Philadelphia Cucumber Rolls with Sea-Scallion vegan 'Cream Cheese', Watercress, Pressed Carrots and Avocado
Crisp, refreshing and loaded with umami flavors. These rolls are vegan and raw nod in homage to classic Philly sushi rolls. Cutting the cucumbers into thin sheets takes some practice, but using a small, sharp knife and some determination will yield excellent results.
Yield: 12-16 pieces
Sea-Scallion “Cream Cheese”:
2 cups cashews, soaked in filtered water for 2-4 hours, drained and rinsed
4-5 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
3 tablespoons unscented coconut oil
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/8-1/4 teaspoon garlic granules, to taste
¼ teaspoon unrefined sea salt, or to taste
3-4 tablespoons filtered water, or as necessary to blend
1-2 tablespoons dulse, cut into pieces with kitchen scissors (I prefer whole dulse cut into pieces over dulse flakes – if using dulse flakes, use 2-3 teaspoons)
3 scallions, chopped
1 bunch watercress, washed, dried and large stems trimmed
2 tablespoons umeboshi plum vinegar
2 teaspoons nama shoyu or tamari
2 teaspoons mirin
2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into fine matchsticks
½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1 large English cucumber or 2 cucumbers, peeled, cut into quarters cross-ways and sliced from the outside toward the seeds into thin sheets
1 avocado, halved, seeded, scooped out with a spoon and sliced
Sea-Scallion “Cream Cheese”:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a high-speed blender or food processor, place cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, garlic granules, salt and 3 tablespoons of water. Blend at high speed until very smooth. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, if necessary to aid blending.
3. Fold in scallions and dulse by hand.
4. Spread into a square or rectangle ½”-thick on the parchment paper. Place in the freezer to quick-chill for 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge until ready to use.
Once chilled, slice into strips for easy transfer when rolling.
1. In a medium bowl, toss together watercress, umeboshi plum vinegar and nama shoyu or tamari. Using clean hands, massage and gently squeeze the watercress until it begins to release liquid.
2. Place a plate that will fit inside the bowl on top of the mixture. Place a weight on top of the plate (such as a heavy bowl or jar or bottle of water). Let stand to press for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The watercress should be sufficiently wilted and soft.
3. Drain of excess liquid and squeeze or press to extract as much liquid as possible (reserve liquid to use in other recipes, marinades or dressing). If it tastes too salty, blot with a clean, dry towel or rinse and drain in a colander, then spread on a towel and blot dry.
4. Add mirin and mix to coat. Set aside or store in the fridge until ready to use.
1. In a medium bowl, toss together carrots and salt and mix well. Using clean hands, squeeze and massage mixture until carrots begin to release liquid.
2. Place a plate that will fit inside the bowl on top of the mixture. Place a weight on top of the plate (such as a heavy bowl or a jar or bottle of water). Let stand to press for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Drain off excess liquid and squeeze or press to extract as much liquid as possible. Rinse and drain in a colander, then spread on a clean towel and blot dry. Set aside or store in the fridge until ready to use.
1. Place several cucumber sheets on a clean work surface. Place a strip of Sea-Scallion “Cream Cheese” on the bottom third of the cucumber sheet, leaving ½-inch of cucumber exposed. Add a pinch of Marinated Watercress, Pressed Carrots, a few pieces of ginger and a slice of avocado.
2. Gently roll the bottom of the cucumber skin over the filling and roll closed. Secure with 3-4 toothpicks spaced appropriately to cut between for bite-sized pieces.
3. With a sharp knife, cut through the roll between the toothpicks and plate.
Serve immediately or store in the fridge to chill until ready to serve. Serve with tamari or shoyu, wasabi paste and pickled ginger on the side.
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.