NoriOats: Minnesota Roll

In response to a remark that my reader (Hi, Kurt) made last week. I thought I’d relook at the combination of oats and seaweed. I mean, what could be more natural? It’s the vegetable equivalent of surf and turf. Now, the only time I’d had seaweed in oatmeal was when I tried a miso soup powder in my breakfast oatmeal. This time, I decided to go big. Go sushi.

Sushi, of course, refers to the rice in the rolled up raw fish and rice and nori (seaweed) so beloved of foodies everywhere who have not taken any courses in invertebrate parasitology. For those who have, the baseline object is a reverse sushi, with vegetables instead of fish, and with the rice on the inside, and the nori on the outside. I speak, of course, of the ancient and revered California Roll. Well, if one can make a sushi roll out of rice and no fish, one ought to be able to make a sushi roll out of oats and no fish. Something as American as avocado but as midwestern as cheese. Behold, the Minnesota Roll:

water: 1 cup

oatmeal: 1/2 cup
(one minute variety, we want the pastyness)

potato flakes: 1 or 2 tbsp
(as needed, to firm it up)

cheese stick: 8″ worth 1/4″ strip
(standard snack stick, cheddar)

Swede: 8″ worth 1/4″ strip
(AKA rutabaga, boiled, from your stew)
(you may substitute turnip strips)

nori: one 8×8″ sheet

soy sauce: 1 or 2 tsp to taste

Boil water and soy sauce. Add oatmeal. Remove from heat, stir in potato flakes. When it looks like it’s the right consistency (a little pasty), taste it to see if it needs more soy, or other seasoning, set aside to cool.

Lay out the nori sheet on flexible plastic, or a sheet of plastic wrap. Smear the cooled oatmeal paste onto a flexible plastic sheet so that it’s in an 8×8″ square. It’s easier to do this on something other than the nori.

Flip the plastic sheet with the oatmeal over onto the nori and gently peel the sheet off of the oatmeal, leaving the oatmeal on the nori. Add the strips of cheese and rutabaga across the oatmeal like they were avocado in a California Roll.

Roll up the nori sheet, allow to rest, slice. Serve as you would California Roll sushi.

Result: Very tasty. I ate the whole thing, which ruined my dinner. Seaweed taste was dominant, just the way it is in a California Roll. Cheese flavor adds highlights, with the rutabaga the ingredient that makes one say “Hmmm”. Should go well with a slightly chilled Gewürztraminer, or a glass of Iron City beer.

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4 Responses to “NoriOats: Minnesota Roll”

  1. Kurt Says:

    I have to try this now, although I’m going to see if I can cook the steel cut oats enough to make them sticky. Some brands are more glutinous than others–I’ve had good luck with the Bob’s Red Mill brand, while the oats out of the Winco bulk bin can have the staying power of pencil erasers. I’ve been munching on dry nori with lunch and eat a lot of oats in the breakfast cycle, so this seems like a natural mix. More like brown rice but perhaps with a tasted flavor.

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