There is no such a thing in traditional Japanese cuisine as a vegetarian nigiri sushi, except the nigiri with tofu skin (and omelette nigiri doesn’t use fish, but it can hardly be called vegetarian). For my sushi bar, which I owned between 2009 and 2013 I created many kinds of vegetarian nigiri – with roasted bell pepper, avocado, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms and sprouts to cater to the tastes of customers who aren’t fish lovers.
1 cup sushi rice, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 1/2 cups cold water, 1 red bell pepper, little sesame oil oil, several nori strips cut from a large sheet of nori, for serving: soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi.
Rince the rice until the water runs clear and place it in a rice cooker with the cold water. When the rice is cooked, let it stay for 10 minutes before lifting the lid.
Stir the rice gently with a spatula and fan the excess steam with a fan. Combine the rice vinegar and sugar and fold it gently into the rice. Let it stand for about 20 minutes to cool down, but not completely cold, as nigiri is better made with warmer rice.
Make as many oblong rice balls as you can using vynil gloves.
Meanwhile, cut the red bell pepper to diamond shapes large enough to cover the nigiri balls, toss them with a tiny bit of sesame oil and saute them in a cast iron pan. Smear a small amount of wasabi over each rice ball, place a piece of red pepper over them and secure each nigiri with a nori strip.
1 can mixed beans, 1/4 cup chopped purple onion, 1 roasted red pepper, 1 cup diced cucumber, 3 diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup sliced celery, 4 oz. cheese curds, extra virgin olive oil to taste, lemon juice to taste, salt and pepper to taste, chopped fresh parsley (optional).
1. Open the can of mixed beans, pour the beans in a colander, rinse off the original liquid and let it drain properly.
2. Put all the vegetables in a mixing bowl and season to taste with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes in order to cool and blend flavors.
4. Serve the mixed beans salad in salad bowls with the cheese on top.
Cooking tip: It’s much better if you roast a fresh red pepper for this salad as opposed to using one from a jar. Simply bake the pepper in the oven until the skin gets color and starts falling off, then put the pepper in a plastic bag for 10 minutes so you can peel it easily, then cut and use in the salad. Cheers.
This is a recipe for a veggie burger made with black beans, and is suitable for vegetarians who consume eggs.
Two 8 oz. cans of black beans or the same amount of boiled beans, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon natural smoke essence, 1 oz. instant oatmeal, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Boil the black beans and strain them. If using canned beans, drain the liquid and place the beans in a food processor. Process them until they are pasty. Alternatively, you can mash the beans with a potato masher.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Form burger patties. You should have enough mixture to form 6 veggie burgers.
If using a convection oven you can place the veggie burger patties on parchment paper, or use aluminum foil for a conventional oven. Bake for about 8 minutes on each side at 375 F, or until cooked through.
At this point you can either use the veggie burger patties, or you can grill them briefly in order to give them some nice grill marks. That’s your choice. The veggie burgers will taste like grilled because of the smike essence, so grilling them is not required.
I served my veggie burger from the photo above with tomato, pickle, lettuce, mayo and pickled candied red onions in a sesame bun. Enjoy.
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