Hot Lunch Recipe Wagon: Vegetable Hand Rolls

Our hot lunch wagon presents a hot lunch you can take to work or school.  Our recipes are quick, easy and less than 30 minutes to cook.  Cook our recipes the night before, refrigerate and reheat the next day.  Or, on the other hand, you can cook our meals and freeze them for next week’s lunch.  Our special today is Vegetable Hand Rolls

HOT LUNCH WAGON: Vegetable Hand Rolls

These are modeled after the fish and vegetable hand rolls served at sushi bars in Japanese restaurants. Seaweed is full of calcium and iron, and the crisp texture of nori is very appealing to toddlers and children. Kids love to eat hand-rolls because they can hold them like ice cream cones and nibble away.

Warm and Tote Legend Heated Lunch Tote
Heated Lunch Toteh

½ cup brown rice (short grain, if you can find it)

1 ¼ cups water

2 tablespoons rice vinegar (see hints)

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons granulated brown or white sugar

½ cup peeled and julienned vegetables, such as carrot, cucumber, summer squash, tunip, white radish, bell pepper, lettuce (see Hints)

2 sheets nori (toasted seaweed; see hints)

  • Put the rice in a strainer and wash under tap water for a minute or so.  Place rice and water in a small, heavy pot and heat to a boil; lower heat to low and cover the pot tightly.  Cook for 40 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  • Place the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a tiny saucepan and heat for a few seconds over high heat, until sugar and salt dissolve.  (You can do this in a microwave, too.).  When the rice is cooked, place it in a small mixing bowl and combine with the vinegar mixture; mix well.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the nori sheets in half.  Lay a sheet on a plate and cover with a generous ¼ cup of the rice mixture.  With dampened fingers, spread the rice to cover most of the nori (neatness is not important).  Lay a few strips of vegetable over the rice, then roll up the nori into the shape of an ice cream cone.  Eat immediately.  Make the rest of the hand tolls in the same way.

HINTS:

Find Nori sheets in health food stores or stores that specialize in Japanese foods.  

Rice vinegar which has a gentle flavor and is slightly sweet, is available in supermarkets.  There is product called sushi vinegar sold under the Sushi Chef label. ; it already contains sugar and salt, so omit those ingredients if you use it.  You can use brown rice vinegar, which you can buy at the health food store.

The measurement of the vegetables is only approximate.  The exact amount depends on how much you decide to put into each hand-roll.

VARIATION:

 You can also use white rice for this recipe, cooked without additional flavorings and then mixed with the vinegar-sugar-salt mixture. Converted rice is recommended since it has more vitamins than regular rice. You can also use avocado to fill these handrolls, but cut them into ½ inch wide strips.  

In addition to the vegetables, fill these with shrimp, or with surimi (sea legs), which is fish pressed to resemble crab meat. Instead of nori, you can use crisp lettuce leaves (such as Boston) to wrap the rice and vegetables.You might also like to sprinkle sesame seeds over the rice before adding the vegetables.

COOKING AHEAD OF TIME:  

You can make the rice up to 24 hours ahead, refrigerated, and brought back to room temperature – or slightly warmed in the microwave or on top of the stove- before packing to go in a heated lunch tote. Assemble the handrolls just before packing to go.

You can carry your hot lunch in a heated lunch tote.

HOT LUNCH CHEF