It seems almost anything goes in the culinary world these days. With recipes like snail porridge available from Hester Blumenthal, one might think things have gone too far. But it does give one a bit more freedom to experiment with unusual ingredient combinations – which is how I came up with ‘green sushi’.
Culinary experimentation can lead to surprising and delicious new experiences. This recipe is more ‘serendipitous’ – I was led to it simply by wanting to make a highly portable Christmas dinner for ready and easy heating and eating.
I was wondering how to transport the Brussels Sprouts, which don’t travel too well pre-cooked for reheating (even frozen ones are quite mushy). I had made some creamed sprouts and wanted to pack them in a way that they weren’t just a dollop of some green stuff on the plate.
Then I saw the Sushi Nori seaweed packet and decided to roll the creamed sprouts up in seaweed for transport. This worked far better than expected because the flavours were highly complementary. I went on to try it with other greens and it worked just as well. The saltiness of the seaweed combines perfectly with greens of every type as far as I can see, (but I haven’t tried it with nettles yet). In this example, made in early April, I picked some Chard from the garden that had made it through the winter. I steamed it and added a bit of butter. When it had cooled down I chopped it up and laid it on a piece of Nori on a sushi rolling mat, as shown.
I rolled it up, tucking the leading edge into the chopped chard, to make a cylinder. I usually wet the overlapping edge of the Nori to help it stick, but the dampness of the Chard sealed it into a tube easily. Then I used a wet, sharp, non-serrated knife to cut the sushi into smaller tubes once the juices had soaked through the seaweed wrapping.
They heat better in a steamer than in an oven, which tends to dry the seaweed too much. You can experiment with putting other things inside the green sushi if you like, but for me the simple flavour mix of greens and seaweed, with a splash of Soy Sauce, is just delicious. Enjoy!