this shiitake mushroom and avocado sushi is filled with tons of goodies, including savory sauteed mushrooms, creamy avocado and tangy pickled ginger.
i mentioned planning an asian pacific american heritage month event at work a few weeks ago; that event finally happened last week! it was a lot of stress: carrying boxes filled with milk and fruit tea blocks back to the office, which was quite a workout (who needs to pay for a gym membership when you can workout your traps and biceps carrying gallons of boba?!). realizing we didn’t have enough cups at the office, so running to target in between meetings. recruiting co-workers to divvy up snacks (for what ended up being a 40-50 person event, we spent $130 on milk tea and $80 on snacks hahahah) because we were quickly sinking 5 minutes before the event. realizing that i’d have to act as emcee right as people started entering the room.
but: it worked out! i heard a variety of commentary around the snacks; everything from tentative pronunciations of “boba?” to “wow, i used to love these when i was a kid!”. some people i’ve never met before (there’s technically 3 companies who sit in my office, who all reside under 1 umbrella) were really into the trivia, and there was something for the millennial asian, the npr listener, the history buff.
i’m always steeped in and thinking of asian american culture, yet this shiitake mushroom and avocado sushi feels particularly right to post now. we were thinking of bringing kimbap or spam musubi in for the event, but logistics would have been hairy. so here’s some for the blog! i’m calling it shiitake mushroom and avocado sushi, and those are definitely the stars. the mushrooms are all glazed in soy sauce, and no one complains when there’s avocado these days. cucumber, green onions and egg are mostly there for crunch + some tenderness, and the rolls are rounded out with a dash of spicy, tart pickled ginger. it’s as colorful and exciting as asian american culture is.
- 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T sesame oil
- 2 eggs beaten
- 4 big sheets seaweed
- 1 1/3 cups freshly cooked hot rice
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 Persian cucumber halved lengthwise, then quartered lengthwise
- 4 green onions trimmed to be slightly longer than the seaweed
- 1/4 cup pickled ginger
Place the mushrooms in a medium skillet. Add enough water to cover; if they float up, swish them around to make sure they’re wet all over. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until most (if not all) of the stems are tender. Trim any tough stems off, then halve the mushrooms.
In the same skillet, heat some oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5-10 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Add the soy sauce, tossing the mushrooms, and cook until darkened. Pull off the heat and mix in the sesame oil.
In another skillet, heat some oil over low heat. Add the egg, sprinkle with salt, and cook until the top is set. Cool, then slice into 4 strips.
Place a bamboo sushi rolling mat on a cutting board, and drape a piece of plastic wrap big enough to cover the mat on top. Fill a small bowl with water and keep handy.
Place a sheet of seaweed, shiny side down, on the plastic wrap. Add about 1/3 cup rice, keeping the top and bottom edges free of rice, and use your fingers to break up and spread the rice. Don’t worry if it looks a little patchy!
Place two rows of mushrooms in the middle of the rice, stretching from the left to the right edge. Press them into the rice gently to help them stick. Drape a strip of egg over the mushrooms. Place a few avocado slices overlapping the egg, closer to the bottom half of your sushi canvas than the top half. Add 2 pieces of cucumber right above the avocado, and 1 green onion above that. Drape pieces of pickled ginger over the avocado.
Starting from the bottom end, roll up the sushi tightly using the bamboo mat. You can use one hand to hold in the cucumber/green onion while you roll if the other if you need to. Once you get a few inches away from the top edge, start to keep the bamboo mat out of the rolling process, and use the plastic wrap to guide the rest. Once the sushi is sealed, give it a few squeezes to make sure it’s sticking together, then unwrap from the plastic wrap and sushi mat, and let cool seam side down.
Using a serrated knife, slice the sushi. I’d recommend thicker slices, since the sushi stays together better that way. Serve at room temperature. I wouldn’t recommend refrigerating, since the rice will get hard.