As I’ve mentioned before, I have been working on upping my salad game and so, the trend continues into a new week. I had a dental appointment today which was, let’s just say, less than quick & easy. We went grocery shopping today because tomorrow is my release day for my newest novel, and it was 32 degrees Celsius all day.
So what else is an exhausted, overheated vegan, author and wife to do? Salad.
But I wanted to do something a little bit different from what I usually do, while also making a salad that was substantial enough to satisfy.
Enter, vegan sushi salad bowl. We probably need a better name, don’t we?
Yeah, but this is the name we got and I promise, the dish tastes much better than the title.
There are quite a few components to this vegan salad recipe, but it’s not difficult at all. Honestly, this recipe is all about the prep work. If you’re willing to prep, this is another easy vegan recipe you can add to your repertoire.
Since everything in this vegan sushi dish is separate, I’ll just walk you through how I did it.
Starting with the lettuce. Chop and weigh the lettuce, rinse & spin it until dry and then set aside.
Next, the smoked tofu. It needs to marinate and since there’s still a ton of chopping to be done, this gives you at least fifteen minutes to let the tofu sit in the marinade which is made up of: soy sauce, mustard, sriracha, smoky paprika, minced garlic, black pepper, 5 spice.
Cabbage is next. I sliced about 225 grams of green cabbage (or white, depending on where you’re located in this world) and one medium onion. Sauté them in a skillet over medium-high heat, seasoning with turmeric, curry, garlic, salt & black pepper, and a splash of soy sauce. When the cabbage is tender, cover the skillet and turn off the heat, but leave it on the hot burner so it’s at least warm for serving.
On a side note, I didn’t use oil to sauté the cabbage, just a bit of water and vegan Worcestershire for flavor and to make sure everything didn’t stick right off the bat.
And now we’re on to the raw veggies! But before we get to that, pre-heat the oven for the tofu and measure the water and rice. I only used 100 grams of rice for 2 people and I tossed in about 15 grams of dried wakame to give the dish a little bit extra sushi flair.
Cook the tofu until crisp, about 7 minutes on each side, at 200C/400F with heat on the top and bottom.
Cook rice according to instructions, but just in case you decide to add the wakame to your rice, don’t make the mistake I did. I added it to the water as it came up to a boil, but I think it would have been better to add it with the rice because the rice was softer than I wanted it to be, but now that I think about it, it did have a solid sushi rice texture.
For the cucumber: cut out the seeds and give a medium size slice. Add a pinch of salt to bring out the delicious and fresh cucumber flavor.
For the carrots: My initial plan was to slice the carrots but after peeling the skin off, I just kept going until there was nothing left to peel and I was left with beautiful carrot ribbons, using a peeler. Add salt, pepper and rice vinegar, toss and set aside.
I highly recommend pickled ginger because it tastes good and goes very well with the soy dipping sauce, a la soy sauce & wasabi.
For the dipping sauce: Soy sauce, regular mustard, seed mustard, Sriracha, grated or powder ginger, lime juice.
Add scallions of course, because everyone knows they are a much better garnish than parsley.
Sorry, not sorry, parsley.
Now it’s time to plate it all up, and this is where you can be as creative as you want to be. For me, I decided to take up the challenge of creating a visually pleasing plate, because this is a weakness of mine and I’m determined to get over it. ASAP.
Starting with the bed of lettuce on the bottom and the rice in the center, add each component around the rice separately because not only is it pretty to look at, but it gives the eater the choice of what to eat together and what to keep separate. In that way, it’s perfect for the picky eaters in your life.
And that’s pretty much it for the vegan sushi roll. Spread the dipping sauce on top or dip it like sushi, the choice is yours, but you do get extra points if you eat your vegan salad with chopsticks the way I did!
And the best part of all, aside from how good it tastes? It’s calorie and figure friendly!