I don’t consider myself a Royalist, but I was unusually obsessed about the Royal Wedding. The world is in such a terrible place, economically, politically, and cultural relationships are at an all time low, that I craved a bit of fantasy. Judging by all the coverage from almost every single media outlet, I can’t be the only one. After a week of enduring Donald Trump’s ridiculous remarks over President Obama’s birth certificate (do we laugh or do we cry?), this girl really needed a lift. So at 2:30 am Los Angeles time, I rolled out of bed, and cracked open a tin of Fortnum and Mason “William and Catherine Wedding Biscuits,” and enjoyed a few with a cup of Early Grey. I was ready for action, and was not disappointed. The Brits put on a good show, don’t they? What an incredible ceremony, and Sarah Burton’s wedding dress was breathtaking in it’s simplicity (Alexander Mc Queen would have been so proud). William and Kate’s double-kiss was the icing on the cake, but when the couple emerged from Buckingham Palace driving Prince Charles’s Aston Martin Volante, with a “Just Wed” registration plate, the deal was sealed. The Royal Family are back in a big way.
I’m a bit of a yin and yang person, so after all the pomp and fanfare (and a few too many biscuits) I craved something light. Whenever I’m looking for a meal that is simple and nutritious, Japanese cuisine ticks all of the boxes. Talk about uplifting, flavorful, and easy to prepare. If rolling your own sushi feels like a daunting prospect, look no further. Inari sushi wrappers conveniently come in ready made packages at your nearest Japanese market. These quick and easy pouches are great for packed lunches (check out the cool sushi lunch boxes at the market), a simple supper served with miso soup, or hors d’oeuvres for a party.
2 packages precut Inari wrappers (tofu wrappers. available in the chilled section at Japanese markets)
1 cups short grain brown rice
2 cups water for cooking the rice
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1.2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked
1/2 cup hijiki seaweed, soaked and drained
1/2 cup edamame (fresh or frozen )
2 tabl black sesame seeds
Seasoning mix for sushi rice
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin (japanese sweet rice wine)
tablespoon chili sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoon nama shoyu (naturally brewed soy sauce)
1/2 tablespoon of agave
1. Rinse the brown rice with cool water until it comes out clean. In a pot, bring the rice and a pinch of salt to a boil, then lower the heat, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool with the lid on. Do not uncover.
2. While the rice is cooking: In separate bowls, soak the hijiki and dried mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and season both with a tablespoon each of nama shoyu.
3. In a small pot, cook the edamame in salted boiling water for 4-6 minutes. Drain. When cooled, shell the edamame.
4. Combine all of the ingredients of the Seasoning mix in a bowl and stir. When the rice has cooled, lightly toss in the black sesame seeds, carrots, edamame, hijiki, shiitake mushrooms, and finally the sushi seasoning. Carefully stuff the mixture into the wrappers, taking care not to tear the edges, and sprinkle with a few more sesame seeds and hijiki.
Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, and nama shoyu sauce.