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Cucumber Sushi Roll {Vegan, GF}

Sushi lover summer edition! These cucumber sushi rolls took a summery spin on traditional sushi and are extra crunchy, refreshing, and fun to make and eat! Also they're packed with plant protein, whole food veggies, and whole grains, and are naturally gluten-free.

This is probably my favorite type of meal especially in summer - what I call "a full meal in a bite". You get loads of veggies, fiber, vitamins, protein, healthy fat, and whole grain carbs all in one crunchy flavorful bite! And depending on your comfort level with nori sheet, this might be an easier version of sushi you can make with very little heat or even no cook!


All you need to do is find some big American cucumber, scoop out the seeds and fill them with whatever fillings you like. Personally, I find the "harder" and straighter the ingredients are the easier it is to stuff them in, and as a result of them I'd recommend putting the softer, and slightly irregular-shaped fillings in first like rice and avocado.

Slicing them up and seeing the pretty cross sections was so satisfying but, believe it or not, it was just as fun to just bite into them and eat them like a cucumber handroll or cucumber mini sushi "burrito"! I took a bite out of curiosity and ended up finishing a whole piece of cucumber just like that.



INGREDIENTS:

3 large cucumber

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 - 2 teaspoon sushi vinegar

1 medium carrot

1 avocado

1/8 purple cabbage

Wasabi and soy sauce for serving


For the glazed tofu -
1 14 oz block extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon tamari/soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut amino
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon syrup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Canola oil for cooking

TO MAKE:

- Drain and pat dry the tofu, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, pan fry over medium-high heat till both sides are golden crispy, about 4 minutes the first side and 3 minutes the second side;
- Meanwhile, mix all the glaze ingredients, slowly pour the sauce mixture into the pan, lower the heat immediately to medium-low;
- Let the sauce simmer and thick, flip the tofu slices occasionally to glaze all sides evenly and prevent burning, cut into thin strips and set aside;
- Prep all the veggies by slicing them into stipes of roughly the same width;
- Season the sushi rice with sushi vinegar to taste;
- Cut the cucumber in half, and use a small spoon to scoop out all the seeds in the center, I find the handle of the spoon is actually a very helpful tool here because it's thin and long and you can reach till the very end of cucumber;
- Fill in a layer of seasoned brown rice, about 1/3 of the space in the cavity;
- Add in the tofu strips and sliced veggies till the entire space is filled, it's ok if not everything is the same length because we will trim them;
- If you're using different veggies, try to put in the thicker, irregular-shaped, or soft fillings first, and if you didn't pan fry the tofu then definitely put the tofu in first after rice, cuz they'll be too soft to squeeze in once other fillings have taken up some space;
- Trim the thin slice off the top to make everything even, then slice into 1/2 - 1/4 inch sushi pieces based on your preference;
- Serve with wasabi and soy sauce, enjoy!

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