Is Fusion Wrong?
Fusion cooking had a heyday, back in the 90’s. It was all good until it went too far, until monstrous hybrid experiments roamed the land. We all tried to walk the line between cool-fusion and con-fusion food. Strange combos became all too common. Soon it became almost a pejorative to call something “fusion cuisine.”
In our current quest for cultural authenticity, it’s become even more of a sensitive topic. But dammit, sometimes joyfully, lawlessly mashing up things that taste good together is, well, fun. Take this example. Sushi is all understated rice and smooth fillings, wrapped in seaweed. Burritos are spicy, loud flavors wrapped in flour tortillas. Fuse the two into a “sushi-rito” and you have a bunch of tastes that really work together, in one crazy package. The Sushirito is the best kind of cultural combo.
So Arrest Me
It’s all in good fun, isn’t it? Nobody is claiming that this is an ancient dish, created by Japanese peasants, or handed down from a pre-Columbian grandma. Nope, This is just stuff I like, wrapped in a glorious sheet of carbs. Whole grain rice, whole grain tortillas, and vegetables, nothing to get upset about. Just because I put wasabi mayo and Tapatio hot sauce on the same dish doesn’t make my Sushirito a crime against cultural authenticity.
For this bad boy, I cooked up some medium grain brown rice and seasoned it with a little rice vinegar and sugar, and I quick pickled some julienned watermelon radish. Some asparagus spears, steamed until crisp-tender, were perfectly in season. Wasabi mayo is always good, and some kraut and pickled ginger gave it some fermented goodness.
The Burrito Part
But then I veered over into burrito territory, by spreading it on a whole wheat tortilla and serving it with hot sauce. So there. I must say, my husband, who kind of politely goes along with sushi, ate this with no reservations. We both dug in like college kids at Chipotle.
So if you are craving both sushi and burritos, you are in luck. Maybe you can put on your favorite 90’s dance mix to complete the nostalgic feeling.
Try the Sushirito and enjoy a little honest fusion food.
Asparagus and Avocado Sushiritos
- 1 cup medium grain brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar divided
- 1 small watermelon radish slivered
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise your favorite brand
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste to taste
- 8 stalks asparagus
- 1/2 large hass avocado
- pickled ginger
- 4 10 inch whole wheat tortillas
- Hot sauce and soy sauce
- Cook the rice: In a small pot, combine the rice and water and place over high heat. When it boils, cover tightly and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Take off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir together sugar and 1 tablespoon of vinegar, drizzle over rice and fold in.
- In a small bowl, combine the radish and remaining rice vinegar and toss to mix. Let stand to marinate for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayo and wasabi and stir. If you really like wasabi, add more to taste. Trim the avocado to the length of the nori, then steam just until crisp-tender. Cool.
- Slice the avocado in half, then remove the pit. Slice the avocado fruit in the shell lengthwise to make 8 slices. Scoop out carefully with a spoon.
- Lay out four tortillas, then spread 1/4 of the rice on one side of each tortilla. Smear 1/4 of the mayo mixture across the rice, then place the asparagus, avocado slices, pickled ginger, and kraut in rows alongside. Roll up like sushi, starting at the side closest to you. Slice in half and use toothpicks to hold the roll closed. Serve or wrap and refrigerate.