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Quinoa Maki with Avocado and Cajun Portobello Fillets

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is a different take on sushi. The blackened mushroom is crispy and spicy, and the avocado offers a nice cooling contrast. Instead of white rice, which isn’t very nutritious, I use quinoa. It has a lot of protein and a great toothsome texture.

Makes4 entree servings or 8 appetizer servings

Preparation Time15 min

Preparation Time - Text15 minutes, not including quinoa cooking and cooling

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, healthy, high fiber, kosher, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, peanut free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturechewy, creamy, hot & spicy, light, savory, tangy, umami

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (Thai chile sauce)
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked in water according to package directions and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 or 6 nori sheets
  • 1 avocado, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 2 Cajun portobello fillets, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (see recipe below)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Soy sauce
  • Sea salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons low-salt Cajun seasoning
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, gills removed, cut on the bias into ¼-inch slices

Instructions

To Make the Muhrooms:

Place a large pot over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 1 minute, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.

Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning, along with the wine, vinegar, and 1 cup water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Pour the mushrooms and liquid into a shallow container, cover, and set aside to marinate for 1 hour.

Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and press between paper towels or in a cotton dish towel to remove the excess marinade, then sprinkle with the remaining Cajun seasoning, pressing the seasoning into both sides of the mushroom slices. Discard the marinade.

In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, cook the mushrooms in a single layer (you may have to do this in two batches) until blackened, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate.

To Assemble the Maki:

In a small bowl, mix together the vegan mayonnaise and sambal oelek. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the quinoa, vinegar, and sugar. Spread a thin layer of the mixture on a sheet of nori, covering the sheet except for a 1-inch space along the far edge of the sheet. On the full length of the near end of the nori sheet, place single strips of avocado and portobello, a sprinkle of scallions, and small dollops of the sambal mixture.

8 Moisten the clean edge of the nori sheet with a bit of water. Beginning at the filled end, roll up the nori sheet very tightly (you may want to use a sushi mat). Press firmly when you get to the moistened edge to seal the roll. Repeat with the remaining nori and filling, Cut each roll into 6 pieces. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

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