Taste The Rainbow With Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi!

recipe

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

I have found that using food to naturally colour anything is a bit of a surprise. And this rainbow sushi came about in a roundabout way. I was aiming for purple sushi rice. And in my infinite wisdom (sarcasm) I thought that red dragon fruit would give the sushi a deep magenta shade because that's the colour of the juice.

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

Well Dear Reader, red dragonfruit doesn't give rice a purple colour. It gives it an orangey red shade as I discovered (see above). I then tried shredded purple cabbage and voila, I had purple sushi rice! Yes you can buy purple rice but it isn't sticky textured so isn't ideal for sushi making unless you're skilled at that sort of thing. And that I am not.

I made many sushi rolls, some with the orange rice, some purple but my favourite was one combining the orange and purple to make a pretty duo coloured sushi. I also made one vegan version.

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

The reason why I wanted to make purple sushi rice was because I was making something for my mother in law Tuulikki's birthday. She is the queen of all things purple - her house is decked out in purple and so is she. And the Elliotts love picnics for many reasons. For starters there are children involved and they tend to get distracted in a restaurant and the Elliotts are vegans and eat quite specifically so a bring your own plate seems to work instead of having to deal with it in a restaurant setting where there's inevitably a kerfuffle (they love a kerfuffle).

"I wonder what will happen today?" I asked Mr NQN as we were driving to the picnic in the car. An Elliott event is never without incident and usually they involve his father Roger because Roger loves attention and is a little on the unique side. But he wasn't going to be there because he now lives in Phuket, Thailand. But Roger left his mark as he always does. His former wife Tuulikki revealed that 70 year old Roger may be getting married again. His new wife is a 23 year old physiotherapist.

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

Everyone was worried about Roger and remarked at how he was so desperate to get married again. Others were unimpressed by the age gap as his new wife is younger than all of his children. And I think while the divorce was unpleasant, the best birthday gift Tuulikki had was not being part of this three quarter life crisis!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever make sushi at home? What is your favourite sushi filling? Have you ever naturally coloured your food?

Rainbow Rice Sushi

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 35 minutes plus 10 minutes cooling time

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Purple rice

  • 1 cup sushi rice (koshihikari)
  • 1 cup finely shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sushi seasoning

Orange rice

  • 1 cup sushi rice (koshihikari)
  • 1/2 red dragonfruit, pureed
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sushi seasoning

For sushi filling

  • 4-5 sheets nori
  • 1 avocado, sliced into batons
  • 12 crab sticks/surimi
  • Pickled daikon, sliced into batons
  • Mayonnaise

Vegan sushi filling

  • 4-5 sheets nori
  • 1 avocado, sliced into batons
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced into batons
  • Pickled daikon, sliced into batons
  • Seasoned shiitake mushrooms (recipe here), sliced

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

Red dragonfruit colouring

Step 1 - Cook each rice colour separately. Rinse the rice until the water becomes clear and then add the purple cabbage or dragonfruit and water and steam on the stovetop or in the rice cooker until cooked-about 15 minutess. Mix in the sushi seasoning and then spread out to cool.

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

Purple cabbage colouring

Step 2 - The key to rolling sushi is to have slightly wet hands. I place a small bowl of water handy to dip my fingers in. To make the rainbow sushi spread out some purple rice onto the bottom part of the nori (as shown). Then spread out some orange rice leaving an inch at the top free. Lay out your fillings. I dab the top inch of exposed nori with a little water and then roll up tightly and then slice.

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

Vegan sushi

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

Avocado and crab stick sushi

Troubleshooting: I use a sushi rolling mat which helps but isn't strictly needed. But if you're a beginner making sushi it will definitely help.

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

Duo sushi

Don't fill your roll too much. If you've filled your roll too much then it may have trouble closing. But don't worry, just roll it in another sheet of nori dampening it with water so that it rolls easily.

Naturally Coloured Rainbow Rice Sushi

I usually let the rolled up sushi rest so that the nori is always pliable and soft when you cut it.

Squished sushi pieces? Make sure to use a very sharp knife to cut it. Otherwise your sushi can end up misshapen.