Brown Rice Maki Rolls

These mouth-watering whole grain brown rice maki rolls combine sweet red bell pepper with mango and creamy avocado for a deliciously light and refreshing bite. Perfect for warm-weather picnics and backyard gatherings!

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Ingredients
  • 2 cups (500 mL) water
  • 1 cup (250 mL) short grain U.S. brown rice
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) mirin
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tsp (15 mL) sugar, divided
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 pieces toasted nori seaweed
  • 16 pieces julienned red bell pepper
  • 16 pieces julienned avocado
  • 16 pieces julienned peeled mango
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) toasted sesame seeds
Directions
  1. In large saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 40 minutes (this time can vary greatly depending on brand of rice and size of pot, so start checking at 30 minutes). If liquid is absorbed but rice is still too hard, let sit covered for up to 20 minutes and rice will soften. Do not stir rice while it is cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, combine mirin, soy sauce and 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) of the sugar. Bring to a simmer in a small saucepan until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Spread the warmed rice onto a rimmed baking sheet. Whisk together the vinegar, salt and remaining sugar. Drizzle over rice and toss with two spatulas to coat rice.
  4. Place a piece of nori on a bamboo mat (or using a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil) with the short side facing you. Wet your fingertips with warm water and pat about 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the seasoned rice into a 2-inch (5 cm) wide strip on the bottom of the sheet. Drizzle 1 tsp (5 mL) of the mirin sauce over the rice; place 4 strips each red pepper, avocado and mango over the sauce; then sprinkle with about 1 tsp (5 mL) of the toasted sesame seeds. Using the bamboo mat to help you, roll the maki closed, getting the mat out from inside the maki as it rolls up. Gently press the closed mat over the roll to seal the roll. Trim any ragged edges and slice into 6 pieces with a wet sharp knife.
  5. Repeat with the remaining nori, rice, pepper, avocado and mango. Serve the rolls with any remaining sauce.