Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vegan Spicy 'Tuna' Rolls

This is totally awesome. I call them spicy tu-no rolls and I tell ya, you will never know the difference.

The majority of living 'vegan-ish' hasn't been a problem. Meat has never intrigued me, even when I ate it. The cheese? Well, yes that was difficult. Ok, it's still difficult, but I get by.

The sushi? Now that is another story. I lurve sushi. I lurve the experience of going to a sushi restaurant. I lurve sake bombs.

So not enjoying that experience is a disappointment to me. But then I came up with this idea. Last night. And y'all know how much I love the ability to make things myself, so why did it take me so long to figure it out? Lordy, I don't know but I kick myself for not turning the light bulb on sooner.

Introduce La Pure Mama's sushi house. Vegan sushi.

I don't pretend to be a crackerjack sushi roller but I'm no novice either. Little known fact: Once, in a past life, I rolled sushi for a party of over 200. Not to toot my own horn.

BUT, if you don't want to roll, make a lovely stack, as pictured above. Equally delicious without the task of rolling. Call it a spicy tu-no sushi stack.

Moving on. If you know that the rice is a massively important component to a successful end result. In order to create success, I referred to my good friend Google once again. Low and behold, it led me directly to my super secret scientific foodie 'boyfriend', Alton Brown.

If you read here often, you already know that my vision board revolves around guest starring on Alton's show. And if I'm not awesome enough to have my face shown, I am happy to be the hand that appears out of nowhere or Alton's Aunt Mable. I'm flexible.

So for the rice, here is Alton's recipe, straight up, because I'm not messing with it.
And it's awesome! (duh.)

2 cups sushi or short grain rice
2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Place the rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water, pour off and repeat 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear.

Place the rice and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi.

For the 'tu-no' filling

1/2 block firm tofu
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 Tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
2-3 Tablespoons sriracha 'rooster' sauce
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar

Additional items:
Sushi mat
A bit of saran wrap
1/4 english cucumber, julienned
1/4 avocado, julienned
Seaweed wrappers

Crumble tofu and add liquid smoke and braggs. Stir to combine and let sit for at least 30 minutes but up to overnight, in the refrigerator.

Remove from refrigerator and add sriracha and agave nectar. Note: as far as the sriracha goes, add more or less depending on your desired heat level. We like it spicy so I ended up with a little over 3 Tablespoons, I think.

Set tofu mix aside and prep the rest of your ingredients.

To roll, begin by spreading a thin layer of rice (thin) atop your seaweed wrapper. For a regular roll, continue by spreading a thin layer of the tofu mix across the end of your roll. The end closest to you.

Top that with any combination of the following: a thin layer of julienned cucumber, a thin layer of julienned avocado, a thin layer of both the cucumber and avocado.

Note: when adding your fillings, less is more. If you add too much, your roll will be too large to roll.

To roll, begin by rolling filling side first, pressing and rolling as you go, until it is a tight, complete roll. Slice roll in the middle first, then work your way out on each side, creating about 1/2 inch thick rolls.

For an inside out roll, start the same way, by spreading the rice on the seaweed wrapper. Instead of adding your filling, top with a piece of saran wrap then flip. Add your filling to the seaweed wrapper side, just as you would have with a regular roll.
Slice as noted above.

It may seem like a daunting process, and as I said, I am no expert, but if you have questions, comment or email me and I will help!

So worth it, simpler than you think and a very fun treat.




  1. I think the liquid smoke is a little much for this recipe. I used 1 tsp and it dominated all other flavors. I'd use slightly more than a 1/2 tsp next time.

  2. This was fantastic! Thanks so much for figuring out the recipe and sharing. I will definitely be making this again and again.

  3. Thanks for sharing - this is delicious. We love it!



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