Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sushi Rice Salad, Avocado Carrot Sushi Rolls, Miso Soup


When I saw a recipe for Sushi Rice Salad I was unimpressed, but just perhaps it could be interesting (I thought) if I tweaked it a bit and, after all, I did have some left-over sushi rice in the refrigerator . . . .

It was sensational!

I hadn't been able to use all the rice I'd cooked for sushi, and, ever frugal about such things, I'd stuck it in the refrigerator for another day. It was therefore already seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar and salt. I carefully separated it out with a fork (it hadn't clumped together as much as I'd have thought) and put it with a tsp or two of water on low at the back of the stove to heat through. (Next time, though, I'll do it 'properly' and cook the rice fresh and keep it warm until the rest of the 'salad' is made.

I used about half a pound of asparagus, cut in thin rounds, which I stirred around in a skillet in the tiniest bit of oil for around three minutes tops. (I rather like young raw asparagus, the the recipe had said to lightly cook it so I did.) It needs to be still quite firm, I think. The avocado was diced and the seaweed chopped into small pieces. The real trick was a wonderful dressing of wasabi, tamari, miso, lemon juice and zest, and chopped pickled ginger.

With the dressing in a bowl large enough to contain all ingredients with room to toss them, I added the asparagus and avocado, mixed well, then added the warmed rice and tossed it all together carefully. The topping was some lightly toasted sesame seeds.

I found the recipe in Bill Jones, Chef's Salad (2003), which I should add is not a vegetarian cookbook but has lots of good recipes suitable for vegetarians and vegans (and others could be adapted).

I'll be making this 'salad' again and again. Wonderful!


Just for the record, I am continuing with practicing the fine art of rolling my own sushi - so quick once I got the hang of it. I'm working on getting the shape right, sort of squared off, now. These are still rather rounded, and tasted none the worse for that. It's simply strips of avocado and matchsticks of carrot together. These are of course served with wasabi, tamari and pickled ginger. I'm likely to be showing you more and more of these pretty things, so bear with me!

And finally a simple soup:


I had found some miso soup cubes that were vegan (not easy to get cubes or powder without the bonito) and wanted to give them a try. One cube for two of us worked fine, and I added some miso paste too - brown miso, as it happened. After heating the broth with a couple of 'coins' of fresh ginger, a shake of chili flakes and the sliced mushrooms ( mushrooms therefore a little less raw but still good and firm), I added the miso (which I dissolved in a couple or so tablespoons of the broth first), careful not to let it boil. Silken tofu went into the bowls with some shredded baby spinach (just a handful) and a little finely sliced green onion. Next time (which just happens to be this evening, I think) I shall probably add more tofu and also some noodles.

The thing about these kinds of soups is that they are most forgiving. Japanese style is, of course, a little at variance with my own method, but I was working for taste and enjoyment here rather than trying to copy a cuisine. Well, that's my line and I'm sticking to it :)


Catherine said...

I had a former coworker and retired chef once tell me, "you don't make miso soup -- you make vegetable soup with miso in it." Well, la-dee-da, I like my version better! I always add mushrooms, greens, and tofu to my miso soup, too!

urban vegan said...

I am SOOOO craving Japanese food right now... you temptress ;)