I have received some great feedback since my last post, Sushi Ethics, particularly with respect to my comment that our fish supply is threatened as a result of the growth of the North American sushi market. In fact, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States is ranked the second highest consumer of seafood worldwide, with China leading the polls. In terms of the bluefin tuna specifically, Japan is the leading consumer of this type of fish. Nevertheless, the extinction of fish species is a clear and present concern for all global citizens and choosing sustainably is a task for which we are all accountable.
I was informed about a fantastic resource, called Ocean Wise, offered through the Vancouver Aquarium, which enables those interested to browse the sustainability indices of many fish species. Some of us Vancouverites may already be familiar with The Ocean Wise logo found on menus of some restaurants, but here you have the raison d’etre straight from the fish’s mouth.
Deciding to walk the walk and try an ocean-wise alternative of my own (i.e. I let the fish live this time), I took it upon myself to re-create a vegan sushi roll I had seen made previously at a sushi restaurant. This roll also happens to be gluten-and carb-free, so you might be asking yourself, “what is left?” At my first encounter with the preparation of this roll, I had seen the sushi chef use a fancy-dancy mandolin (does the second fiddle reference now make sense?), all I could find in our cupboards was the specimen shown below:
It’s about 30 years old, but it did the trick. Taking an English cucumber, washing and peeling it, then cutting it in half, I used this antique mandolin to slice the cucumber into strips lengthwise. I then shredded some carrots and cut a ripe avocado into small cubes. Using these ingredients as the filling, I rolled the cucumber strips similar to how one might roll a tortilla. I topped the rolls with a light drizzle of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, which is similar in taste to soy sauce but lower in sodium and gluten-free.
The best part was that the rolls took very little time to prepare and were delicious as well as filling if you ate enough of them (I think 20 or so should do the trick). I also think variations on this type of home-made sushi can be just as easy and delicious. For example, I might try using rice paper instead of cucumber and fill it with avocado, mangoes, sprouts and cream cheese. The world is literally your oyster.