Raw Beet and Vegetable Stuffed Nori Rolls
September 15, 2011

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In my last post, I showed you my delicious recipe for pretty in pink crackers: in translation, these are pink-hued crackers that I made with the remnants of some beet and vegetable juice.

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I also mentioned that I’d had some extra pulp leftover after I made my crackers, and that I’d made another tasty meal with it.

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Above you have raw nori rolls, stuffed with a nut pate that I made with my leftover pulp and tons of fresh veggies. They are plump, savory, and simple to make:

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They’re also raw, vegan, and full of healthy fat, vitamins and minerals, and iodine rich nori. You can absolutely prepare these with shredded and processed beets and carrots, rather than juice pulp, but if you are using pulp, these get extra bonus points for being a wonderful way to use up the byproducts of your daily green juice.

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People tend to get really freaked out about sushi-making, and there’s no need. Yes, making traditional sushi can be time consuming (I find that getting the rice to a perfect texture and adjusting its seasoning alone is a process) but raw nori rolls are really easy: you just pile some pate, hummus, or other filling onto the bottom 2/3 of a nori sheet, pile veggies into a line along the center of your filling, and then roll from the bottom edge up to the top. Seal with a touch of water. I always wait about 5-10 minutes before cutting my raw nori roll, as the nori becomes softer and a bit easier to handle. Once you slice your long roll into pieces, you have a restaurant worthy and beautiful treat to share with your friends:

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I fill my nori rolls up with all sorts of things: parsnip and cauliflower “rice,” pate, hummus, dressing and veggies, and regular ‘ole brown rice, just to name a few. But I think I like the texture of a pate base the most: reminds me of my beloved nori rolls at Bonobos in NYC!

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(photo courtesy of Sophia)

Any kind of nut pate will do, but I personally love a little ginger in my nori pates. I’m also a huge fan of my pumpkinseed pate for raw sushi!

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To make today’s sushi rolls, you’ll need juice pulp, preferably with some beets and carrots, or you’ll want about a cup and a half of grated carrots and beets. The rest is a mix of almonds, dates, sea salt, lemon, and a hint of ginger: simple, clean, and impossibly tasty.

Raw Nori Rolls with Beet and Veggie Pate (raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Makes 4 sushi rolls

2/3 cup almonds
1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups pulp from vegetable juice of choice that features beets and carrots OR a cup and a half of shredded carrots and beets
2 pitted dates
1/4 tsp ginger powder OR put ginger into your veggie juice, and the flavor will carry from the pulp
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup water

4 sheets nori
1 small bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 small cucumber, sliced into thin strips
Salad greens

1) Place almonds in a food processor and grind with sea salt till a fine meal.

2) Add pulp, dates, ginger (if adding) sesame oil, and lemon juice to processor. Pulse just to combine. Then, turn the motor on and, with motor running, add water in a thin stream, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl. Continue adding water till the pate is a consistency you like. If you use shredded veggies, you’ll probably need less water.

3) Place a sheet of nori on your cutting board in a horizontal direction. Cover the bottom 2/3 of the sheet with about 1/4 cup pate. Fill the center of the spread with a long strip of veggies. Roll upwards from the bottom of the sheet (the edge that has filling on it) upward, and seal the end with a bit of water.

4) Repeat, using the remaining sheets. Cut all rolls into even pieces, and serve.

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Traditional sushis these are not, but they’re no less tasty for it. Serve with a big salad, topped with some lentils or beans and a great dressing, and you’ll have a perfect, high-raw meal on your hands!

Before I sign off, I wanted to congratulate my friend Chad Harbach on the publication of his new novel, The Art of Fielding. I’ve known Chad for years now—we spent our first publishing drink discussing Moby Dick, which is how I knew we’d be friends—and can tell you that he’s as brilliant as he is unassuming and kind. He’s editing and writing for N+1 for years now, and it makes me really happy to see his name on a book spine, too. For all of you who ask me frequently for book recommendations, this is my fiction pick of the fall.

Chad, congrats—I wish I were in NYC to toast you. But I know that the whole publishing world is doing it in my stead.

xo

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    32 Comments
  1. More than 10 days late reading this, but glad I did – I’m now going to have to make these sometime soon. I have nori that’s been sitting idle in the pantry for far too long (and tons of nut milk leftovers that can turn into some type of nut pate!).

  2. These were freakin awesome!!! I used grated carrot and beet (one of each) and filled mine with sprouts, red cabbage, and red bell pepper. I couldn’t believe how tasty these were. My fiance ate them with soy sauce but I ate mine plain because they were so good they didn’t need anything. My nori was really chewy though and hard to bite through. Is it supposed to be this way? Or was I supposed to toast the sheet first or something? Thanks for a super delicious recipe! I will definitely be enjoying these again!

