Sunday, March 6, 2011

Vegan Sushi & Nappa Cabbage Salad

Our dinner guest tonight is allergic to fish and naturally never eats sushi. What a great way to introduce vegan fare to an unsuspecting Dutch Canadian. He grew up in the same small town as my husband in the Netherlands and now lives in Ontario. The two of them were delighted with this Japanese meal. I may not have the sushi recipe correct because I didn't research it; I merely experimented in the kitchen until I was satisfied. The first time it was way too bland to blog about it. I bought diakon radish sprouts and enoki mushrooms to dress it up this time.

Vegan Sushi

Japanese (sticky) rice 1 cup

Sushi nori sheets

Firm tofu soaked in teriyaki sauce

Spicy daikon radish sprouts

Enoki mushrooms

Carrot thinly sliced

Avocado thinly sliced

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions at least an hour beforehand. Do not substitute regular rice! You need the short grain, starchy kind that will stick together. I use Cal Rose grown here in California. Trader Joes sells a tofu already soaked in teriyaki, but it could use even more flavor and soaking in additional sauces...why not experiment! You could even just soak your tof in soy sauce too.

  2. Chop tofu, carrot, and avocado in long strips. Break up enoki mushrooms into similar portions. Lay out sprouts and cooked rice at your working area.

  3. Cut seaweed nori sheets to match the length of your tofu. See below how to load up ingredients onto each sheet. The bottom of the sheet will be in the center of sushi roll. Leave at least an inch at top to overlap. Dip your finger in water and touch along the top edge, this will seal the nori sheet together.

  4. Roll carefully. Too soft of pressure will produce loose, and sloppy rolls that fall apart. Too much pressure will tear the seaweed. Use bamboo mat or wax paper lined place mat to help control this process. Check ends, by filling any gaps with more rice, or perhaps you will want to trim off excess vegetables protruding? Chill rolls 10 minutes at least before you slice.

    The above is a picture of the first batch of vegan sushi. Here I only put tofu, green onions, and red cabbage, but it tasted bland. What follows is one of my favorite salads. Plenty of carbohydrate crunch mixed with an oriental vinaigrette. A friend who married into a Japanese family gave me this recipe. However, SHE travelled to LA's Little Tokyo district to buy her favorite ramen noodles. I found some vegetable ramen in my regular grocery store, but feel free to investigate your local Asian market for just the right kind of ramen.

Nappa Cabbage Salad

1 large head of nappa salad

3 green onions chopped

3/4 cup slivered almonds

1 package Nissin Ramen (uncooked)

3 tablespoons sesame seed oil

Chop nappa cabbage and green onions and add almonds. Take out ramen noodles, discard the seasoning and chop or break up the dried noodles into the salad. Toss altogether with the sesame seed oil. Add the dressing and serve immediately. It's best to only combine what you will eat; this salad doesn't keep well, because the noodles and almonds lose crispness.

Sesame Vinaigrette

1/2 cup light vinegar

4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 light oil

2 tablespoons sesame seed oil

1 teaspoon pepper

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