pumpkin sushi

I need to use more pumpkin. I need to eat more sushi. I remembered this delicious sushi I once had that had sweet potato in it along with other spicy items. I didn’t order it because I tend to go for fish when eating sushi but my friend did. I was wrong. It was sweet and creamy and lovely next to spicy. This recipe was born. Feel free to cut this recipe in half.

Yields 70 pieces of sushi roll

  • 3 cups sushi rice (prepared as directed on package), cooled down to room temperature
  • 10 sheets dried nori
  • 1 small fresh pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch-thick logs, the longer the better but no more than ½ inch thick. You will need about 20 logs. I was able to get this many from ¼ of a small pumpkin. I puréed the rest of the pumpkin to make Pumpkin Mushroom Pot Stickers or freeze for later use.
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and cut into ½-inch sticks about 3 inches long
  • Scallion greens, sliced long and thin
  • Black or toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • Spicy mayo (see below), soy sauce, wasabi paste and pickled ginger

Roast the pumpkin in a single layer on a well-greased sheet until brown and tender, about 20 minutes; let cool. Place a nori sheet on a bamboo mat that is well wrapped in plastic wrap. Have a cup of cold water on your workspace. Using wet fingers, spread a thin layer of rice on most of the nori sheet, leave a 1-inch space at the top of the sheet with no rice on it (this will be where you seal the roll). If your fingers become sticky, moisten them again and continue. Sprinkle the sesame seeds lightly over the rice. At the bottom of the sheet lay 2 logs of pumpkin, side by side across the rice. Do the same with the cucumber logs and scallion strips. Using the mat, roll the sushi away from you from the bottom toward the top into a tight roll. Use a bit of the water to wet the 1-inch strip left with no rice on it to seal the roll tight. Lightly wet your knife to cut the roll into 6 to 8 clean pieces. Serve with spicy mayo, wasabi paste, soy sauce and pickled ginger.

Spicy Mayo:

  • ½ cup plain mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, Sriracha is most commonly used
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 5 drops sesame oil

Place all ingredients in a bowl and grate the garlic in. Stir well and serve with pumpkin sushi, pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi paste.

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