Umeboshi and Cucumber with Shiso Temaki (Japanese Pickled Plum and Cucumber with Shiso Leaves Hand Roll)
This Japanese pickled plum, sliced cucumber and shiso leaf temaki makes for a delicious vegan handroll. The recipe is a must for vegetarian sushi platters!
Umeboshi are pickled plums, found in jars in most Japanese homes. My grandparents had an ume (plum) tree in their garden and made their own pickles. I love to use umeboshi in sushi as they have a very sour taste that works well with other ingredients, such as cucumber and aromatic shiso leaves. They are also eaten with rice or as a side dish. As with jam or chutney, everyone has their own family recipes for umeboshi, but you can buy them ready-made at Asian supermarkets and some health-food shops.
|piece of cucumber (see below)
|of ume paste, or 4 whole umeboshi (destoned)
|sheets of nori
|4 small handfuls (roughly 200g)
|of cooked sushi rice
Cut the piece of cucumber lengthways into 4 and remove the seeds carefully with a spoon or a knife. Cut the sticks lengthways into half again, so that you have 8 sticks of cucumber. You will need 4 sticks for this recipe, so wrap and store the rest in the fridge for 1-2 days to use in other sushi. If you are using whole umeboshi, mash them with the back of a teaspoon.
You will be able to see some thin lines on the nori seaweed sheets. Following one of these lines, cut each sheet in half with scissors, but be very careful as the sheets break easily. Place a half-sheet of nori shiny side down on your hand, with a short edge closest to you.
Wet the fingers of your other hand in the bowl of water, and shake off any excess. Damp fingers help when using sticky sushi rice. Pick a small handful of rice (roughly 50g) and quickly spread it over the bottom half of the nori sheet. It does not have to be spread as neatly as the other types of rolls in this book. Place a shiso leaf diagonally in the middle of the rice, with an umeboshi and stick of cucumber on top.
Bring the bottom corner of the nori that is closest to you over the filling to meet the rice on the other side, making a triangle. You can then roll the plain side of the nori sheet around it to make a nice ice-cream cone shape. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets and filling ingredients.
Tip: umeboshi can have a very strong acidic and salty flavour, so you might not need to use any soy sauce as a dip when you eat your roll.