Tuesday, August 14, 2012

About a year ago one of my hula friends posted a You Tube video of Jake Shimabukuro playing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody on the ukulele. It delighted me, maybe you will find it uplifting too. Here is the link:


Well, who should come to the Plaza Theater in sleepy Carpinteria, on Valentine's eve 2012, but the very same Jake Shimabukuro! My Hawaiin enthusiast gal pal, saw the marquee, and bought two tickets the same day. Lucky for me because the 200-seat venue was sold out on a Monday night. We got there early and snagged front row seats. Now, how can you be entertained by only one guy and his four string ukulele you might ask? Well, obviously you haven't yet checked out his video yet. Which is how he made his start. He told us that six years ago he posted a four minute arrangement of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, by the Beatles (just in case you were born yesterday); causing a sensation and the start of his tours and music CDs. He is truly a virtuoso! Making this simple intrument sound like a Spanish guitar or a Japanese koto at times. He was born in Hawaii and started playing the ukulele when he was four years old. It's so rare to see someone make a living off of art.Bravo young man! I wish him all the success he deserves.

One of the oddities of Hawaiian cuisine is musube, a sushi like roll of fried spam and sticky rice. My husband loves it. I wondered what could replace the ham. Is there a soy ham product out there? Would I be sorely dissapointed like the rest of the fake meat that can't fool me at all. Perhaps a sweet potato or yam steamed, boiled or baked and left over from the meal before would fry up nicely. 

Naturally, I would need test subjects, and who better than my Dutch husband and his childhood friend from the Village of Blijswyk Netherlands. They prefer to eat animals, to the vegitarian diet, so I really have to appeal to the fatty, fried, salty, sweet taste of pork, or they wouldn't like it.

One night I served true spam Musube along side the vegan meat substitute version. Surprisingly, both men ate up both. I could appreciate that the vegan version had a tofu texture, but only slightly. The flavor of the Wild Wood Oganic's brand really tasted good fried in Sweet Soy sauce. I use the the Conimex brand of Ketjap Manis sauce and we buy it at Asian groceries. A simple spring or two of chives or just the greens from green onions add spicy crunch along with the toasted sesame seeds; just pop 1-2 tablespoons in a pan --no oil for 2 minutes or so, until you start to smell aroma. This Vegan Musube is pictured above. You start by cooking up Asian sticky rice.

Vegan Musube

1 1/2  cup Cooked short grain rice. I use Cal Rose brand, but any brand cooked to be sticky, by adding a bit more water.
2 green onions, or a bit of chives
toasted sesame seeds
flavored firm tofu, sliced thickly
Norri strips of seaweed, cut down to tofu width

1. Lay the strips of seaweed either into a sushi maker, on onto a flat surface.
2.Layer 1 tablespoon of sticky rice onto middle of seaweed strip.
3. Put a slice of tofu onto this, then add a sprig or two of chives or green onions.
4. Top with another tablespoon of sticky rice, and wrap the seaweed around, to make a sushi square.
roll in sesame seeds and serve or refrigerate immediately.

I tried this recipe again with fried yams in the sweet soy sauce and it worked and tasted equally satisfying next to real pork Musube. So feel free to experiment with vegan sushi. Add radish sprouts, lemon basil or chillies for different flavors.  


No comments:

Post a Comment