Spicy Tempeh Sushi

Spicy Tempeh Sushi
Adapted by Ellen Allard from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

For the sushi rice:
1 cup sushi rice
Water, according to package directions
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar

For the tempeh mixture:
4 oz tempeh, cubed
1 small carrot
1 scallion
1 minced small garlic clove
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp wheat-free tamari (added AFTER steaming - see instructions below)

For the spicy mayo:
2 tbsp. vegan mayo
½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
½ tsp. chili oil
1/8 tsp. (or less) cayenne
1 tsp. agave syrup
2 tsp. wheat free tamari
¼ tsp sea salt

For the sushi:
4 sheets nori seaweed
1 scallion, sliced lengthwise into narrow strips
1 ripe avocado, sliced into thin strips
1 tbsp toasted or black sesame seeds, optional

Prepare rice according to package. You can also cook it in a rice steamer. When it is finished, spoon it onto a cookie sheet and allow to cool to room temperature. Place it in a bowl, add the rice vinegar and sugar, folding into the rice gently with a large spoon or rice paddle to mix thoroughly.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the spicy tempeh filling as follows:
Put the cubed tempeh, carrot, scallion, garlic, and ginger into the bowl of a food processor. Make sure you are using the S-blade. Combine until everything is uniform and grated fine.

Pour the tempeh mixture into a steamer and steam for about 8 minutes. Then pour it out of the steamer onto a flat plate and allow it to come to room temperature. Add 1 tbsp wheat-free tamari and blend into the mixture.

Combine the ingredients for the spicy mayo and whisk. Set aside.

Fill a shallow cup with about 1/3 cup of water and a tbsp of rice vinegar.

Prepare your sushi-making station by placing a cutting board in front of you. Have the cooled rice, cooled tempeh mixture, spicy mayo mixture, sliced scallion, avocado, and optional sesame seeds near you.

Place a nori sheet on a bamboo sushi rolling mat. With wet hands, take a snowball-shaped handful of rice, about a cup’s worth and gently pat onto the bottom two-thirds or so of your nori sheet. Press the rice so that it is less than 1/3 inch thick.

About halfway from the bottom of the nori sheet, place about 3 tablespoons of the tempeh mixture in a strip that runs across the center of the rice. Spread about two teaspoons of the spicy mayo mixture on top of the tempeh mixture. Lay the avocado and scallion above and/or below the tempeh mixture. Sprinkle with the optional sesame seeds.

Using the mat, gently roll up from the bottom rice end of the nori sheet, keeping your grip as tight as possible, in order to make a firmly packed roll. When you’ve just about reached the seaweed-only end, dip a finger into the water and then pat the width of the nori roll before making your final turn and sealing the roll.

Slice your roll into 1 inch inches with a sharp, serrated knife.