Tuesday, February 14, 2012

romance maki

romance maki
am i the only one out there in their gym clothes
running around like a maniac on saturday morning looking for sushi rice and nori?
god i hope not

justin tells me normal people do not run errands in their gym clothes
it's not like i wear gym clothes just to wear gym clothes; i am coming back from working out
for the record my gym attire is pretty normal - black capri leggings/workout pants, a hoodie, headband & uggs to travel back and forth from home to the gym; its not like i am rocking the 80's spandex or unitard

anyways, 3 stores later; only 2 of them was i seen in said gym outfit
finally i tracked down sushi rice and nori
perfect, i was golden

 romance maki;
is there a more perfect time to share this recipe than today?
i think not

romance maki
sweet potato & avocado
so sinfully good together
rolled inside out with nori & sushi rice

did you know there is a special way to cook sushi rice?
i had no clue sushi rice was such a diva

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romance maki
sweet potatoes are matchstick and steamed

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romance maki
then coated in panko and lightly fried in sesame & vegetable oil until crisp
this step is completely optional
next time i think i will simply steam
romance maki
since we are rolling an "inside out roll" place your sushi mat in a ziploc baggie
or cover with plastic wrap
this ensures the rice will not stick to your mat
romance maki
with about a 1/2 cup sushi rice cover a 1/2 sheet of nori
spreading around to cover the nori, leaving about 1/2 inch of space uncovered at the top
it is extremely helpful to have a small bowl of water during this step to wet your fingers,
which helps keep the rice from sticking to them
sprinkle rice with sesame seeds
romance maki
flip the nori over, making sure the 1/2 inch side without rice is flipped toward you
layer avocado & sweet potato about halfway up the nori
then roll; this definitely takes some practice
if you haven't rolled sushi before check out this great tutorial
romance maki
once rolled cut with a very sharp knife into 6 equal pieces

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overall making sushi was pretty easy
once you get the hang of the rolling part it moves along pretty quickly
the most time consuming part was prepping and making the rice;
which can always be prepared the day before
romance maki
Japanese Tsume sauce which is also known as eel sauce pairs perfectly with romance maki
super simple, amazingly good

wasabi is also a must- i love how it gives me a slight head rush
pickled ginger, traditionally a palette cleanser between different sushi's is also a must have
i like to layer a bit of ginger ontop of my maki along with a bit of wasabi
sheer perfection!
romance maki

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a perfect hors d' oeuvres for your next get together
one that you can feel good about serving to your friends and family
romance maki
tell me, what is your favorite veggie sushi?

be adventurous and go get your sushi on today
romance maki
Romance Maki with Japanese Tsume
makes 36 rolls

you will need:
3 nori sheets cut in half
(6 half sheets)

1 avocado, skin removed & thinly sliced

1/2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 cup sushi rice (dry)
prepared according to directions on the box

1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds

if frying sweet potato
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 flax egg: 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water

for the eel sauce/Japanese Tsume
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup granulated sugar

pickled ginger, tamari & wasabi for serving


wrap your sushi mat in plastic or a large ziploc bag- set aside

prepare sushi rice according to package
(this can be done in advance)

steam peeled sweet potato matchsticks until tender; about 15 minutes
if frying, heat oils in a medium saute pan over medium high heat
coat sweet potato sticks in flax egg, then in panko
transfer to the frying pan and cook until golden brown on each side
transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and allow to cool to the touch

to make the sushi
cut each sheet of nori in half lengthwise
working with one sheet at a time place shiny side down onto your covered sushi mat
with about a 1/2 cup of sushi rice spread onto nori leaving about 1/2 inch space at the top; sprinkle with sesame seeds
flip rice covered nori so the uncovered edge is closest to you
place a single layer of sweet potato & avocado about halfway up the nori
roll with sushi mat
(see tutorial for detailed rolling instructions)
with a sharp knife slice in half then each half into 3 pieces
move to a serving plate and repeat until all nori is used

to make the eel sauce:
in a small sauce pot over medium heat combine all ingredients
whisk until sugar is dissolved
continue to cook over medium/low heat (gentle simmer) until sauce thickens
sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, remove from heat just at the point before desired thickness is achieved

drizzle eel sauce over sushi
serve with tamari, pickled ginger & wasabi




  1. Your sushi looks wonderful! I too run errands in my gym clothes. I always think I am heading straight home,but inevitably need to stop for coffee or groceries.

    1. See, I knew I was not alone! Same thing happens to me all the time, that and if I am out I'd rather not go all the way home to change if I am passing by where I need to be :)

  2. i never made my own sushi, but always wanted to. your rolls look delicious, you could open a vegan japanese restaurant!

    1. If you learned to make Sushi too we could both move in with Cara and open our own vegan Cali sushi place :)

  3. Those sushi rolls are so pretty! Avocado is my favourite sushi filling, and I love the idea of adding sweet potato. I have to admit, the name "eel sauce" kind of creeps me out, but I'm sure it tastes good!

    1. I know! I thought ewww eel sauce, couldn't they have made a better name- and they did Tsume ; I have no idea how to say it but it looks better than eel sauce :)

  4. Oooh, I've been craving sushi! I actually picked up nori on Saturday for that very purpose! Funny :D I love the idea of putting sweet potato in there, it looks yummy! I can't wait to get creative with some sushi in my kitchen :D

    1. The sweet potato definitely "makes" this sushi the best; I absolutely adore the combo with avocado :)

  5. I would be Jesse's hero for ever if I made this for him! He adores sushi; especially with sweet potato and avocado. I should surprise him this weekend. I've never made my own sushi, but your instructions make it sound doable! Thanks for sharing. Love this post. I want to eat my computer screen. *HAH*

    1. If you only lived closer I would totally make you and Jesse Romance Maki! You should totally try making your own sushi, it is a lot less scary than it looks!

