Forbidden Rice Sushi Rolls

Forbidden-Rice-Sushi-Rolls |

This ‘sushi’ roll is one of my favorite dishes for dinner.  It is absolutely delicious and it is also just fun to get into the kitchen and try making sushi!  If you’re easing your way into a more plant-based diet, this really is a great meal.  It has all the elements of a traditional sushi roll but is reworked to add delicious sweet potatoes, eggplants, avocados, and forbidden rice.  The sweet potatoes and eggplants are roasted, which adds such a lovely warmth, richness, and subtle sweetness to the roll.  Roasting vegetables is my favorite way to enhance any dish, as the outer layer becomes caramelized and crisp, while the center remains moist and perfectly tender!  A sushi roll without any fish may seem unappealing, which is exactly why I love adding a generous amount of roasted vegetables to the mix.  Especially when roasted, the vegetables act as a delicious and filling substitute.  The creamy avocado tastes wonderful alongside the sweet potatoes and soft black rice.  It really is a beautiful combination of flavors and colors!

            Ever since I tried forbidden rice at a Thai restaurant a few years ago, it enveloped my mind.  Its beautiful deep purple hue and nutty flavor kept seeping into my thoughts, enough to where I spent the afternoon searching grocery stores for this specific rice!  Having this with sushi will widen your perspective on rice as a whole and realize that there are so many types of rice aside from simply white or brown.  You could even use red, volcanic, pink, or jade pearl rice!

One of the unique things about this roll is the use of forbidden rice.  It is a rice said to be enjoyed exclusively by the past emperors of China for its incredible health benefits.  It is revered for it’s extremely high levels of anthocyanin (an antioxidant), which gives it its deep rich purple color.  Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps improve nervous system and brain health.  It also has higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and fiber than white rice!  Aside from its praised health benefits, it adds a delicious flavor and soft texture to any sushi roll.  

I hope you enjoy this and feel free to add any other vegetables that you love – roasted zucchini or butternut squash would be delicious too!

2-Forbidden-Rice-Sushi-Rolls |

Serves 2

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients for the Sushi:

- 1 cup forbidden black rice

- 2 cups water

- 4 nori wraps

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1 sweet potato

- 1 eggplant

- 1 avocado

- 1 cucumber

- 1 carrot

- Tamari (GF soy sauce)

4-Forbidden-Rice-Sushi-Rolls |


 Start by preheating your oven to 420F.  Thinly slice the sweet potatoes into long wedges, the same length as your nori wrap.  Then dice the eggplant into bite size cubs.  Drizzle the sweet potatoes and eggplant with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and mix well.  Then line a baking pan with parchment paper, toss the vegetables on top and place in the over for 15-20 minutes until the edges are crispy.  Check to see if they need an extra drizzle of olive oil or salt half way through.

While the vegetables roast, prepare the rice by boiling 2 cups of water and add 1 cup of rinsed rice and a teaspoon of salt to the water.  Let the rice cook for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. 

In the meantime, slice the rest of the veggies and avocado into very thin, lengthwise pieces.  Once the rice has cooked, lay out one nori roll and add enough rice on top to spread a thin even layer, meeting each corner.  The easiest way to make the roll is by adding a small amount of each ingredient to the left hand side, taking up no more than 1/3 of the entire nori roll.  Then tightly roll the veggies to the opposite side.  With a sharp knife, chop into small pieces and enjoy your delicious veggie sushi with a sprinkle of Tamari and sesame seeds!