Calder Maki

By • September 29, 2010 11 Comments

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Author Notes: My son loves rice. Thankfully, brown rice included. Whenever I have made him miniature musubi for lunch, brown rice balls with toasted nori wrapped around them, he comes home with an empty lunch box. To step up the nutrition, on musubi days, I include steamed Okinawan sweet potato, which are full of antioxidants and a good source of fiber. Then it dawned on me that I could combine the two and I started making maki sushi, or rolls, filled with sweet potato and marinated tempeh. Since I am not making sushi rice, by adding vinegar and sugar to the hot rice, this is by no means true maki sushi. Instead, I add a pinch of salt and a baby glug of olive oil to the hot rice. This seems to help the rice stay moist, since he is not eating it immediately. Add your own favorite filling to make it (Insert your name here) Maki!gingerroot

Serves 3 calder maki

  • 1/2 8 oz package tempeh (cut in half crosswise) – I used Lightlife brand, Soy tempeh (reserve other half of tempeh for another use)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 steamed Okinawan sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-by-2-inch matchsticks
  • Cooked brown rice (see below)
  • 3 sheets roasted nori
  • Special equipment: an inexpensive bamboo sushi mat (found at any market with Japanese utensils, various online stores, including Amazon)
  1. Combine tamari, ketcup, apple cider vinegar and sugar in a container with a lid. Stir to combine and dissolve sugar. Add tempeh half. Coat tempeh piece in marinade, cover container and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, make 1 cup of brown rice in a pot on the stove or in a rice cooker by adding 1 ½-cups water and cooking until done.
  3. While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly coat a baking pan with non-stick spray. Place marinated tempeh on the prepared sheet and bake for 10 minutes, flip tempeh and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside to cool. Once cool, slice tempeh into six pieces and set aside.
  4. When rice is ready, add a pinch of salt and baby glug of olive oil. Use a wooden spatula or rice paddle to combine.
  5. On a flat surface (I used a clean cutting board), lay out your sushi mat. Place one sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the bamboo mat. Using the rice paddle, put about 1/3 of the cooked rice onto the sheet, pressing down evenly with wet fingers (be careful, it is still very hot). Make sure to leave a ¾-1” border at the top and bottom. Lay 2 pieces of tempeh and 3 pieces of sweet potato horizontally in the middle of your rice. Lifting up the edge closest to you, begin to roll the sushi around your filling, using the mat to help complete the roll. Enclose the roll tightly with the sushi mat (as shown in the photo). Remove mat, cut into desired number of pieces. Repeat until you have used up all the rice and tempeh. You may have leftover sweet potato, which can be refrigerated and enjoyed later as a healthful snack.
  6. Usually, I pack the pieces in my son’s reusable sandwich container and refrigerate before I leave the house. I add a small ice pack in his lunch box to keep cool until lunchtime.

More Great Recipes: Rice & Grains|Vegetables|Entrees|Snacks|Sweet Potatoes

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Comments (11) Questions (0)


over 3 years ago BoulderGalinTokyo

The bamboo Sushi mats can sometimes be found in Dollar Stores or Target's $1 section.

By Okinawan sweet potato your pictures show the purple kind. Looks pretty!
But have you made with other sweet potato or aren't they sweet enough?


over 3 years ago gingerroot

Hi BGT, Thanks for your comment. I have not tried this with another kind of sweet potato, though not because of anything having to do with the taste. Purple Okinawan sweet potato is grown locally here and readily available. I'm sure you could sub another variety with good results.


about 4 years ago susan g

Just found this, and I'm off to marinate! Funny, we use Lightlife too -- it's made nearby. I know my kids will like this, but how about my grandkids?


about 4 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, susan g! I cannot imagine a child more picky than my son and he is three...though I told him the tempeh was "meat", lol (in my defense, he is going through a stage that includes rejecting any food he has never heard of, even if I have a feeling he will like it). Let me know how it goes!


almost 5 years ago thirschfeld

Oh yeah the purple sweet potato is here, love it. Where is the spam sushi, LOL.


almost 5 years ago gingerroot

Haha, no comment about the spam. You will see the purple sweet potato is one of my boy's favorites!


almost 5 years ago healthierkitchen

so many great lunch ideas, gingerroot!


almost 5 years ago gingerroot

Thanks son's unusual palate has definitely made me think about home lunch in a totally different way.


almost 5 years ago testkitchenette

Your son is a lucky boy!


almost 5 years ago gingerroot

Aww, thanks testkitchenette...I am just happy that he loves these!


almost 5 years ago testkitchenette

I have all the ingredients...can't wait to make these. I love these flavors.