A lovely light starter course or light lunch with brown sushi rice wrapped in nori and filled with baked tofu and blanched veggies, with lots of protein and complex carbs to give you staying power.
Makes 3-4 servings
2, 1/4-inch slices extra firm tofu, cut into 4 spears
Organic soy sauce
light sesame oil
2 teaspoons fresh ginger juice
spring or filtered water
1 ½ cups short grain brown rice, rinsed well
3 cups spring or filtered water
3 pinches sea salt
3 thin cucumber spears
½ cup shredded red cabbage, blanched
3 sheets toasted nori
Marinate the tofu by placing tofu spears in a shallow bowl and cover with water. Season lightly with soy sauce and sesame oil and add ginger juice. Allow tofu to marinate for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400o. Drain tofu (reserving marinade) and spread tofu spears on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, uncovered, until browned. Set aside.
Prepare the rice by placing the rice and water in a heavy pot. Cover loosely and bring to a boil. Add salt and reduce heat to low. Cook until all liquid has been absorbed, 30-40 minutes. Transfer rice to a bowl, fluffing with a rice paddle or wooden spoon, so the rice doesn’t clump. Set aside to cool.
While the rice and tofu cook, bring a pot of water to a boil and blanche cabbage for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain well and toss cabbage with a generous sprinkle of red wine vinegar. This will give the cabbage a delicate sour taste and a beautiful pink color. Set aside.
To assemble the sushi, place nori, shiny side against a bamboo sushi mat or tea towel. Press one-third of the cooked rice onto the nori, spreading evenly to cover, except for one inch of nori on the side furthest from you. On the edge of rice closest to you, spread a thin layer of mustard. Lay tofu spears end to end to cover the width of the nori. Lay a cucumber spear next to the tofu and on top of that a thin strip of cabbage.
Using the mat as a guide, roll the nori around the rice and filling, pressing gently as you roll, creating a firm, filled cylinder. Moisten the exposed nori with water to seal the roll shut. Lay the roll on a dry surface, seam side down. Moisten the blade of a wet knife and slice the roll into eight equal pieces. Repeat with the balance of ingredients to create three rolls. Arrange pieces, cut side up on a platter. Serve with the tofu marinade on the side to be used as dipping sauce.
COOK’S TIP: You can purchase packaged baked tofu in most natural food stores or supermarkets so you can save this step in the recipe process.