Last weekend I tried a new recipe from one my all time favorite recipe books: "Easy Vegetarian Dinners"
The recipe looked so sophisticated- for the longest time I thought it was too complicated for me. But, it did come from "Easy" vegetarian recipes..so how hard could it be?
It was great! The recipe involves thinly slicing snow peas, red and orange sweet peppers and frying them in sesame oil. I just barely toasted the vegetables so they maintained their crispness, and I used a very small amount of sesame oil so that the flavor of the vegetables was preserved.
The tofu was also very easy to prepare. I took a regular package of extra firm tofu and cut it into 8 large slices. These were soaked in soy sauce for about 1 hour. Then, I coated each slice in an ample amount of cornmeal before pan frying it in a small amount of olive oil.
The tofu fried easily to a golden brown color in just a few minutes. This did not take long.. so I was looking for something else to prepare. According to the cookbook, the tofu is Japanese style, so I thought-- why not sushi? I had all of the ingredients handy from my last sushi experience. For sushi filling I had cucumber, carrot (I only had baby carrots, so I thinly sliced a few of those and called it good) and some avocado.
The sushi rice cooked quickly, since I only prepared 1/2 cup. I quickly added rice vinegar, following the recipe on the vinegar bottle. Once mixed, I spread the rice on the nori and rolled (as best I could.. I am no sushi expert) the rice together with a spread of toppings. Served with pickled ginger and wasabi, it wasn't bad at all! I topped the rolls with sesame seeds, and topped the fried tofu with sesame seeds as well. I had two problems with the meal: first- the fried tofu was missing some salt. The one hour soak in soy sauce wasn't enough for the hunk of tofu. Next time I will add salt to the cornmeal batter as well. Second-- I was missing saki! I was very pleased to find out that Trader Joes sells saki in its drink section.. be sure to pick some up while getting supplies for a meal like this! Happy Cooking!