Monday, March 31, 2014

SUSHI SALAD BOWL


 I do variations on this dish constantly. The most important part is the rice, and then almost anything could be added (within reason). It's seasoned sushi rice, layered with pieces of sushi paper, mixed and topped with things. Here, I've topped it with fried zucchini, roast garlic beans, and panko tofu. I'm going to include the rice and tofu recipe below. It's also great with plain baked tofu, avocado, shredded carrot, roast mushrooms, shredded daikon - there's no limit! Which is good for me because I basically only cook things that are versatile and make use of whatever already exists in my fridge.


Tasty Panko Tofu

Ingredients:
1 pack firm tofu
1/4 C soy sauce
2 Tbs miso
1/2 C + 1 C water, separated
2 C panko (possibly more - I would just make sure I have about a half a package available to me)
1 C flour

Note: if you operate with forethought, which I rarely do, marinating the tofu for a long while first would make this tastier. In that case, press the tofu (a good how-to is here) and then execute steps 2 and 3.

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C
2. Mix miso, soy sauce and 1/2 C water. Set aside. You really could mix in anything tasty here. Hot sauce, sesame oil, mirin, lemon juice. I like to mix in some seaweed. It gives it a slightly fish-like flavour.
3. Cut up the tofu into cubes. Add to the water-soy-miso mixture. If you are making sushi rice, start that now.
4. Put the flour in a bowl
5. Put the panko in a bowl
6. Put the remaining water in a bowl.
7. Get out your baking dish. A jelly roll tray or cookie sheet or  9x13 should work fine. No need to spray.
8. Arrange your bowls and baking dish. Your process is going to go: tofu, flour, water, panko, baking dish. If you like clarity and organization, I'd put them in a line. Get ready to have your hands covered in flour-paste and panko.
9.  Take a few pieces of tofu, toss them in the flour.  
10. Take the flour coated pieces of tofu, and dip them in water.
11. Take the pasty pieces of tofu, and coat them in panko. 
12. Place the tofu on the baking dish. 
13. Repeat steps 9-12 until all the tofu is done
14. Put in the oven and bake until golden. It's normally about 15 minutes. 
15. If you're making rice for a bowl, it should be almost done cooking. This is when I prepare the fresh vegetables. It's ok if the rice sits on the stovetop for a little while while you finish slicing/chopping/grating etc other things. 


Rice
Ingredients:

1 1/2 c sushi rice
3 c water
3 sheets nori
1/2 c mirin
1/3 c rice vinegar
1/2 c sesame seeds
soy sauce or braggs - however much you enjoy


1. Cook the sushi rice. I'm so lazy, I just put the rice and water together, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. I know people use other more sophisticated methods, but this method has always worked fine. In the golden age of my early adulthood, I had a rice cooker and plenty of counter space. That glory has run dry, so I now have to go stovetop. Once this is done, prepare other ingredients. If you're making panko tofu, go back to that recipe.

2. Add the rice vinegar slowly, and once you've added about a quarter cup, taste it and see how the vinegar levels seem. They'll settle a bit once you add the mirin and let the rice sit, but don't ruin your tasty rice with too much vinegar.

3. Add the mirin. I'm crazy about mirin. You might want to taste it a bit while your adding it, but it's a cooking wine, so I don't know how you could add too much.

4. Add the sesame seeds and soy sauce to taste. You can also add the soy sauce to individual bowls so people can do whatever they like. 

5. Stir it up! 

6. Put a couple spoonfuls into bowls. Grab a sheet of nori, and rip it up. I generally rip it into squares that are about 2" x 2", but it's fun, so just have fun and rip it however. Place on the rice. Try to keep each little square quasi separate from another. You don't want them to clump together too much, although I honestly really enjoy the extra chewy bits of seaweed.

7. Put on another layer of rice. Repeat step 6. And then another layer of rice.

8. Now your rice base is complete!

9. Top with fresh or cooked ingredients.

Note: I added this sauce I got at the Asian grocery. It was ok. The sauce is obviously for sashimi or something, but it is vegan! I might not try it on this particular dish again, but it's in my fridge so I'm committed to doing something with it. 







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