Simple Sustainable Sushi
Sushi always seemed like such an exotic food. I still remember the first time I tried edo-sushi (raw fish with rice and vinegar) and felt freaked out by the thought of eating uncooked seafood and embarrassed by my almost non-existent chopstick skills. At that moment in time, I never would have imaged teaching a sushi-making class. But here I am.
I teamed up last weekend with Welcome Home Healing Community to host a Sustainable Sushi Making Workshop in Los Angeles. Together, with a dozen enthusiastic chefs in training, we created some gorgeous edible creations.
Before we put our chopsticks into action, I invited the attendees to reflect with joy on the experience of eating. We started the exercise by tuning into our bodies and opening ourselves up to their wisdom.
“Body, thank you for giving me energy and strength to do the things I desire,” we thought with appreciation. “Today it is my intention to nourish you fully and to honor you with clean and whole ingredients.”
We could feel our bodies enliven and open in response.
Sushi and its accompaniments are packed full of nutrients, making nourishing our bodies even easier. Sashimi (raw fish) is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol. Gari (pickled ginger), originally included in sushi meals as a palate cleanser between plates, is also an anti-inflammatory and can be helpful for fighting off colds. Nori (dried seaweed) boosts metabolism and is rich in iodine. And wasabi is full of vitamin C and has antibacterial properties, which can come in handy when eating raw fish.
We also talked about the ethos of eating sushi, and the importance of sourcing fish from trusted fishermen. Much of the sushi we order at restaurants includes fish imported from foreign waters or farms, where regulations on seafood quality and sustainable practices are largely unknown (or at least hard to trace). Alternatively, sourcing locally from fishermen you trust ensures more sustainable and healthier fish with a lower carbon footprint.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a coastal city like San Diego or Los Angeles, check out your local farmers’ market listings for any fishermen vendors. For the workshop, I sourced all the fish (including opah and ahi tuna) from Tuna Harbor Dockside Market in San Diego. If you live in the area and haven’t been, be sure to check these guys out on Saturday mornings. They always have awesome recipes and tips to share on how to prepare their incredibly fresh, wild caught fish.
The next time you sit down for a meal, I encourage you to set an intention for love and nourishment from the meal you are enjoying. As you eat, reflect with appreciation for the food and all the time and energy that went into creating your plate. With each bite, savor the earth’s abundance. Then notice how you feel.
To learn more, check out the video here...
sustainable sushi recipe
- YIELD: 6 rolls
- PREP: 20 mins
Simple and easy cut sushi rolls made with local wild-caught fish and organic produce.
- 1 cup organic sushi rice
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp organic rice vinegar unsweetened
- 1 organic avocado
- 1 organic English cucumber
- 1 organic yam
- 1 bunch organic green onions
- 1 bunch organic asparagus
- 6 sheets organic nori
- 1/4 pound sushi grain sustainable caught fish ahi, opah, yellowtail, etc.
- 1 organic lemon
- 1 organic jalapeño
- organic pickled ginger
- organic wasabi paste
- coconut aminos or Bragg's liquid aminos
- Rinse sushi rice until water runs clear (to remove excess starch), then put in rice cooker with water and cook, covered, until rice cooker stops steaming. Allow to cool to room temperature, covered. Then remove from rice cooker and gently fold in rice vinegar, being careful not to smash rice grains.
- Peel yam and cut into 1/4 inch matchsticks. Steam in steamer basket, covered, until fork tender.
- Snap hard ends off asparagus and steam, covered, until al dente (slightly crisp).
- Cut bulbs and tips off green onions and rinse, then dry with a salad spinner or paper towel. Cut avocado into thin strips, and cut cucumber into 1/4 inch match sticks. Set aside.
- Cut raw fish against the grain into 1/4 inch matchsticks.
- To assemble, lay a nori sheet out on a cutting board with rough side (in contrast to the shiny side) facing up. Using a rice paddle, spread a thin layer (about 2 granules thick) of rice on the nori sheet, leaving 1 inch of nori untouched at the top of the sheet.
- Place a few pieces of fish and vegetables of choice across the center of the rice layer, making sure they run all the way to both ends of the rice. You should end up with about a 1 inch strip of fillings.
- Starting at the end of the nori sheet with the rice, roll the sheet up over the fillings as tightly as possible to create a secure roll. Put a little water on your finger across the top of the nori sheet edge to seal the roll.
- Then with the nori edge facing down, use a bamboo sushi mat to roll everything together more tightly.
- Gently, with a light sawing motion, use a sharp chef knife to cut the sushi roll into 1 inch pieces.
- Top with thinly sliced lemon and/or jalapeño, then dip in coconut or Bragg's aminos with wasabi to taste. Pair with pickled ginger between bites.