Once upon a time, there was a little Eggplant who lived in the produce section of the Japanese Market. Eggplant’s dream was to be part of a Sushi Roll. Alas, whenever Sushi Making took place, Eggplant was never selected as a candidate. He looked on forlornly as his friends Avocado and Cucumber were repeated picked, and puffed resentfully when he was passed over for the smelly fishy Tuna.
One day, an Experimental Chef came wandering into the Japanese Market looking for inspiration. She wanted a weeknight dinner dish that was quick, easy to make, yet delectable. As she passed by the Eggplant, he called out to her, “Oh pick me, pick me! Take me home and make me into a sushi roll!”
The Experimental Chef was skeptical. “But sushi ingredients are usually fresh and raw. You would have to be cooked. And how would I flavor you to complement the rice and nori?” Eggplant replied, “But aren’t you an EXPERIMENTAL Chef? Isn’t it your business to figure these things out?” At a loss for a good comeback, the Chef shrugged, put the Eggplant into her basket, and headed home to figure out how to tackle this challenge.
After some pondering, the Experimental Chef went to work, mixing up sauce potions, cooking the Eggplant and it’s friend the Beech Mushroom, and rolling the sushi. As she took a bite into the roll, a smile spread across her face. She thanked the Eggplant for reaching out to her, and vowed to share this wonderful recipe with the world.
That night, the Eggplant sat in Shelly’s Belly, content that he had fulfilled his lifelong wish. He hoped that his brothers and sisters would also make an appearance in a sushi roll sometime soon.
Eggplant & Friends:
- 3 Japanese Eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
- 1 handful of Beech Mushrooms
- 2 cups Long Grain Rice
- 4 large pieces of Toasted Nori Seaweed
- 1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
- 1 tsp Mild Miso
- 3 Tbsp Ponzu Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Mirin
- 3 Tbsp Agave Nectar
- Toasted Sesame Seed, to dress
- Peanut Sauce or Mayonnaise, to garnish
Roll With It!
- Make the Sushi Rice. Proportion – 2 cups Long Grain Rice + 2 cups water + 1/3 cup Rice Vinegar + 1 Tsp Mirin + 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar. You can make this in a rice cooker or on a stove top. I prefer to stick it in the rice cooker – fluffy perfection every time!
- Create a Saute Sauce Potion with: 1 Tbsp Miso + 3 Tbsp Ponzu + 1 Tbsp Mirin + 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
- Heat up a frying pan with some canola oil. Saute the Eggplant with half of the sauce until fully cooked. Take eggplant out and set aside in a small bowl
- Saute the Beech Mushrooms with the same sauce until cooked. Set aside in another bowl
- Set a Nori Sheet on a flat surface. Take about 1/2 cup of the cooked rice and spread on half of the sushi. Place the eggplant and mushroom on top. Sprinkle with Sesame Seeds and roll the sushi, using small amount of smashed rice to glue it together at the end.
- Drizzle with Peanut Sauce or Mayo (optional). Cut into desirable pieces, and enjoy with pleasure!
- I really think this could have used some greens – something like spinach or watercress would have been great!
- Other cool veggies I’d like to try: Bamboo shoots, shitake mushrooms, celery, zucchini, roasted bell peppers, yams.
- Instead of rice, I think it’d be interesting to use mashed potatoes or hummus.
- Try some other sauces – what about a citrusy vinaigrette, or maybe a mildly curry flavored mix?