Peel the sweet potato. Cut it into thin fry shapes, approximately 3 inches long. If you have a shoestring French fry attachment on a mandoline, this would be a great time to use it.
Place the sweet potato pieces in a glass baking dish. Toss with the olive oil until coated.
Bake the sweet potato pieces for 10 minutes.
While the sweet potato pieces are cooking, peel the carrots. Then, cut the carrot into approximately 3 inch long pieces. For each piece, cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut each half into thin strips. The mandoline can help with the carrot, too.
Flip the sweet potatoes pieces over the best you can with a spatula. Bake for an additional 5 – 15 minutes until soft. Flip the pieces over again, and cool.
Directions for the rice:
Wash the rice in a large pot until the water is mostly clear. Drain the rice.
Add the water to the rice.
Heat on high to bring it to a boil. Then, cover the pot and turn the heat down to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and let the rice sit for another 10 minutes. The water should all be absorbed.
While the rice is resting, heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small sauce pan on medium heat or in the microwave just until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Transfer the rice to a non-metal bowl and drizzle the vinegar mix over it. Then, incorporate the vinegar mix into the rice by gently stirring and folding the rice with a spatula.
Let the rice cool at room temperature.
Directions to assemble the rolls:
Prepare the bamboo rolling mat(s) by covering them in plastic wrap.
Once the rice and sweet potato are cooled to room temperature, you are ready to assemble the rolls! Place a piece of nori on the bamboo mat, rough side up. Be careful taking the nori out of the package. The sheets are thin and tear easily.
Put 1/2 to 2/3 cup of rice on the nori and gently spread it into a thin layer using the spatula. Leave a 1 inch strip along the top edge of the nori without rice.
Place the vegetables along the length of the bottom of the nori. Adding too many vegetables will make it a little more difficult to roll.
Now, you’re ready to roll! Starting from the bottom of the nori, roll the nori upwards, tucking the bottom edge under the vegetables tightly. Peel back the bamboo mat slightly and continue to roll up a little further. Keep pressure on the bamboo mat to make a tight roll. Continue this process, peeling back the part of the mat that is no longer needed, until you’ve rolled up the full nori sheet.
Transfer the roll to a dry cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 pieces.
Bamboo rolling mats and a good spatula are helpful tools to have for rolling sushi. The rolls can be made ahead of time, the day before or the morning of if you are packing it for lunch or a picnic.
If cream cheese is in your diet, try adding it to these rolls! Gently spread cream cheese (lactose-free if needed) on top of the veggies before rolling up the nori.
Sushi makes for a great dinner party! Each guest makes their own combination of fillings and then tries his/her hand at rolling it up. Then you can trade a few pieces with each other and try everyone’s creations.
Soy sauce (gluten-free if needed) makes a nice dipping sauce.
A side of pickled ginger adds a nice punch of flavor and is also good for finishing the meal.
A little wasabi is nice to have too. Real wasabi is hard to find. There are powdered alternatives that just need hot water added to make a thick wasabi paste.
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