Cucumber Peanut Gunkan (Vegan Sushi)
Peanut and Cucumber Gunkan Maki
Peanuts and cucumber make excellent little “sushi boats” or gunkan maki. The use of a mandoline is key as the cucumber needs to be sliced very thin. Sliced properly, the cucumber will hang on to itself like a slap bracelet. If your cucumber is too thick, you may have to use a green onion or chive length to “tie” it into place.
Makes about 8-10 gunkan maki
1 teaspoon natural peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
Pinch of salt
About 1 1/2 cups prepared sushi rice (Please note that the sushi rice dressing can be made with raw, unprocessed sugar.)
1/2 English cucumber, end sliced away
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (whole or roughly chopped)
8-10 cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely grated daikon radish
1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced green onion
Make the sauce by stirring together the natural peanut butter, rice vinegar and pinch of salt. Set it aside.
Form 8-10 rice “balls”. To do this, wet your fingertips and palms lightly with water. Grab a walnut sized amount of prepared sushi rice (about 2 tablespoons) and mold it into a flat rectangular mound. The bottom should be flat. Repeat this with the remaining rice to form more “balls”.
Use a mandoline to make very thin slices down the length of the cucumber. Eat the first slice or two as they will most likely not be tall enough. You’re looking for cucumber slices that will extend beyond the height of rice “balls”. You may be able to get 4-5 slices on one side of the cucumber. Avoid using the middle slices that are full of seeds. Flip the cucumber over to get more slices from the other side.
Wrap the cucumber slices snugly around the rice “balls”. The ends should stick to each other rather than the rice. Place a dab or two of the sauce on top of the rice. Spoon some peanuts into each little boat. Top the middle of each with a single cilantro leaf. Add a tiny dab of grated daikon radish and a tiny dab of grated ginger root on top of the cilantro. Top with a little (or more to taste) green onion.
To serve, dip the bottoms of the little boats in soy sauce or spicy hot paste.