For a cool meal with a little “Wow factor” try these “mocki-rolls.” I substituted steamed Swiss chard for Nori and quinoa for rice. Fillings are limited only by your imagination. I used cooked egg, cucumber, pickled chard stems and steamed shrimp. The key is to steam the chard until just tender enough to be pliable. With the first batch I made, the chard steamed too long and it became too flimsy to hold together.

Be sure to assemble all your ingredients before you start. Once you start handling the chard leaves you won’t have time to hunt down ingredients.

Makes 2 rolls – 8 pieces
Serve one as an appetizer or two as a light entrée

1 cup (250 ml) quinoa (you will have extra)
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Rice wine vinegar
1 small (6″ – 15 cm) cucumber peeled, seeded and cut length-wise into narrow strips
8 medium shrimp – steamed or boiled then cooled/chilled
2 teaspoons (10 ml) butter – Divided
1 egg scrambled
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Sriracha sauce
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons (60 ml) Panko Bread crumbs

  1. Prepare 1 cup of dried quinoa following package instructions. When finished fluff with a fork and sprinkle a little rice wine vinegar over the top. Set aside.
  2. Make an egg omelet by heating 1 teaspoon of butter until melted in small pan, add scrambled egg and swirl pan to make a thin omelet. As soon as bottom sets, flip omelet and take off the heat. Allow to cool and cut into thin strips. Set aside.
  3. Wipe out the pan, add remaining 1 teaspoon (5 ml) butter and heat over medium heat until butter melts. Add breadcrumbs and toss or gently stir to coat, continue to heat until crumbs toast and turn golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl combine the sriracha and the mayonnaise. Set aside.
  5. Using a sharp knife remove tough stems from the Chard leaves.
  6. In a large pot with a lid, add water to a depth of about an inch, put in a steamer basket, put the lid on and heat over high heat until water is boiling, add chard leaves and wilt until pliable but not falling apart – about 2-4 minutes. Remove leaves and gently blot dry on paper towels or tea cloth – don’t use terry cloth towels.
  7. Lay softened chard leaves flat on a cutting board. Cut chard leaves into squares about 6×8 (the short edge facing you) – overlap as needed.
  8. Put cooked quinoa in a thin layer on half the leaf closest to you. Be sure to go edge to edge to the sides.
  9. Add some filings (strips of omelet, cucumber, shrimp) on top of the quinoa and parallel to the bottom edge. Carefully roll it up, starting at the edge nearest to you, use a maki roll roller if you have one or just carefully roll it over. You want the roll tight but be careful not to burst or break it.
  10. To serve, cut the end off each roll (use your sharpest knife) to clean it up then cut roll in half and then each half in half again to make 4 pieces. Top with sriracha mayo and toasted panko crumbs.
  11. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make a second roll.
  12. Serve to applause.

NOTES: Eat these right away. Cooked quinoa is not as sticky as sushi rice and as it cools it gets fluffier.