Sea Vegetable Love Part Three: Nori, plus fast pickled ginger.

Nori is probably the most recognisable form of sea vegetables to many of us, used in sushi hand rolls and the like. Weighing in the heaviest in protein of the sea veg family (almost 30% – whoa!), the accolades for nori don’t end there. How about a hefty helping of calcium, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and vitamins A, C and E? Yes please!  

Today I thought it would be cute to make little nori squares, as opposed to the traditional rolls. You can of course use this same method to make rolls if you prefer, but the Food Matters Project‘s recipe for this week – Updated Tea Sandwiches, inspired me to make my nori into mini sandwiches. Check out what the other FMP members came up with here.
This makes about 6-8 rolls worth.

You will need:
Nori sheets
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (I used quinoa instead of rice to pack an extra protein and nutritional punch, but you can use rice again if you prefer).
Seasonal vegetables of your choice to fill your sandwich or roll.
2 tbs brown rice vinegar
1 tbs water
1 tsp honey
1 tsp sea salt

1. Whisk together the last 4 ingredients and stir through the slightly cooled quinoa (keep a very small amount to dress your kale cabbage combo if using). 

2. Cut up your nori into the size and shape you require. HOT TIP: keep the size small enough to fit into your mouth in one bite, or big enough to be able to pick up and handle easily. 

3. Spread the quinoa onto one side of your nori.

4. Top with all sorts of wonderful fresh produce. I love to use a mix of kale and cabbage. I will not apologise for how much I love kale, and so I find myself trying to weasel it into most things. And purple cabbage is just a visual match made in heaven.

I like to slice both thinly and then combine in a bowl. Like all of us, kale used like this is better after a good massage. Take a tiny sprinkle of the vinegar mix and massage into the cabbage kale combo.

I also used these lovely yellow carrots I found, along with cucumber. Avocado would have been excellent, as would some marinated tofu or tempeh.
Top with another piece of quinoa nori and you are done!
Super easy, super nutritious, and delicious too!

But sushi is all about the accompaniments and accessories! How about making your own pickled ginger?!

1. Make up another batch of your vinegar mix (this is called Tezu, or pickling liquid)

2. Find the best ginger you can – young fresh ginger is best. You can tell as it will be pale and have an almost pinky tinge to it, no wrinkly gnarly skin! 
Peel it and then slice very thinly using a vegetable peeler or mandolin. 

3. Sprinkle the sliced ginger with some sea salt and let it sit for 30 minutes.
After this time, squeeze out as much liquid as you can, rinse under cold running water and squeeze out again.

4. Place in a glass or jar, cover with the pickling liquid and leave for 15 minutes.

Ginger at beginning of 15 minutes
Ginger at the end of the 15 minutes, starting to pink up.

It’s now ready to use! Keep it in glass in the fridge for a few weeks. The longer you leave it, the more pink it will become. Most store bought pickled ginger will have colourings to achieve the pink tinge of young fresh ginger, and also contains preservatives. Why not give making your own a try. You can add a tiny piece of beetroot at the start of the 15 minutes to kick along the colour process if you like. I quite like it as it is, a pale, slightly rosy taste explosion!! Team up with some shoyu, tamari or soy sauce and you are good to go! Enjoy!

7 thoughts on “Sea Vegetable Love Part Three: Nori, plus fast pickled ginger.”

  • I just had some nori tonight, with fried rice, deli roast beef, cream cheese, and cucumbers in it. Love this version of the recipe this week! Now I can try using quinoa when I feel like rolling up a nori!

  • What a fun idea! Do you have any tips for getting the quinoa to stick together? That was always the hardest part for me in making sushi and I was wondering how you got it to stay so nicely, since I imagine those little grains wouldn’t want to stay put.

    • Hi Meg, if you cook the quinoa and then cover with a tea towel while it cools, it will help to keep the moisture within and it will clump together more. You don’t want it to be too dry. I generally find that it sticks together quite well, but not to the same extent as sushi rice – hence the suggestion of keeping the pieces bite size!

  • I think sea veg is very useful for our health.It can be alternative medicine.I have tried your Nori sea vegetables recipes because it is available in our country and this recipe was awesome.I really enjoyed it.

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