I'd therefore planned on making glazed pumpkin cookies instead, as I've never baked those before and they would be cool and comforting to have around too. However, life is what happens to you while you're busy with other plans. Sez John Lennon. And so, the pumpkin cookies remained as mere page in my recipe book because in the meantime, something else had cropped up in my life (a.k.a. my kitchen) that I found infinitely more interesting.... Glutinous Black Rice! And the Black Rice Sushi Rolls happened instead. Oh, I did use a few tablespoons of the mashed pumpkins in the sushi so it wasn't a complete loss. I think the rest of it will have to go into a pumpkin soup tonight. Life happens.
Black rice is apparently all the rave in 2009, so this post may be a bit of a yawn. However, if Chef Ian Pengelley of Gilgamesh, London still thinks it's cool, then so do I! The mysterious, black-purple grains are bursting with the antioxydant anthocyanin, it's low carb and lowers cholesterol too. Let's face it, black rice is good-looking (on a plate), good-tasting (like hot popcorn) and it's GOOD for you!
For this recipe, I've used all vegetable ingredients so it's suitable for vegans. If you want to include fish or meat, please go ahead and be my guest (or rather, I'll be yours?).
Black Rice Sushi Rolls
Makes: 3 rolls
1 cup black glutinous rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
3 pieces baby corn
½ firm tofu
6 tablespoons mashed pumpkin
3 nori sheets
Salt and pepper, to season
You will need a bamboo rolling mat or cling film to help you roll the sushi.
1. Wash and soak the rice in water for about an hour, then drain and boil with 2 cups of water. You can cook this either on a stove or in a rice cooker, but just bear in mind that black rice takes slightly longer to cook than white rice.
2. Once cooked, stir in 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and a pinch of salt (optional) and leave to cool.
3. Prepare the vegetable fillings:
a. Boil the pumpkin pieces until softened, drain water and mash with a fork.
b. Boil the baby corn for a few minutes until slightly soft, but still a bit crispy. Slice into half lengthwise.
c. Fry the tofu in a little olive oil, cool and then slice into thin strips.
You can season each of these with a little bit of salt and pepper, I only seasoned the pumpkin.
4. Once the rice is cooled, spoon it onto the nori sheet as shown (below). Line up your filling in a straight line, then start to roll from the end nearest to you (where the rice is closest to the edge). Make sure you press firmly along the length of the rolling mat so the rice and filling can spread a little to the opened ends.