  6. gorgeous! mmm, i've got a hankering for sushi now! i often make my own too :)

    1. What do you typically make for Veggie Sushi; I would love to hear about other veggie Sushi combos!

  7. Such beautiful sushi! The colors of the sweet potato and avocado are great together, and the black sesame seeds on the outside really make them special-looking. I've never been adventurous enough to make my own, although I do love the stuff. In fact, my husband and I are getting some tonight! =) When it comes to veggie sushi, I really love getting avocado or cucumber rolls.

    Happy Valentine's Day! <3 <3

    1. You always say the sweetest things! I love cucumber & avocado too- that's next on the list!

  8. This looks so good! Love the combination of sweet potato and avocado. Everything tastes better with avocado. I have a package of nori sitting in my cupboard, but I haven't worked up the courage to try my hand at sushi yet. Does it make a huge difference to use sushi rice vs. regular?

    Oh, and I totally go EVERYWHERE in my gym clothes, whether or not I've been to the gym :-)

    1. Gym / Yogio clothes are so comfortable, who can blame us!

      Sushi rice makes a huge difference; it is super sticky which makes for a better roll- it was just a bit time due to the rinsing until the water runs clear (like 4 times) and then cooking on different heats; total time cooking including rinsing about 45 minutes

      You definitely have to try making your own Sushi - it really is easy, especially if you make the rice the night before!

  9. i hear you about gym clothes.. but then some of those aree made to go out in!:D i mean come on.. you are going to look hotter in some nice gym clothes arent ya!
    and i needed that sushi tutorial:)) these cute rolls are so adorable. i dont know how u dint eat all of them up and waited for the pictures:). and i love that pastel blue background.. i need to change up some of my boards.. weekend painting added to the schedule!

    1. I totally agree Richa! Maybe thats secretly what Justin thinks ;)

      I think i probably ate about 6 of them while making and abother 20 after....poor justin only enjoy 10 out of the 36 :) - can you tell I love Sushi!

  10. As always, another stunner, Heather! I am loving everything about this post--especially the part where you wear a unitard. Okay, okay, I only *want* you to be wearing one when you run errands because that would be awesome! In fact, if you wore one, I would run errands with you EVERY DAY.

    1. I could totally pull off a Unitard; you know what would make it even better; my leg warmers!

      Unitard making Sushi Classes; do you think that is a trend that would catch on?

    2. I will bring my headband and side pony. We will be sweating to sushi in no time :)

    3. Haha side pony!
      I still rock those once in a while!

  11. Thanks for the sushi tutorial - what a delicious looking recipe :D
    I don't think it's the valentines day smell which is making me fall in love with it!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Healthiest Natural Sugars Muesli Bars

    1. Your welcome, I am so glad that you enjoyed the post!

      Do you make your own Sushi? I bet you could come up with a pretty awesome dessert Sushi!

  12. Oh boy, you found my real weekness - sushi. Unfortunately, The Boyfriend isn't a fan... but I bet he would try this (seeing as there's nothing raw or unusual in it).
    I've made sushi a few times and was literally just thinking about doing it again, but this is definitely going to be on the menu. And eel sauce is one of my favorites! This whole post is like a big amalgamation of the things I love. Thank you so much for sharing, as always! :)

    1. Isn't eel sauce the greatest; I love it on my Sushi!

  13. First, I think I spend more time in gym clothes than regular clothes- since I work from home a lot...sometimes feel like the scene in pretty woman where she's on Rodeo drive in slutty clothes surrounded by rich people giving her looks- but obviously my version is workout clothes instead of slutty ones lol. Second, I LOVE maki but have always been intimidated to make it... this post definitely makes it seem doable! Thanks!

    1. I am definitely showing Justin all these responses so he sees that i am not the only fan of comfy gym clothes!

      I do hope you give making your own Sushi a chance, it really is pretty easy :)

  14. Ummmm... not only do I wear my gym clothes to run errands, sometimes I wake up in the morning on a weekend and put on some cute gym clothes with NO INTENTION of going to the gym that day!

    And that sushi looks AMAZING!

    1. I love this! I am sending you a virtual super high five right this very minute, did you get it? I sure hope so :)

  15. Your sushi looks wonderful! I made some years ago and have been afraid to try again. Back then I ended up making 6 batches of rice as I wasn't able to get the texture right.. I spent an entire day fanning rice, lol.

    1. I am laughing so hard right now picturing you fanning rice all day; you should definitely try it again, but maybe this time around you should see if you can just by some already made sushi rice (which is something i seriously considered if my rice failed!) :)

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  19. I am a sushi roller (I'm actually considered a prep cook) at this local pan Asian restaurant and we always make a vegetarian roll but have not tried this one! I am going to try it the next time I go to work. Thanks!

    1. Hi Charlotte!

      I noticed you are from Moultonborough - do you work a Lemon Grass and did you apply for an Internship at Church Landing? If so what a small world, I live in the Lakes Region and work in the Sales Department at Church Landing :)


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