Savory garlic and sesame sautéed shiitake mushrooms stuffed into nori rolls and served up with ginger and wasabi to create this flavorful shiitake sushi!
I suppose I've been on a bit of a sushi kick ever since I realized that rolling isn't as impossible a task as I'd once thought. Seriously, it isn't, and if you're intimidated, as I once was, I highly encourage you to pick up some nori and rice and get to practicing with some simple cucumber rolls. I bet you'll find that your skills are better than anticipated.
Once my sushi frenzy started, I came to another realization: I can fill it with whatever I please. This was a liberating discovery, because as much as I love a basic veggie roll, it does get boring after a while. But I see no reason to limit myself. It's not just me either. Apparently there are restaurants that specialize in stuffing sushi with all kinds of unconventional, non-raw fish, vegan and vegetarian delights, and I've lately been exploring menus online for places that stuff their rolls with everything under the sun. Mexican sushi? Yup, it's out there. Has anyone tried this stuff? I'm incredibly curious.
I haven't reached quite that level of adventurousness in my own kitchen yet, but my creative juices are gaining momentum. I had a satisfying shiitake sushi experience while dining out recently and that sparked some inspiration. The shiitakes provide a hearty texture and savory flavor, and though I've never had any fish-filled sushi, I'm imagining that the shiitake rolls do a pretty good job of mimicking the experience. When I took it upon myself to make my own version of shiitake rolls, I decided to dial up the flavor a bit with a heavy hit of sesame oil and soy sauce. The result was savory, melt-in-your mouth and intensely flavor packed. I'm very happy to add this recipe to my collection. More sushi to come!
Sesame Shiitake Sushi
For the Rice
- ⅔ cup sushi rice
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp. water
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
For the Filling
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 4 large shiitake caps sliced into strips
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- ½ tsp. chili paste
For Finishing and Serving
- 2 nori sheets
- sesame seeds
- soy sauce
- pickled ginger
Make the Rice
Place rice in a strainer and rinse under cold, running water for 1-2 minutes.
Place in a small saucepan with other rice ingredients, stir and heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to continue simmering for about 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
Remove from heat and allow to sit for another 10 minutes, covered.
Cook the Shiitakes
Place sesame oil in medium skillet and over medium heat. Add garlic clove and sautee for 1 minute.
Add shiitake caps and cook for about five minutes, flip, then cook another five minutes.
Caps should be tender and slightly browned at this point. Add water, soy sauce and chili paste. Raise heat to medium-high and simmer for about 2 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Cut about ⅓ of the length off of each nori sheet and discard or save for another recipe.
Place one of your sheets on a bamboo mat.
Keep a little bowl of water close by. Using wet hands, cover nori with a thin layer of rice.
Arrange half of your mushrooms in a single line along the width of nori, about one inch away from you.
Take the bamboo mat and end of nori closest to you and tightly roll it over your mushrooms. Tuck the end of the nori in and continue rolling, using the mat to press your roll tight.
Once completely rolled, slice into eighth pieces. Repeat using your other nori sheet and remaining rice and mushrooms.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.
This makes a bit more rice than you need. I like it that way, because it leaves room for error, but if you're a rolling expert, you can cut down on the rice by as much as a third.