s arrival has brought with it cravings for fresher, crunchier, lighter foods. So I made this salad, so I could enjoy my favorite sushi flavors while still eating a balanced dinner that I could feel good about. I’ve used adzuki beans for protein here, but feel free to substitute edamame, fish, or tofu if you like. As it stands, this recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Eating the salad with chopsticks makes it more fun!
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 cucumber, shaved into long strips with a vegetable peeler
1 carrot, shaved into long strips with a vegetable peeler
1.5 cups cooked adzuki beans
1 avocado, sliced thinly
1 small napa cabbage, shredded thinly
Soy sauce or tamari
Toasted sesame oil
More toasted sesame seeds
1. In a small bowl, combine rice wine vinegar, salt, and sugar.
2. Mix the toasted sesame seeds and one tablespoon of the seasoned vinegar into the rice.
3. Toss the shaved carrot and cucumber with the rest of the seasoned vinegar.
4. On 2, 3, or 4 plates (depending on how many people you are serving and how hungry you all are), arrange the shredded cabbage. Top with seasoned rice, adzuki beans, vegetables, and avocado. 5. With a kitchen shears, snip small shreds of nori over the salads—to your taste. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil, tamari mixed with wasabi, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Eat with some pickled ginger. Yum!