Introduction: Organic Seaweedless Sushi - Growing Your Own Sushi Wraps From Edible, Easy-to-cultivate Leaves.
If like us, you are worried about marine pollution, then you will be looking to make your sushi wraps from something you can grow yourself. The following is one of the easiest and tastiest I have found.
Nasturtium tropaeolum majus is a most useful plant to grow in any garden not just for decoration or wildlife habitat but because the leaves, flowers and seeds are all edible. They will also grow in poor soil, in containers and as they can be found in both bush and climbing varieties, are eminently suitable for urban or limited space, square foot and vertical gardening.
Here I am using them as an alternative to nori and making home-grown sushi wraps.
For a more elaborate traditional sushi, I wrap the rice in extra large nasturtium leaves. I don't have a rolling mat but just use eco baking paper. I can then cut them into lengths just as I would with nori. You can also use other leafy vegetables such as cabbage, kale or spinach but the younger and more pliable leaves are easier to manage.
SECOND AND THIRD PHOTOGRAPH
Smörgåsbord - open sandwich style sushi. A very simple light lunch, created from balls of Thai rice just placed on nasturtium leaf wraps. I married them with a confits de tomates and a fines herbes omelette. Just fold the leaf around the rice ball as you pick it up and bite into a taste sensation.
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Step 1: TIPS ON GROWING THIS MEDICAL AND CULINARY PLANT
COMMON GARDEN NASTURTIUMS - MEDICAL AND CULINARY TREASURE YET SO EASY TO GROW
Native to South America, in the past nasturtiums along with sprouted seeds and citrus fruit were used to treat scurvy because of their high vitamin C content, they also contain valuable anti-oxidants. Prized for many centuries as a medicinal plant, the nasturtium can be used to treat skin problems (in particular acne), hair loss, respiratory and urinary infections. So there is a lot more to this common garden plant than meets the eye! You can grow nasturtiums all year round in just about any soil and although they are often described as annuals they are in fact perennial, so if you are careful to place them near a stone wall or other heat sink, then you can keep them going through the Winter. Nevertheless, they do self-seed very freely so you can actually do as I do and let them continue in the container, just adding a little new home-made organic compost once a year or whenever you see the leaves beginning to lose their healthy green colour.
The only pest problem they really seem to have here is attack by cabbage white butterfly caterpillars, who find them just as tasty as we do. They are however easy to pick off the leaves and as my quail love to eat them, are yet another bonus of growing nasturtiums.
Just have fun experimenting with colour and their fabulous peppery taste will make you want to use them with all your favourite fillings. If you can try to get hold of some of the seeds of nasturtium Jewel of Africa - find them on seed swaps or you can buy them through good seed merchants, I get mine from Chiltern seeds, for example on-line. The leaves are most beautifully variegated and they make fabulous sushi wraps
Please feel free to ask questions or share your own ideas either here, or on the article, or any other questions you may have about growing and eating nasturtiums.
The original article of mine can be found :here
All the very best and Bon Appétit!
Pavlovafowl aka Sue