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Miso-Roasted Asparagus and Pickled Carrot Sushi Bowls

These vegan sushi bowls are hearty and healthy.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 2 hefty servings, with extra pickled carrot.
Author: The Bojon Gourmet

Ingredients

For the pickled carrot:

  • 4 medium carrots, scrubbed
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the rice:

  • 1 cup white, short-grained sushi rice
  • 1 1/3 cups water, plus water for rinsing the rice
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

For the asparagus:

  • 1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1 pound), ends snapped off, stalks cut diagonally into 3" lengths
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste , (I used sweet white miso)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • big pinch salt

For finishing the bowls:

  • 4 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • half a small cucumber, peeled if the skin is tough or bitter, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado, ripe but firm, halved, pitted, removed from the peel and sliced
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • toasted, seasoned nori strips
  • pickled ginger
  • lemon wedges
  • wasabi
  • tamari, shoyu, or soy sauce

Instructions

Pickle the carrot:

  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrot into long, wide ribbons. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a mason jar or bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the carrot, toss to coat, and let sit while you get on with the rest.

Cook the rice:

  • Place the rice in a bowl, cover with cool water, and swish it around to release the starches. Carefully pour off the water, then repeat 2-3 more times. Drain well. Place the rice in a small saucepan and add the 1 1/3 cups water, the sugar, and the salt. Place the pot over a medium flame and bring to a simmer. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice steam until the water is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 10 minutes. Test the rice - if it is too firm, sprinkle in a few tablespoons more water and repeat the steaming/standing process until the rice is tender, but still chewy. Fluff the rice with a fork, sprinkle the vinegar over the rice, and gently toss with a spoon to incorporate the vinegar. (Try to handle the rice minimally and gently to prevent if from become mushy.) Let the rice cool to warm or room temperature, 30-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, roast the asparagus:

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375ºSpread the snapped and sliced asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the miso, sesame oil, lemon juice, grated ginger, and salt. Drizzle this mixture over the asparagus, toss to coat, and roast in the oven until crisp-tender, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Finish the bowls:

  • Divide the rice between 2 wide bowls (you may or may not want to use all of it). Top with the asparagus, pickled carrots, radish, cucumber, avocado, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve the bowls with nori strips, pickled ginger, lemon wedges, wasabi, and tamari or soy sauce. I like to mix together about a teaspoon of wasabi with a couple tablespoons of tamari, and pour it all over my bowl along with the juice from a lemon wedge or two.

Notes

Inspired by one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking.
Sushi rice is adapted from Alton Brown.
I like this dish best when served at room temperature, so I recommend letting the rice cool for 30-60 minutes before making the bowls and diving in. I used an heirloom variety called Kokuho Rose from a local California farm, which I found in bulk at our co-op. And while I like this dish best when freshly made, you can definitely keep extras in the fridge for up to a day or two. (If I had a real job, I would delight in making myself a little bento box to take to work.)
If you have extra carrot pickles left over, they'll keep well for at least a week, though they are crispest when freshly made. I bet they'd be killer on a sandwich or burger, too. Feel free to get creative with the toppings here – I list some ideas up above.
Nutritional values are based on one of two servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 708kcal | Carbohydrates: 124g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1965mg | Potassium: 1666mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 22555IU | Vitamin C: 49.2mg | Calcium: 225mg | Iron: 9.2mg
Making this? I'd love to see!Tag your snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet!