Shiso Nigiri with Avocado and Umeboshi Paste

By • July 18, 2013 • 3 Comments


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Author Notes: You know what's fun? Ordering vegetarian food in Japan. (Share your dietary preferences and country of choice in the comments.) I love vegetarian sushi (it's one of the only acceptable times to have soy sauce on your rice), but even speaking the language and spelling out what I don't eat didn't always help. So sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. No more boring cucumber rolls! (No, not really. But make these AND cucumber rolls!)Lindsay-Jean Hard

Serves as many friends as you want to share with.

  • sushi rice
  • fresh shiso leaves
  • umeboshi paste
  • thinly sliced avocado
  1. Make sushi rice. If you haven't done this before, follow someone else's precise instructions. I use a rice cooker, and once it's finished cooking, I sprinkle the rice with rice vinegar (or ume vinegar!), a little bit of sugar, and a pinch of salt (use a light hand - you'll be thankful later. Then mix it all together, and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Form the cooled rice into little logs. I find it's easier to do if I sprinkle my hand with water first.
  3. Spread a little umeboshi paste on the formed rice.
  4. Test one to make sure you're using the right amount of umeboshi paste. Too much and you'll ingest three days worth of salt, too little and you won't get enough of the flavor coming through.
  5. Spread umeboshi paste on the remaining formed rice logs.
  6. Top each portion with a fresh shiso leaf and a slice or two of avocado.
  7. Serve to your deliriously happy sushi-loving friends.
  8. PS - A teeny tiny squiggle of Japanese mayo would be wildly inappropriate, but I would respect your irreverent tasty ways, and we'd be friends.

Comments (3) Questions (0)

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8 months ago Pat in SoCal

Ume shiso sushi is my absolute favorite...and very few sushi places even know what I'm talking about. Haven't tried it with avocado...but what's not to like. I will have to wrap this in nori, however. And now I need to at least go eat an umeboshi...

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9 months ago Linda

What is umeboshi paste and shiso leaves

Pict1821

9 months ago Lindsay-Jean Hard

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

Shiso is an herb in the mint family, think spicy basil (and stay tuned for more on shiso soon!). Umeboshi are pickled ume fruits (ume often gets translated as plums, but the fruits look more like apricots). They are sour and salty, and can be pureed (after pitting) into a paste (or you just purchase the paste).