Mango + Avocado Quinoa Sushi Rolls

After adopting a more healthy lifestyle this past January, I decided to try making a quinoa version of sushi instead of our regular white rice of the past.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out but it ends up it wasn't as difficult as I thought.  I was worried the quinoa wouldn't be sticky enough and granted it's not sticky rice, but it still worked out and was rather tasty and worthy of sharing. Here's how I made it.

Living on the west coast we have a beautiful Japanese culture around us.  One of our favorite Japanese restaurants in Richmond is Sushi Han.  One of my favorite dishes on their menu is their Tropical Rolls.  It's a mix of avocado and mango and the combo of the nutty and tangy flavours dipped in a little wasabi and soy sauce, is instant perfection! So I thought I'd translate that into a more healthier version using quinoa. The taste isn't that different using the quinoa, plus the crunch was kind of a nice addition.

4 sheets of toasted Nori paper
1 cup quinoa
1-1/2 cup organic vegetable stock
1 mango (not too ripe)
1 avocado (not too ripe)
Japanese mayo (optional)
Sushi Soy Sauce
pickled ginger (a pinch for each person)
wasabi (a pinch for each)
sushi rolling mat

Optional veggie filling possibilities: carrot, green onion, cooked sweet potato, green onions, cucumber

To make the quinoa:
Rinse the quinoa well. Add it to the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn down heat to medium low and cook for approximately 15 -20 minutes until light and fluffy.   Set aside to cool, but don't let it get too cold or it won't stick very well.

While the quinoa is cooking, prep the avocado and mango by cutting each into long strips so you can lay them across the nori papers lengthwise.

To make the rolls:
Once the quinoa is finished and cooled, begin to assemble the rolls. Place a piece of nori paper onto a bamboo sushi rolling mat.  I use the half method which is basically placing the quinoa onto half of the nori sheet. Place the quinoa to cover half of the nori paper (about a 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick). Lay a piece of mango along from end to end, and then a piece or two of avocado beside it. Using the sushi mat start to roll the paper from the end where the quinoa starts.  Keep tucking and rolling as you go.  To see a video on how to roll sushi, here is a link.  Lay the roll on it's seam to allow it to seal and then cut into pieces.  Place on a flat tray alongside the pickled ginger and wasabi and soy sauce for dipping and you're set!  Enjoy!

Jan Halvarson

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