SSI Roll

The annual Brown Family beach ritual (which lately includes the Newmans and Whites) experienced yet another twist this year, with the addition of tapas nite. Being at St. Simon’s Island, each family chose two dishes influenced by south Georgia and/or coastal fare.  Stealing a couple of ideas from outings earlier in the week, I decided on a fried okra sushi.  The roll was simple, southern, and surprisingly good.  Having never tried such a sushi roll, it was a theoretical exercise in what i imagined would work well together.  The ingredients for the roll were:

  • sushi rice
  • fresh collard greens
  • fresh fried okra
  • cream cheese
  • finely chopped roasted peanuts

The collards were fresh, cooked for around 45 minutes prior to assembling the roll, and were used in place of seaweed (nori) on the inside of the roll.  The chopped roasted peanuts were used on the outside of the roll, in place of fish roe or sesame seed.  The final touch was more difficult.  I expected to replace the soy dipping sauce with a bourbon-based sauce.  I first used a half cup of bourbon with a couple of tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, reduced on the cooktop.  This mixture was extremely tart, and nowhere near the sweetness I expected from the bourbon.  I added a tablespoon of refined sugar, which balanced it somewhat, but the final touch turned out to be the ridiculously hot jalepeno sauce that JW made for his burnt-end eggrolls.  After mixing a teaspoon into the bourbon reduction, it balanced out much better – yes, more acid did the trick.  The St. Simon’s Roll was born.


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