I simply have to share a story with you (don’t worry – this won’t take all day).
When I was investigating the “international” aisle of the supermarket, I was about to grab a packet of nori sheets off the shelves when a – let’s say “well-padded” – person pushed me out the way. The woman grabbed the packet of nori sheets I was reaching for, turned to her companion and said:
“I was reading on a blog that you should use these seaweed wraps instead of bread. Otherwise you can use big lettuce leaves.”
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling a little annoyed, having been pushed out the way – normally that kind of behavior doesn’t happen until 10 minutes before the store closes (then all hell breaks loose). But I wasn’t about to complain to the woman (that’s just not my style).
However, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on the rest of the conversation between this pushy woman and her friend.
Pushy Woman: “Maybe I should get two packets [of nori sheets].”
Friend: “What about these round ‘Rice Paper Wrappers’?”
Pushy Woman: “No, no! That’s rice. It has gluten in it!”
Ok people, that was too far. I couldn’t let that one slide.
Me: “Um, sorry to interrupt but I have to tell you that rice doesn’t contain gluten. And it says ‘Gluten-Free’ on the packet.”
Seriously, the words “Gluten-Free” were in capital letters.
Want to know the pushy woman’s response? “Oh. Well, it’s still bad for you.”
Yeesh! As you can probably guess from the above pictures, I certainly don’t think rice is bad for you!
And as someone who’s annoying digestive system can only handle a small amount of gluten before it throws a tantrum, I’m always amazed when other people (a) voluntarily avoid gluten, and (b) clearly don’t know what gluten is. Man, I’d eat bread every single day if my body would let me.
Notwithstanding, my gluten intolerance is one of the reasons why I try to make different foods – like sushi!
This clearly isn’t a breakfast recipe and I won’t pretend that it is (although… there’s no rule saying that you can’t eat sushi for breakfast). So I hope you’ll forgive me for my once-in-a-blue-moon non-breakfast recipes!
To me, it doesn’t seem like the end of the universe if I post non-breakfast recipes every so often (besides, my Dad ate the last recipe for dessert rather than breakfast!). But I’d like to know what you think: occasional non-breakfast recipes – yay or nay?
I never intended to post a sushi recipe. All I wanted was to make some interesting vegetarian sushi (I’m so sick of cucumber rolls!) But after I tried the Soy-Glazed Tofu – and particularly once I tried a sushi roll – I knew this recipe simply must be shared.
Rolling sushi rolls may seem a little intimidating, but it’s surprisingly easy once you get the hand of it. Making sushi rolls just goes like this:
Place a thin layer of prepared rice on the nori sheet – about 1 cup of cooked rice.
Arrange the tofu and carrot in a horizontal line.
Add some green veggies for good measure.
Place a few drops of water on the exposed nori sheet (i.e. the bit without rice). Fold the roll over (upwards, or away from you). Then keep rolling until it’s a nice tube.
And voilà! Either slice in half for two sushi rolls, or slice into smaller (and easier to eat) pieces.
If all that rolling isn’t for you, or you simply don’t like (or have) nori sheets, then don’t despair! The sushi bowl comes to the rescue!
A sushi bowl is pretty much a deconstructed sushi roll. Except you can add more fillings! As an added bonus, it’s something you can eat either hot or cold. As much as I love sushi rolls, there’s something super comforting about assembling my own sushi bowl and nuking it in the microwave until nice and warm.
And then there’s the tofu! (Don’t worry, tofu haters. I don’t post many tofu recipes – in fact, this is only the second tofu recipe I’ve ever posted; the first was this one).
The recipe for Soy-Glazed Tofu yields a bit more tofu than you’ll need for six sushi rolls (unless you want some seriously tofu-stuffed rolls!). The reason for this is pretty simple: if you’re making sushi bowls, the more tofu the better.
Regardless of whether you’re a long-time tofu eater or are a tofu newbie looking for a tasty tofu recipe to cut your teeth on (not literally!), I can highly recommend this tofu. The tofu is frozen and then thawed, resulting in a chewy – and dare I say it, meaty – texture. Add the salty-sweet sauce and you’re in flavor country!
