April 25, 2008

Mango & Avocado Dessert Sushi & Onigiri


sliced avocado
sliced mango

for the rice
1 1/2 cups uncooked Japanese rice
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
juice of 1 lime

black sesame seeds


For the rice:
At least 1 hour before you want to cook the rice, wash the rice. Allow to dry in a colander. In a small, bowl, whisk together the lime juice and sugar, set aside. In large nonstick saucepan (with a lid) add the water, rice and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Cook 5 minutes or until the water level is almost equal to the rice. Cover, reduce heat to low. Cook 10-15 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from heat, keep covered and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and lime juice.

To make the triangular onigiri: Cut some of the avocado and mango into small cubes. Place a small amount of rice in your hand, place some cubed avocado and mango in the middle and press down slightly. Cover with another mound of rice and firmly shape into to a triangular shape. Take care to fully cover the filling on all sides with rice. You could also use a triangle shaped onigiri mold/press. Garnish with sesame seeds.

For the mock sushi: The easiest way is to use a tubular onigiri mold . Fill it halfway with rice, then add one strip of mango and one of avocado vertically in the mold so the filling makes it to both short ends of the mold and won't be totally encapsulated by the rice. Top with the rest of the rice, then place the top of the mold on top and push down firmly. Unmold and make one cut down the middle to form two pieces of sushi. Alternately, follow the instructions to make maki sushi and use soy wrappers instead of the nori or use a small amount of plastic wrap instead of the nori then remove it before serving for wrapperless rolls. Roll in sesame seeds.

Note: While rolling the sushi the traditional way works well, using the tubular onigiri mold is quick and easy. Each use yields 6 slices (most tubular onigiri molds have 3 wells) which is the same amount as it would if you rolled them out the traditional way.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

My thoughts:
I have always wanted to make dessert sushi. I've made (and love!) mango and coconut sticky rice before and thought a sushi version would be fun. Onigiri, while not sushi, is a fun and easy way (especially if you have a mold! They are about $2 at most Asian grocery stores) to quickly make any eat any number of treats. Normally it is savory snack but here we have a lightly coconut flavored and slightly sweet rice covering a filling of two of my favorite things to eat together: mango and avocado. The creaminess of the avocado really sets off the tart-sweet juiciness of the mango.

When it came to make the sushi, I tried rolling it out the traditional way and it worked but the process seemed a little involved for making only a couple of rolls. If I was wasn't also using the same batch of rice to make the onigiri, that might have been fine, but for such a small amount, I wanted to come up with a quicker alternative method. The tubular onigiri mold worked great, three little tubes filled with mango and avocado (just make sure you don't cover the short ends with rice-let the filling peek through on both sides) and then slice them each in half to make the "maki sushi".