Another sushi bowl

IMG_5342.JPG

Everyone around us is sick. People at my office, kids at school – it seems the flu is going around. It’s in times like this that it’s so important to eat whole foods and veggies in every colour of the rainbow. I’m convinced that the extra servings of veggies helps us fight off infection.

This bowl was inspired by sushi – it’s not the same as my previous sushi bowl recipe – this one has roasted tofu, sweet potato, bok choy and king mushrooms. I’ve included the veggies from all our favourite sushi rolls. We crumbled nori on top but only remembered after I took the photos and we had dug in. These are the flavours we love so the meal disappeared quickly!

IMG_5338

My son’s bowl has cubed roasted tofu, sweet potato, cucumber, red pepper, grated carrots, avocado and sesame seeds over white rice.

IMG_5341

My daughter’s bowl has the same but also includes bok choy. The tofu was marinated in a couple tablespoons of white miso, 1/4 cup soy sauce, a tablespoon of mirin and a tablespoon of sesame oil. I let it sit in the marinade while the oven preheated to 350 F and then just poured it all on a cookie sheet and cooked it, flipping once, for about 20 minutes. They’re savoury and delicious.

IMG_5342

The grown-ups had spicy king mushrooms as well. The recipe is from The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East: 150 Asian-Inspired Recipes–from Soba Noodles to Summer Rolls. They had a spicy sauce that was really nice with the rest of the meal.

This kind of a meal really works well with kids who like to keep their flavours separate. Everything may be touching (this can be an issue) but it’s easy to pile in only the foods you know your kid will eat. It’s nice to encourage new foods but every meal doesn’t have to include a challenge to overcome. This meal has lots of variety and points of entry with kid-friendly foods (cucumber, shredded carrots, avocado, sweet potato, white rice).

Sushi Bowl

Sushi flavours in a rice bowl
Brown rice bowl with cucumber, avocado, edamame, sweet potato, tofu, strips of nori and sesame seeds.

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.

Vegan Sushi Bowl

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!