Vegetarian sushi filling combinations
I am looking for ideas for vegetarian sushi filling combinations. I was curious what people generally use for their homemade creations. I was also curious if people used cooked vegetables and/or fresh fruit in their homemade sushi.
Hi. We use steamed carrot strips, steamed sweet potato strips, steamed green bean or asparagus. Usually also use strips of green onion, cut the length of the nori, avacado, cucumber strips (I get the English type, so that I can cut the strips the length of the nori). If you aren't needing to be vegan: I usually make a sweet egg pancake, and cut it into strips, to simulate tamago (my favorite) - just mix two or three eggs with a tbsp of sugar, or so, and whisk them, then cook until set and starting to brown, flip, and brown a bit on the other side. Cool, and cut into strips. Good. I sometimes saute shitaki, cut into thin slices, with soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and rice vinegar to taste. Also, there are some special "gourd strips" that you can find at an Asian market, dried, or sometimes canned, which are good, but sort of expensive. If you get the dried ones, soak, then cook them like the mushrooms listed above. Also, if you have some toasted sesame seeds, it is good to spread a little bit over the rice for some of the rolls.
I love mushrooms, so I do a mixed mushroom maki with fresh enoki, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms. I will either sautee or marinate them first with bit of mirin, soy, and green onions for flavour.
Another one I like is greenbeans. Just throw them into boiling water for half-a-minute or so to blanche them, and you're done.
I also do a 'salad' maki with spinach, red bell pepper, and sliced portobello (all raw).
When I do inarizushi, I've mixed the rice with things like toasted pine nuts, edamame, all kinds of mushrooms (of course!), toasted seaweed, boiled seaweed, spinach...
The sky's the limit, really.
Chirashi zushi is a great way to incorporate a variety of vegetables. Instead of the rolls, a large platter of vinegared rice topped with a variety of toppings. Eggs (scrambled, cooked in thinlike crepe sheets and then shredded), pea pods, pickled renkon, other pickles, toasted sesame seeds, shiso, nori, etc.
Other traditional Japanese toppings - umeboshi and cucumber, kanpyo (seasoned with soy, dashi and mirin), pickled daikon, natto, and as mentioned earlier, inari zushi is easy and delicous.
My Fiancé is vegetarian and loves sushi so I make it a lot. I have done some experimenting and found that onion and bell pepper (tex-mex sushi) is good. She rolls her eyes at this one. I like store-bought baked tofu (teriyaki flavor works well).
Also, if you haven't made Inari, you must! It is our favorite. The tofu pockets are available at Japanese markets in cans or in packets in the refrigerated section (these are generally a little better). Make sure you pat them dry before stuffing them or they are a little soggy.
My family calls Inari "brown bag".
A easy recipe for "brown bag", is sushi rice with chopped carrots, peas, and chopped mushrooms (shitake) stuffed inside the brown bag. The veggies are cooked.
I guess ChefEli is purchasing prepared brown bag, because my family cooks them before stuffing. Simmer in seasoned dashi for ~15-20 minutes.
If you make them too big, they can be difficult to eat.
Avocado, cucumber, onion, mushroom are some "American" style ingredients.
And as Curtis wrote, there are "Japanese" style ingredients too.
You can make sushi with anything you like. Think of burritos/tacos as an analogy. I once made rice balls (no sushi su) with roast beef inside.