The sauce completely coats the tofu turns into a glaze. In fact, I came up with the name “Soy-Glazed Tofu” after my brother walked into the kitchen and exclaimed, “Is that glazed pig?!” He was sorely disappointed to discover that I was cooking tofu, and not some medieval pig dish.
This recipe should be enough for six sushi rolls. But let me explain the nitty-gritty of that:
- Generally speaking, 1 cup of uncooked sushi (short-grain) rice yields 3 cups cooked.
- 1 nori sheet (i.e. seaweed) usually requires 1 cup of cooked sushi rice to create 2 sushi rolls
Y’all with me on that?
If your rice doesn’t expand as much or you’d prefer super rice-y sushi rolls, then you’ll end up with 4-5 sushi rolls. How can you end up with five sushi rolls? Just cut a nori sheet in half.
One more technical note: The recipe calls for sushi vinegar, which is not the same as rice vinegar.
- Sushi Vinegar = Rice Vinegar + Sugar + Salt
So you can make your own sushi vinegar if all you’ve got is rice vinegar, but I decided it was just easier to buy pre-made sushi vinegar (it was right there in the supermarket next to the nori sheets).
And that’s it from me! Enjoy the sushi!
P.S. If you make this recipe, please let me know! I always love to hear how my recipes turn out. So I’d absolutely love it if you’d leave a comment, or tag me on Instagram (either @professorclaude or #breakfastdramaqueen). Thanks everyone!
- 1 cup uncookied sushi rice or short-grain rice
- 2 - 3 tablespoons sushi vinegar
- 3 nori (seaweed) sheets
- Soy-Glazed Tofu (recipe follows)
- 1 carrot, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 zucchini, sliced into matchsticks
- Soy sauce, to serve
- Rinse the rice under cold water, and then cook according to packet instructions.
- Transfer the rice to a large bowl or dish, and fluff up with a fork. Add 2 tablespoons of sushi vinegar to the hot rice, and gently stir it through the rice. Taste, and add more vinegar if desired. Let cool completely.
- Place one nori sheet horizontally on a bamboo mat (in a pinch, use a dish towel wrapped in plastic). Using wet hands, place 1 cup of cooled rice on the nori sheet and spread it out evenly. Leave approximately 1-inch of space on the top and bottom of the nori sheet.
- Arrange strips of cooled Soy-Glazed Tofu, carrots and zucchini in a horizontal line in the middle of the rice.
- Roll the sushi: Use your fingertips to place a tiny bit of water on the top of the nori sheet (the part without any rice). Fold the bottom of the nori sheet over, and squeeze (about ¾ of the nori sheet should be folded over). Continue rolling the sushi roll until it seals itself.
- Slice the sushi: Either slice the sushi roll in half to end up with 2 rolls, or slice into 8 - 10 pieces. Use a very sharp, wet knife.
- Repeat Steps 3 - 6 with the remaining two nori sheets and fillings.
- Serve the sushi with soy sauce, if desired. Enjoy!
Follow Steps 1 and 2 of the recipe. Place ½ - 1 cup of cooked rice in the middle of each bowl (there’s enough rice for 3 - 6 bowls). Top with strips of Soy-Glazed Tofu, carrots, zucchini and any other ingredients you’d like (spinach, other vegetables, avocado, etc.). Serve with soy sauce, if desired.
- 8 oz. (225g) firm tofu, frozen and thawed
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetarian “oyster sauce”
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup, agave or honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch (cornflour)
- Slice the tofu into strips (you will end up with approximately 12-16). Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Grease the skillet with cooking oil spray. Add the tofu. Cook for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Adjust the stove heat as needed to prevent burning.
- Meanwhile, in a small dish whisk together the soy sauce, “oyster sauce”, maple syrup, sesame oil and cornstarch. If the cornstarch doesn’t dissolve easily, microwave the mixture for 10-20 seconds, and whisk again.
- Add the soy sauce mixture to the tofu. Cook the tofu for 2-5 more minutes, gently stirring to coat. When ready, the tofu should be well coated and the sauce should be thick and no longer watery.
- Transfer the tofu to a dish or plate. Cool completely before using in sushi rolls.