Wild Sushi

IN

It is apparently possible to make your own nori sheets by collecting laver from the seashore, shredding it and then pressing it together in much the same way that you make paper.  However, Mark says that he discovered that his life is a little too short for that kind of endeavour and now recommends buying them in.  They are very easy to obtain either at a delicatessen or on line..  You will also need an amount of cooked sushi rice, bound together by a little elderberry vinegar, which has the added benefit of giving the grains an attractive pinky hue.

We had been foraging on the Bridgend ‘Merse’ on Islay and had picked some handfulls of Coriander grass (Triglochin maritima) and Sea plantain (Plantago maritima).  Both are abundant in this coastal grassland habitat.  We also collected some Scurvy grass (Cochlearia officinalis) which made a lovely garnish, and a little Sea aster (Tripolium pannonicum).

Professional foraging tutor Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods gave us a demonstration of just how easy it is to make some delicious wild sushi.

Laying a sheet of nori out on a board, Mark spread a thin layer of the sushi rice over half of it and then laid the sea plantain and sea aster leaves down the middle.  Following a scatter of coriander grass seed, Mark slipped a big flat knife under the sheet and rolled it up like a cigar.  Made it look easy.

He then simply cut the roll into sections using a very sharp knife, arranged them artistically on a plate and garnished with the scurvy grass and some pickled wild garlic buds which he had brought with him.  A few splashes of elderberry vinegar added a touch of both zing and colour and the plate was handed around.  Amazing.  Great flavours and textures – and what a party piece…

The possible variations on this theme are limitless.  Check out Mark’s more detailed descriptions on his Galloway Wild Foods site. Pearl barley makes an excellent substitute for sushi rice apparently, and the choice of wild leaves that you could use is very wide.

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