Test Kitchen: Brown Rice Sushi and Miso Soup

by Rachel Priebe, Nutritional Sciences Student, Sargent College

Every Wednesday Karen Jacobs EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA hosts the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen in Stuvi 2 Apt. 2302 from 8-11pm. She invites the BU community into her home to test new Sargent Choice recipes while we cook, chat have epic board game competitions.

This week’s Sargent Choice Test Kitchen took on a decidedly Asian flair with the choice to make both sushi and miso soup.  I had never tried making any Asian cuisine before so I was a little intimidated, but dove right in.  To my surprise, this was an even easier recipe than the cobbler of last week!  All it required was a few ingredients purchased from a local Asian supermarket, and lots of chopping.  We also used brown rice instead of traditional sushi rice (in order to make the recipe Sargent Choice), but if prepared as directed it works just as well!

The best part about this dish was that it made cooking and eating a group effort.  By sharing the tasks of chopping up the different vegetables, everyone got a hand in to help make the sushi.  I could easily see this as turning into a themed party, where everyone brings their favorite vegetable or fish and sushi making could go on for hours.  The variations for different rolls were endless, so everyone was able to make the exact flavor that they wanted.  Rolling the sushi was very simple, and didn’t even require a bamboo mat (although you could use one if you wanted).

I have a confession though….we didn’t follow the recipe exactly.  But this is a good thing! Karen bought only the produce that looked best in the supermarket, and according to what flavors she wanted in her sushi.  We even used leftover peaches from last week in the sushi, which was a fun flavor twist.  The ability to vary what goes into your meal based on what is fresh and seasonal is a great lesson to learn.  Fresh and seasonal produce often tastes better, and can be found from local sources.  I support the ‘buy local’ movement, and recommend that other people try to as well.

In addition to our fabulous hand-rolled sushi, we also prepared a simple miso soup.  If you haven’t had it before, miso is a fermented soybean paste and has a savory flavor that compliments a variety of Asian flavors.  This tasty soup required only a few ingredients and took under 15 minutes to make! As always, you can vary the ingredients to your tastes, so long as you stay true to the Sargent Choice principles! Enjoy!

Sargent Choice

Miso Soup

Yield 16 servings (1/2 cup each)


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup miso paste
  • 1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 can (8 oz) sliced bamboo shoots
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tofu squares (14 oz packages), sliced into cubes
  • 12 shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ tsp ginger, freshly grated


  1. In a large pot, add miso paste to cold water and stir until mixed.
  2. Place pot on low heat and add all other ingredients
  3. Cook on low for 30 minutes.

Sargent Choice

Vegetarian Brown Rice Sushi

Yield 2 servings, 6 rolls each


  • 2/3 cup dry short-grain brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 2 (8 ¼ by 7 ¼ – inch) sheets roasted nori (dried layer)
  • ½ Kirby cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
  • ½ medium carrot, cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
  • ½ small California avocado, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • ¾ ounces radish sprouts, roots trimmed
  • 6 ounces firm tofu, cut into several long pieces


  1. Prepare brown rice as directed with 1 teaspoon soy sauce.
  2. While rice is standing, stir together vinegar and remaining teaspoon soy sauce.
  3. Transfer rice to a wide, nonmetal bowl and sprinkle with vinegar mixture. Toss gently with a large spoon to combine. Cool rice, tossing occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir together wasabi and teaspoon of water to form a stiff paste. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
  5. Arrange 1 sheet of nori shiny side down on a sushi mat lengthwise. With damp fingers, gently press half the rice onto the nori with a 1 ¾–inch border on the farthest edge.
  6. Starting 1-inch from the side nearest you, arrange half the cucumber matchsticks, carrot matchsticks, avocado slices, and tofu pieces in an even strip horizontally across the rice (You may need to cut pieces to fit). Repeat with half the radish sprouts, letting some sprout tops to extend beyond the edge.
  7. Roll the bottom edge of mat toward the top edge while holding the filling in place and pressing firmly. Continue rolling to the top and press firmly to seal roll. Let stand for 5 minutes with the seam down and cut crosswise into 6 pieces with a wet knife.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 with the second sheet of nori.



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