    • Just made these again with grated carrot and beet and forgot how much water I used last time so I used 1/2 cup. It was way too much so next time I would probably just use a few tablespoons and then add more 1T at a time until I reach the right consistency. Hopefully this will be helpful for someone to know who is also using grated carrot and beet instead of pulp. Also, I tried to add more carrot and beet this time than 1.5 cups but it ended up overpowering the other flavors so it wasn’t as nice as before. I added sprouted chickpeas and mung beans and it didn’t mesh well with the flavors of the sushi. Regular alfalfa sprouts were great though!

  3. Love these! I usually teach some form of sushi/maki/handrolls at my raw workshops but I always forget to make them for myself. Then yesterday I must have been channeling you without even knowing it as I made my own version of maki/handrolls for my lunch and I agree, they can be quick. And yum, just like yours look here!

  4. Thanks for the book recommendation–means a lot coming from you!

    And oh yes, beets, nori, ginger–a perfect taste combo.
    Just getting past my ‘first packet’–big MFA program deadline–and out the other side, feeling your busy-ness too!

  5. Another creative use of juice pulp! I’ll definitely try this, as I frequently make nori rolls with brown sweet rice & veggies. This would be a great alternative to the rice. Thanks! And beautiful photos, as usual!

  6. yummy rolls! My favourite combo is a layer of homemade turmeric hummus and another thick thick layer of grated ginger & carrots marinated in soya sauce with some added sesame seeds. roll it all up and yeah– yummy rolls! 😉

  7. The crackers sound tasty and these rolls look delicious! Thanks for the tip on waiting to cut the roll, learn something new everyday! 😉 miss you too lady, thanks for visiting! 🙂

  8. Gena this is awesome! This is the second blog I’ve read this week mentioning Bonobo’s, I think I have to go. I made a couple batches of nori rolls this week using a rice/millet blend and some mushed beans and veggies, but your version sounds way more appealing. And now I know how to make a nut pate! I think next week I’ll try a more you-esque version. And your photos are gorgeous too!

    • You have to must go to bonobo’s! Make sure to get the coconut chai milk, and grab a menu on your way out- a million ideas that you can experiment with at home. Did i mention they let you taste several of the nut pates for free before you choose???

  9. The rolls are beautiful! I actually never make nori rolls at home but do make rice paper rolls and stuff them with whatever I have on hand from fresh veggies to tofu to nut pates. I cannot get over how pretty & perfect your rolls look!

    Your pate, those crackers, mmmmm, good stuff!

  10. I think that raw sushi is even tastier than real cooked sushi. None of that white flavor free rice to have to contend with. Have you ever tried putting in chopped up kelp noodles into your pate and then rolling it in your sushi? I know it sounds strange, but it is kinda like rice! You can also add some sea veggies to the kelp noodles, for even more seaweed flavor!

  11. I actually have the ingredients!!! And am starving! Good combination. My Nori Rolls always look like a crazed maniac rolled them!! They say it’s like rolling joints, but ya know, I never had much practice at that either, and I really SUCKED at it!
    Hence the Poor Nori Rolling Ability in adulthood. If you suck at rolling joints, then don’t plant on being a sushi chef!

  12. I made a ton of beet juice this week and I haven’t had the time to experiment with my dehydrator yet, so I couldn’t make the crackers but these sushi rolls are definitely an option.

  13. Mmm, these look delicious!
    I’ve been playing around with vegan rolls recently, though not raw ones. I’ve found that cooked amaranth mixed with another grain/seed (cooked separately!) makes a great substitute for traditionally prepared sushi rice. The amaranth itself gets super gummy when cooked, similar to the stickiness you get through the cooling and seasoning of sushi rice, and is also super-nutritious.

    =)

  14. Thanks for taking the “scary” out of sushi rolls. I’ve wanted to try out veggie rolls for a while, but the process somehow terrified me. Now I have no excuse (and beets awaiting in the fridge).

    Can you please keep recommending books?
    I am an avid reader, but find myself reading three books related to health and wellness at once with no fun reads in between. I want to read more fiction and appreciate any favorites you can pass along.

    Thanks again and happy almost weekend-

    Kate

  15. Thanks so much for the book rec, Gena! I’ve placed a hold on it through my library system, but I’m number 111 on the list waiting for 3 copies, so it might be a while. It looks like it’ll be well worth the wait!

  16. Oh my, vegan norimake from Angelica Kitchen in the east village are almost worth making a special trip to NYC!
    I love making my own but need to practice more to perfect my recipe.
    I think veggie nori rolls are my favorite food. That one bite combination is just beyond (sweet, spicy, bitter- it’s got everything!).
    Your photos are gorge! As in, I want to gorge myself on these rolls!
    Thanks for this!

  17. Gena, these look lovely! I thought I was a traditionalist who would never stray from the nori-rice-veg formula. But nut paté-nori-fresh veg sounds divine. Do you think these might keep overnight or would the nori go way too soggy? Can’t wait to try this.

    • I don’t love them after a night in the fridge, alas, but you can probably get away with it the morning you need to bring them to work?