Test Kitchen: Brown Rice Sushi

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

At the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen we’re all about pampering our food.  During our last Test Kitchen, goers were massaging the well-deserving kale, and this week we were fanning brown rice like royalty.  I could nearly hear the granules singing, “I’m so fancy.” What exactly were we doing fawning over our beloved rice, you wonder? Well, we were prepping it for its fabulous, sticky role in sushi! Warm rice doesn’t stick to its partners very well (we all need some personal space when we get a little heated). But once the white rice vinegar is mixed in, I dare you to try and pick out one granule—you’ll come back with your fingers covered in a sticky mess.

Rolling the sushi was a lot of fun. We had a Japanese native show us exactly how it’s done. Here are a couple of her tips: take the nori (that’s the sheet of seaweed) and place the shiny side down so that you will be putting the contents on the rough side. The lines ingrained on the surface of the nori should be perpendicular to your body to facilitate the rolling.  This sea vegetable is a great source of iron, which is the most common nutrient deficiency seen around the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  So stop igNORIng it and get some on your plate!

Cutting the rolls and seeing the cross-sectioned pieces felt like such an accomplishment. We included a spectrum of bright colors from avocados, cucumbers, carrots, cooked sweet potatoes, and even pickled daikon radishes, which provided some yellow and were fantastic as a component in this sushi. Dip the pieces in low-sodium soy sauce, a touch of wasabi, and yum! A delicious circle of fun filled with oodles of good-for-you nutrients.sushi_3-300x225

Sargent Choice Vegetarian Brown Rice Sushi
Yield 2 servings, 6 rolls each

2/3 cup dry short-grain brown rice
1 cup water
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
2 (8 ¼ by 7 ¼ – inch) sheets roasted nori (dried layer)
½ Kirby cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
½ medium carrot, cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
½ small California avocado, peeled and cut into thin slices
¾ ounces radish sprouts, roots trimmed
6 ounces firm tofu, cut into several long pieces


  1. Prepare brown rice as directed with 1 teaspoon soy sauce.
  2. While rice is standing, stir together vinegar and remaining teaspoon soy sauce.
  3. Transfer rice to a wide, nonmetal bowl and sprinkle with vinegar mixture. Toss gently with a large spoon to combine. Cool rice, tossing occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir together wasabi and teaspoon of water to form a stiff paste. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
  5. Arrange 1 sheet of nori shiny side down on a sushi mat lengthwise. With damp fingers, gently press half the rice onto the nori with a 1 ¾–inch border on the farthest edge.
  6. Starting 1-inch from the side nearest you, arrange half the cucumber matchsticks, carrot matchsticks, avocado slices, and tofu pieces in an even strip horizontally across the rice (You may need to cut pieces to fit). Repeat with half the radish sprouts, letting some sprout tops to extend beyond the edge.
  7. Roll the bottom edge of mat toward the top edge while holding the filling in place and pressing firmly. Continue rolling to the top and press firmly to seal roll. Let stand for 5 minutes with the seam down and cut crosswise into 6 pieces with a wet knife.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 with the second sheet of nori.
1 Serving
Calories 250
Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Protein 12 g
Carbohydrates 28 g
Fiber 6 g