Wednesday, April 29, 2015

tofu musubi + ginger turmeric teriyaki sauce

I think I am going to add a new category to my blog pages; vegan version. Take something that is not at all vegan and make a vegan version of it. I have a head start because I have a some vegan versions on the blog already; my vegan "meat" ballsvegan nachos, and vegan tofu quiche, just to name a few.

But this one is my new favorite. No, its not bursting with nutrients and leafy greens, but it is a super fun and much healthier version of a popular Hawaiian convenience food; the spam musubi. If you aren't familiar with the original spam musubi it consists of a block of white rice topped with teriyaki marinated and fried spam, wrapped in a strip of nori seaweed. It's not something that I have eaten in at lease five years, nor have I ever craved one since. But I have always wanted to recreate it in a healthy vegan way.

There are actually little devices to shape musubis, but a small rectangular container (or a spam can) and a bit if plastic wrap or parchment paper will get the job done!

To start with, you are going to need some brown sushi rice.
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp water
Cook the rice normally (2:1 water to rice) and add the rice vinegar and extra water at the end, cook until moisture has been absorbed by the rice and is nice and sticky. Chill to room temp.

Now for the tofu. Cut tofu into pieces about 1/4 inch thick and the size of a piece of spam, or the size of the rectangular container you are using to shape your rice. Basically, you want the tofu to be the same shape as your rice block. This recipe made 5 rice blocks, so I fried 5 pieces of tofu.

I just dipped the pieces of tofu in soy sauce and then coated them in a little mixture of nutritional yeast, chili powder, and garlic powder. Fry the tofu in a little bit of coconut oil until crispy and set aside to cool.

Now make the sauce. This is not really "teriyaki", but it is perfect for dipping tofu musubis! It is also packed with anti-inflammatory powers from ginger and turmeric.
  • 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1" piece of fresh turmeric (or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • chili flakes (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp Bragg's amino acids or soy sauce (or one Tbsp of each)
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 dates
  • 3/4 cup water
blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender. Done.

Now the fun part, the construction!

Line your container with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Spoon a large scoop of rice into the container and press down with your fingers, dipping your fingers in water so the rice doesn't stick to them. Firmly pack the rice down until you have a block about 1 1/4" tall. Repeat to make 5 rice blocks.

1 rice block + 1 piece of tofu + 1 strip of nori. Layer the tofu on the rice and then center the nori on top. Pinch down the sides so the nori sticks to the rice.

Flip your musubi. Now wet both ends of the nori strip with wet finger and seal them together. Repeat until you have 5 tofu musubis. Dip 'em in da sauce for eat local kine grinds, mmmm.

*A note about nori: because of the symbiotic organisms that live on/in/around nori, it is considered a to have substantial amounts of vitamin B12. This is great news for vegans because vitamin B12 can be hard to get without consuming animal products. So eat your seaweed! (and your musubis :))

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