As the title implies, this asparagus sushi salad was inspired by asparagus sushi. Similar to my approach to tacos, I figured why spend time assembling sushi rolls when you can achieve nearly the same combination of textures and flavors in a salad? (My apologies to sushi purists.) When dining on sushi, asparagus rolls are among my favorites…
Asparagus use to intimidate me. I wasn’t sure how to prep or cook it. I wasn’t even sure if I liked it. However, I knew it was good for me, so I decided to become more familiar with this stalky veggie. The World’s Healthiest Foods shares some great information. In addition to health and prep/cook details, I was surprised to learn:
- Asparagus spoils more quickly than other veggies and should be eaten within 48 hours of purchase.
- White asparagus is grown underground.
- Thin asparagus does not need to be peeled at the base of the stem.
- Some folks may notice, ahem, their pee smells different after eating asparagus. There are no known health risks associated with this phenomenon.
One of the benefits of following a plant-based diet is your tastes adjust and you develop a greater appreciation for healthy foods like asparagus.
Asparagus Sushi Salad
This asparagus sushi salad combines the clean earthy flavor of asparagus with:
- Brown rice
- Dark leafy greens
- Nori (If you would like to know more about nori, check out the What Is Nori? section of the Veggie Quinoa Sushi Rolls recipe I shared a few months ago.)
The salad makes a great side dish or a tasty and filling meal on it’s own.
Asparagus Sushi Salad
- 1 cup long grain brown rice uncooked
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 1 small sweet onion about 1/3 cup chopped
- 6-8 leaves dark leafy greens (kale, collard greens and/or chard)
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce - see recipe
- 2 nori sheets
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted
Rinse brown rice and combine with water in a rice cooker. Cook on brown rice setting. (If available.)
Rinse and prep asparagus. (Peel bottoms if necessary.)
After rice has been cooking for at least 30 minutes, add asparagus to steamer basket and place in rice cooker for 8-10 minutes. (Try to place and remove steamer basket quickly. Use oven mitts and avoid coming into contact with hot steam.)
Immediately rinse steamed asparagus with cool water.
Chop asparagus into 1-2 inch pieces and add to a large mixing bowl.
Add carrots to a food processor fitted with an S blade and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape carrots into the mixing bowl.
Add onion to food processor, pulse to finely chop and add to mixing bowl.
Wash dark leafy greens, pat dry, strip stems and discard. Add leaves to food processor, pulse to finely chop and add to mixing bowl.
Wash cucumber, chop into ½ inch cubes and add to mixing bowl. (Leave skin on.)
Stir to mix ingredients. When rice is done, add to mixing bowl (1/3 at a time) and stir to mix thoroughly.
Add teriyaki and stir until mixed.
Tear nori sheets into strips, and then tear a couple of strips into 1-inch pieces and sprinkle over ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir to mix and then repeat until all of the nori has been added and mixed.
Add almonds and stir to mix.
Serve salad cool or at room temperature topped with fresh diced avocado.
Cooking the rice and asparagus ahead of time significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to prepare this salad. It could be ready in less than 15 minutes!
I’ve made similar sushi salads with sweet potatoes and some of my other favorite ingredients. What’s your favorite kind of veggie sushi? Can it be made into a salad?
Note: I do not include nutrition information with my recipes because I subscribe to the theories presented in the book Whole and believe we should focus on eating a variety of whole foods instead of counting calories or keeping track of individual nutrients.