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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Caramelized Onion Sushi with Balsamic Reduction for One

My neighbor was making something with onions and garlic and I found the smell overwhelming. What could I make when I so desperately needed to make a trip to the grocery store that I could see the back of the refrigerator? Of course. Sushi.
For the Sushi Rice:
1/3 cup sushi rice
21 cup water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 TBLSP rice vinegar
For the Onions:
Slosh of olive oil
1 onion, sliced horizontally into rings
1 clove garlic, diced small
For the Balsamic Reduction:
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 TBLSP agave nectar (or maple syrup)
For Assembling the Sushi:
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
1 teaspoon water
2 nori sheets

Make the Rice:
  1. Put the rice and water in a pot on high. Once it begins to boil, turn the temperature down and cover the pot. Keep an eyeball on it, because it will bubble up and need to be stirred occasionally. Before taking it off the heat, be sure to taste it for doneness (about 15 minutes), and add more water if it needs more cooking time.
  2. In a tiny bowl, combine the sugar and vinegar. Stir until you can’t find the grains of sugar anymore.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the cooked rice and slosh the vinegar and sugar solution over it. With a rice paddle, in a swiping motion, mix the vinegar in and set the uncovered bowl aside to cool and absorb the liquid you just added.

Make the Onions:
  1. While the rice is cooking, get the onions started. Slosh the olive oil into a frying pan and put the onion rings in there with it. Cook on medium heat—you want this to go slowly so you get a lovely sweet flavor and a toasty brown color, so don’t rush this part. You have to wait for the rice anyway.
  2. After the onions have been cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, add in the garlic. You don’t want to put it in too soon or it will burn and be bitter.
  3. Keep sautéing, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, until the onions are very soft, dark brown, and extremely fragrant. Resist popping them immediately into your mouth and set them aside to cool. 

Make the Balsamic Reduction:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and agave.
  2. Heat gently (medium high), stirring very frequently, until the sauce is reduced by about half. There should be about 2 ½ TBLSP in there. It will bubble and look thin.
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool. It will thicken up a bit as it cools.

Assemble the Sushi:
  1. In a tiny bowl, combine the wasabi powder and water. Do it in equal parts, so if you like it strong, use more, if you like it weak use less. The important bit is that they be in equal parts and that it has some time to sit and thicken up.
  2. Either use a handy-dandy device to make the center portion of the sushi roll with a layer of rice, a layer of onions, and another layer of rice, or line it up on top of a nice piece of nori, all lined up and pretty on your rolling bamboo.
  3. Roll the little darling up, squeezing periodically to make it a tight roll, and then smear a little rice on the far end of the nori to act as glue.
  4. Place the roll in a piece of plastic wrap, and using a very sharp knife dipped in water, slice the roll into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Array the slices (sans plastic, please. It’s just there to hold the roll together while you slice) on your serving dish and swozzle the balsamic reduction over the top in an artful way.
  6. Combine the wasabi mixture with tamari or soy sauce.

Dip the little treasures into the wasabi and soy sauce and consume with the frenzy of piranha fish with a new visitor to the pond.

  • Do an inside-out one, with rice on the outside as well as the usual inside to which you’ve added vegan cream cheese to the onions, drizzle with the balsamic reduction, and then top with a few pistachio nuts. (As seen in the photo below.) Oh boy!

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