This meal was inspired by the Spicy Sushi Bowl in Vegan Bowl Attack!: More than 100 One-Dish Meals Packed with Plant-Based Power by the author of the blog, Vegan Yack Attack.
My kids have always loved Japanese food – my husband and I lived in Japan for a couple years early in our relationship and we’re nostalgic about the food and culture. My picky eater has always been a fan of cucumber rolls and they eat edamame like peanuts. The flavours of Japanese food are as familiar to them as Canadian food – going out for sushi has always been a special treat for us.
So the first time I made this sushi bowl for them (without the spicy mayonnaise topping – I saved that for the grown-ups), I was pleasantly surprised when it was a hit! Rice, edamame, cucumber, mango, avocado and nori cut in strips – what’s not to love?! It’s like sushi night without all the fuss.
Tonight’s meal doesn’t follow the recipe – we’re making it based on the ingredients we have on hand and with a different sauce. The spicy mayonnaise is great but when I have sushi, it’s the wasabi flavour I crave for the extra kick. So instead of a Sriracha-flavoured mayo, I’m making a wasabi mayo. It starts with an excellent homemade vegan mayonnaise.
The vegan mayos available at the grocery store are great but they’re not cheap. So when I got The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples, it paid for itself quickly through its Classic eggless mayonnaise recipe. It takes about five minutes to turn soy milk, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and oil into a great mayo. The book has a lot of other great recipes too – author Miyoko Schinner is known for her vegan cheeses. I highly recommend it.
Spicy Wasabi Mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons wasabi
Blend and chill while the other food is being prepped.
To assemble the bowl, we started with brown rice and topped it with edamame, sweet potato, cucumber, avocado and cubed tofu that we fried in garlic, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce. I cut a nori sheet into strips and sprinkled them liberally on top of the bowl with sesame seeds. My daughter had a bit of the wasabi mayonnaise, which wasn’t very spicy but was a nice blend of flavoured that tied the bowl together nicely.
More on frying tofu
If you haven’t fried tofu much, it couldn’t be simpler. Fry the garlic and ginger in sesame oil until browned and fragrant and add the cubed tofu. Fry it on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the edges are crispy. When it looks ready to eat, add a few splashes of soy sauce and continue to cook until the sauce is absorbed. The tofu will absorb the flavours it’s fried in so feel free to change the flavours according to your preferences.
Other options for topping your sushi bowl: grated carrots, fried shiitake mushrooms, mango or steamed broccoli. You can set out all the toppings and let the kids top their rice as they please – that way, they’re more likely to eat their whole dinner without complaining. Good luck and enjoy!