Unagi and Avocado Rolls with Carrot Sushi Rice
Barbecued eel and avocado rolled up in colorful carrot rice for an amazing sushi roll
Sometimes you just have to scratch your head and ask yourself 'now why didn't I think of that?'. I was uploading photos to the food
After all, I put finely shredded carrots in my Maple Teriyaki Salmon sushi, though I layered them with apples before rolling up. And I've tossed cooked rice with finely shredded carrot while making chirashi sushi, seen on the blog in my Spam Musubi Chirashi Sushi. So it's not a giant stretch to think up tossing the carrot with the rice, then using the result in my sushi rolls.
I've talked about some of the ways I put up our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share vegetables during the growing season, to feed my family during the winter (talking about this is kinda the mission of this blog). I roast and freeze my garlic crop. I turn the tomatillos (and freshly roasted Hatch chiles from the grocery store down the road) into salsa verde. I keep the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in a cold corner of my breakfast nook. Carrots are a bit different. I shred them using the fine shred disc on my food processor then freeze them in zip top bags. I can take out just what I need and it thaws rapidly. If you don't have a food processor with a fine shred disc--I'm thinking box grater?
What exactly do those spiky holes on the 4 sided box grater do, anyway? I've only used the large shred hole side and the slicer side. Those spiky hole things just snag my knuckles (or get gunked up with cheese when the kids are first learning to grate cheese) and are a pain to clean. If you know, I'd love to hear it in the comments. It's been a mystery to me for a while.
Next thing on my mind: unagi. Unagi, or barbecued eel, is one of my favorite items on the sushi menu. When we lived in Hawaii, my daughter and I would splurge on a sushi lunch at the Aloha Sushi nearby. I'd get a couple of unagi hand rolls--the combination of warm eel and warm sushi rice in a freshly-made hand roll is irresistible to me. Getting cold, pre made unagi in the grocery store just doesn't cut it, and since I can eat my age in pieces of sushi it makes sense to make it at home. For this reason I pick up packages of unagi from the freezer section of the asian market (you can see it below). They are ready when I've got the rest of the ingredients on hand.
My first sushi post details a lot of the steps involved in making sushi, complete with step-by-step photos. I'm not trying to rack up additional page views when I refer you to it--I'm trying to keep this post as concise as possible while showing off the neat photos I took (because I am absurdly pleased with them). You can check out my How to Make Sushi at Home post here.
For more recipes using avocado, please see my Avocado Recipes Collection. For more recipes using carrots, please see my Carrot Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.
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Unagi and Avocado Rolls with Carrot Sushi Rice (makes enough for 4-6 fat rolls)
Note: you'll have enough rice and avocado to make 6 rolls, and depending on how large you slice the unagi will depend on how many unagi rolls you make. My spouse and daughter are not fans of unagi, so I make a large pot of rice and use some of it with salmon, or tamago, for their rolls.
- 3 cups (uncooked) calrose white medium grain rice, prepared according to package directions
- 2 cups finely shredded carrot
- 2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 avocado, smashed with 1 teaspoon mayonnaise and ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 package unagi, warmed according to package directions ( I get mine in Asian markets, frozen)
- 4 to 6 sheets nori
- toasted sesame ginger seasoning (I wrote about my discovery here)
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked rice with the shredded carrot until it is evenly mixed.
- Sprinkle the seasoned rice vinegar over top, and fold/flip with a rice paddle to combine. There's probably a youtube video about how to incorporate seasoned rice vinegar into cooked rice without squishing the rice. Have a bowl of water handy to rinse your hands because they will get sticky.
- See the photo below for my sushi making set up. Set everything up first.
- Place a sheet of nori on a sushi rolling mat with the long edge towards your belly and the edge of the counter/table (the jury is still out if I prefer the plastic to the bamboo--they both have advantages).
- Spread an even layer of carrot rice over the nori (I start with a damp handful, then add small amounts more as necessary to fill in), then cover with a piece of plastic wrap and flip over so that you've got the bare side of nori facing up as shown.
- Spread a 2 inch strip of avocado on the lower third of the nori, then top with a piece of unagi.
- Grasp the edge of the mat closest to you and roll tightly away from you, stopping to lift the plastic wrap and rolling mat out of the way before they get all rolled up.
- Give the roll a squeeze, poke in the stuff that oozes out the sides, then give it another squeeze.
- Sprinkle toasted sesame ginger seasoning on the roll, and roll it around a bit to get the seasoning not the sides.
- Set that roll aside and continue making sushi rolls until you've run out of something (usually unagi, for me).
- Slice each roll in half, wiping off the knife between slices as it gets very sticky, and then in half again, and then in half again for a total of 8 pieces.
- If you have extra rolls that you know you won't eat that day, wrap them in plastic wrap and they'll keep in the fridge for another day or two.