Nori Noir

Makes 4 nori rolls: 25–30 pieces

  • 2 cups cooked black or short-grain brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons brown-rice vinegar, if needed
  • 1 package nori sheets (usually contains 7–10 sheets)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • 2 long carrots, shredded
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into strips
  • 8 spears asparagus, steamed
  • Wasabi powder to taste
  • Pickled ginger to taste
  • Low-sodium tamari sauce, to taste

Stir the cooked black rice in a large bowl. If the rice is not sticky, stir in brown-rice vinegar until the texture becomes sticky. Place 1 sheet of nori flat on a dry surface. Spread about ½ cup black rice on one-half of the flat sheet. Place the vegetables of your choice horizontally in the middle of the flattened rice. Roll up the sheet starting from the rice-covered end. Carefully cover the vegetables and keep rolling. The roll will stick to itself especially well if the rice is still a little warm. If your nori does not stick, try dabbing the edge of the non-rice-covered end with water. Slice each roll with a sharp knife in ½-inch, medallion-style pieces. Make the desired amount of wasabi paste by adding water to the wasabi powder as directed. Serve nori pieces with little dishes of pickled ginger, wasabi, and low-sodium tamari.