It all started a month ago with this photo on Gena’s Instagram feed. Gena is the author of the excellent blog The Full Helping, and she has long extolled the virtues of the vegetable nori roll as a quickly and easily assembled snack: her site offers almost a dozen examples, including this latest version.
The process is not unlike that which leads to maki, but here you forgo the seasoned rice altogether — this saves time and effort, and also means you don’t have to plan ahead — in favor of fresh vegetables, lots of them.
I was so inspired by that latest shot that I went out and got some cucumbers and sprouts the very next day to make my own, and I have been weaving variations on that theme about twice a week since then — that’s how enthused I am.
Although Gena likes to apply a thick layer of some sort of spread — think hummus or cashew cheese — directly on the nori sheet, I start with the sliced cucumbers as I prefer my nori to stay as crisp as possible* — the drier, the crisper — and find it most pleasing to bite into the crunchy layer of cucumbers first.
- 4 sheets nori seaweed (available from natural food stores and Japanese markets)
- 450 grams (1 pound) cucumbers, thinly sliced with a mandolin slicer (I don’t peel my cucumbers; see note)
- toasted sesame seeds
- ground chili powder (optional)
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced into thin wedges
- 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) tofu, or cooked chicken, or fish (raw and super fresh, or cooked), cut into strips
- long-stem sprouts or sprouted seeds
- soy sauce, for serving
- simple tahini sauce
- raw cashew cheese or other spread
- pink radishes, thinly sliced with a mandolin slicer
- large handful of small salad leaves, such as baby spinach or baby kale
- fresh herbs, especially shiso or cilantro
- 1/2 ripe mango, sliced into strips
- 1/2 small jicama, peeled and cut into strips
- Have all the ingredients ready and portioned out into four equal servings before you begin, and have a small bowl or glass of water close at hand.
- Place a sheet of nori on a clean and dry cutting board, shiny side facing down and longest edge facing you.
- Starting from the left edge, arrange the cucumber slices in overlapping rows on the nori, leaving a 3-cm (1-inch) margin of uncovered nori at right.
- Sprinkle with sesame and ground chili powder, if using.
- If using tahini sauce or cashew cheese, drizzle or smear over the cucumber now.
- If using sliced radishes or salad leaves, arrange in a single layer on top of the cucumber now.
You can find complete recipes of this Quick Nori Roll with Cucumber and Avocado Recipe in chocolateandzucchini.com