Sticky rice rolls (gluten-free; dairy-free; vegan)

12_homemade_vegan_sticky_rice_rolls_arranged_on_a_serving_platter
Vegan sticky rice rolls. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

I’ve been wanting to have a go at making my own sushi-style sticky rice rolls for some time, but have never quite got round to it. But having the right combination of ingredients at last, I have finally been able to experiment, and I am very pleased with the results. Sushi Master I am not, but hopefully good enough to tempt you into giving my easy recipe and method a try.

Close-up_sticky_rice_rainbow_rolls_on_platter
Rainbow rice rolls. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

The basic “must-have” ingredients are sheets of dried seaweed called Sushi Nori – I used 19 x 21cm sheets made by Clearspring. They have a rougher-textured side and a shiny side. Shiny side faces down when you make up the rolls. The sheets are dry and fairly crisp until you put the rice and filling on them, and then they soften and form a tasty edible wrapping for the rolls.

Sushi_nori_shiny_and_textured_sides_showing
Dried nori seaweed sheets. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

For the filling, you need sushi rice or sticky rice. This is a short-grain variety which is very starchy so when it is cooked it clumps together. You can use other grains but they probably won’t cling together enough for neat slicing. I should imagine that Chinese glutinous rice and Arborio rice might also work but you’d need to do some experimenting with cooking times to make sure they don’t overcook and become mushy.

Small_bowl_of_uncooked_sushi_rice
Sushi rice in the raw. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

How you season the freshly cooked rice is up to personal taste. I do like the traditional subtle Japanese flavours of mirin and white rice vinegar. I also added a little sesame oil for some nuttiness, and of course a little salt and sugar for classic seasoning.

Sticky_rice_seasoning_ingredients
Seasonings for sticky rice. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

And finally, the filling. This needs to be thinly sliced and quite flexible for easy rolling. The key to a good roll is not to overfill it and to keep the covering nice and even. I went for thin ribbons of vegetables which I prepared with a vegetable peeler. Grated vegetables would also work in a thin layer. Other things to try could be a sprinkling of toasted seeds; some thinly sliced or grated smoked tofu, or mashed avocado.

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Rainbow carrots. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

Makes: 12

Ingredients

  • 125g raw sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp white rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 sheets sushi nori
  • A few thin strips of rainbow carrots and cucumber (approx. 22 carrot and 8 cucumber)
  • Dipping sauce to serve – I mixed sesame oil with mirin, a little salt and sugar and freshly chopped chives
  1. First prepare the rice. Rinse the rice several times in cold water. Drain and put in a saucepan with 200ml cold water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 15 minutes.

2. Mix together the mirin, vinegar, sugar, oil and salt. Stir into the rice and leave to cool.

Preparing_and_cooking_sticky_rice
Sticky rice preparation and cooking. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

3. Lay a piece of parchment just bigger than the nori sheet on a dry silicone mat or chopping board. Lay the nori, shiny-side down, on top and spoon over half the rice.

4. Carefully spread the rice over the seaweed, leaving 1cm clear at one end and at both sides. At the other end, leave a 2cm gap where the roll will finish. Make sure that the rice is evenly spread and flattened.

3_stages_to_preparing_sticky_rice_rolls
Ready to roll. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

5. Lay the filling neatly on top. Using the parchment to help you, begin rolling from the near edge, keeping the filling in place with your fingers. Roll firmly without pressing to avoid squashing the filling. Once rolled, wrap the parchment around the roll completely and chill for at least an hour before slicing. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make up another roll.

Filling_and_rolling_sticky_rice_rolls
Sticky rice roll filling and rolling. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

6. When ready to serve, unwrap the rolls and discard the parchment. Slice off any overhanging vegetables from each end to neaten, then ussing a sharp knife, cut each roll into 6 slices.

Homemade_sticky_rice_roll_unsliced
Rolled rolls before and after trimming. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

Your sticky rice rolls are now ready to serve. I arranged mine on a serving platter with the dipping sauce in the middle. I cut out some flower shapes from thin carrot slices and added a few chives to garnish.

Homemade_sticky_rice_roll_sliced_in_half
Rice roll sliced in half. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

I love the colours of the rainbow carrot and cucumber combination, very cheery for the soul, healthy and delicious to eat on a spring day for or a picnic.

That’s me for another month. Until next time, take care and keep safe.

4 thoughts on “Sticky rice rolls (gluten-free; dairy-free; vegan)

  1. Hello Kathryn, I read this post quite a while ago and just realized I had forgotten to hit the like button! Must have been distracted or interrupted – sorry. I like sushi, and I thank you for inspiring us to make them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello again. That’s nice to know. Glad you liked the recipe. So much easier to make than I thought. Hope all going well with you and that it has warmed up a bit. We had a lovely couple of warm weeks which brought on all the spring flowers but it’s turned grey again. It’s been very dry as well. Thankfully we did get a good soaking at the weekend so the garden has been rejuvenated. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well believe it or not, the heating system still goes on at night!!! Thankfully it is supposed to get warmer starting today. I will finally be able to get my hands in the dirt again! My tulips have flowered and gone and now I see buds in the azalea bushes. My husband tilled a small plot in the backyard, so I am waiting for the two local young organic farmers, Sam and Andrew, to sell me some nice healthy garden plants as they did last year. I am glad their young business is doing well. I have done my part in telling people about them. No commission for me but I get to exchange with Andrew in French – he tells me he needs the practice lest he should forget it completely 😊.
        Take care, Kathryn!

        Liked by 1 person

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