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Vegetarian Sushi

6 cups water
3 cups short-grain brown or white rice
1 small cucumber
1 small zucchini
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
2 small carrots
1/2 lb. fresh spinach
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 package pre-toasted nori sheets
Prepared wasabi paste

• Bring the water to a boil. Add the rice, lower the heat, and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• Seed and julienne the cucumber, and julienne the zucchini, bell peppers, and carrots. Steam these vegetables, along with the spinach, over boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
• Mix together the vinegar and brown sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. When the rice is cooked, stir in the vinegar and brown sugar mixture, and cool to room temperature.
• When the vegetables and rice are cool enough to handle, lay out the first nori sheet. Place a handful of rice in the center of the sheet, moisten your hands with water, and gently but firmly press the rice to the edges of the sheet so that there is a thin layer of rice in a line on the sheet. Spread a bit of wasabi paste on top of the rice, approximately 1 1/2 inches from one edge of the nori sheet. Lay vegetable strips parallel to the wasabi in a width of approximately 1 inch along the wasabi line.
• Carefully wrap the closest edge over the vegetables, then roll the nori delicately but tightly. Seal by moistening the edge of the nori. Once the nori sheet is completely rolled, slice the roll into 6 pieces and arrange on a platter. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets.

Top Tips (and One Culinary Clarification): If your nori rolls won’t stay rolled, try “sealing” the seam with a little brown rice syrup. To make rolling easier and prevent the nori sheets from tearing, use an inexpensive bamboo sushi mat—available in Japanese markets and many health food stores.

Makes 6 rolls

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