Miso aubergine and butternut squash sushi

SERVES: 6  TIME: 1 hour 15 mins

During our travels in Krakow, Poland we tried a sushi taster menu of seven dishes which have inspired some of our other sushi combinations (tomato nigiri, edamame bean maki) which actually worked so well! This was the most popular of our sushi selection and we can understand why; set on a bed of rice the sticky, salty and sweet taste of the miso with the creamy butternut squash harmonises perfectly. Topped with seaweed caviar, it’s a winning vegan alternative.

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  1. Begin by making the marinade for the aubergine, throw the vegetable oil, miso paste, mirin, sugar, sake and sesame seeds into a bowl and combine. Pop this in the fridge to infuse.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180.
  3. Cut the aubergine in to thin slices lengthways (these will be baked so not too thin that they burn and disintegrate so around 3mm) These will be wrapped around the rice bed so make sure they are long enough. Turn the aubergine over and cut lengthways strips about 1-inch-thick so you end up with thin strips of aubergine that will sit higher then the rice to create a pocket to pop the butternut squash mash into. Place the aubergine onto a grill type tray.
  4. When the oven is hot brush the aubergine with the marinade and pop in the oven for 8-10 mins (keep an eye on this as all ovens are different) flip the aubergine and do the same on the other side. When cooked remove from the oven and set to one side.
  5. Peel and cut the butternut squash roughly, place in a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil, along with the garlic cloves peeled but still whole. Bake until the butternut squash is soft (30 minutes-ish).
  6. When ready remove the garlic cloves, place in a bowl and get stuck in with your potato masher to make a creamy butternut squash mash.
  7. Cook the sushi rice according to the packet instructions, remember to add the rice wine vinegar once the sushi rice is cooked and set it to one side.
  8. When you are ready to assemble and everything has cooled, create as many circle rice beds as you require, about 1 inch circumference and 1/2 inch high. Use water & rice wine vinegar to keep your hands from getting too sticky.
  9. Take the miso marinated aubergine and wrap it around the rice bed, you will find that there will be at least one flat edge on the aubergine strip that will go along the bottom to keep it even, the aubergine should stick together at the join because of the lovely sticky marinade.
  10. Place some of the butternut squash mash into the pocket you have now created with the aubergine and rice, before topping with half a tsp of seaweed caviar.

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Serve with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce. Mmmmmmm.

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