I know I have been promising SexyTofu would become more food-focused now that I have joined the real world and acquired a Smartphone. (Technology makes it harder for me to blame my laziness on the lack of a quick method for snapping food shots.) And, if you read last week’s post about cooking for one, well then you know the OTHER reason I’ve been scant on the recipes over the past year. I’m sorta lonely, you guys…and when I’m lonely I would rather make a smoothie and snuggle this guy than experiment in the kitchen:
But I did play with my Chickpea of the Sea recipe this weekend, so there! I originally gleaned this recipe from my days working at Connecticut’s best vegan “to go” eatery, Health in a Hurry. Over the past three or four years since I stopped making it at the shop from their recipe, I tweaked it and made it my own. But they still deserve credit for the inspiration! Using what was around the kitchen, I gave this faux tuna recipe an asian flavor—Japanese, Korean and Thai, to be exact. Here we go!
Chickpea of the Sea Nori Wraps with Thai Basil and Korean Chili Paste
For Chickpea of the Sea:
3 cups chickpeas, cooked
1 lb extra firm tofu
2 tbs nutritional yeast
3 tbs stone ground mustard
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tbs celery seed
1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp paprika
½ cup celery, roughly chopped
½ a medium sweet onion, roughly chopped
For nori rolls:
6 sheets of nori
1 avocado, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons gochujang, a korean chili paste. Find it in your “ethnic” food section, although I got mine from a friend of my mother’s who came back from Korea. Get jealous!
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch Thai basil
In a food processor, add all ingredients except celery and onion and blend until thick and creamy. Add onion and celery and pulse a few times—you want these to remain chunky, so be sure not to pulse them too much. Once done, stick the spread in the fridge for an hour to firm it up, which will make it easier to slice your nori rolls.
Create yourself a nice sized work station where you can spread out all your nori sheets, or do two at a time if your space is limited. Working about an inch from the edge of your sheets, spread chili paste on nori (¼ tablespoon per roll, unless you want more heat, then up to ½). Top with avocado. Spoon 4 heaping tablespoons of Chickpea of the Sea and spread it so the mixture reaches the ends of the sheets. This will make it so when you cut the rolls, you don’t have any spots with no filling!
Roll your nori. Make sure to roll tightly—this gets easier with practice. Using a clean, sharp, non-serrated knife, slice each roll in half. Now if you don’t feel like slicing the rolls into sushi style pieces, you can stop here. The rolls will be a little messy while eating, but if you’re not trying to impress anyone, and/or you’re nervous about messing up your tight little rolls, you can eat them as is. Otherwise…
Starting from your center cut, continue to slice your nori into bite-sized “sushi” pieces, working from the center out.
Tips for sushi slicing:
- Refrigerate your rolls for an hour before slicing for firmer, easier to cut pieces.
- Clean your blade between every (yes, every!!) slice so you don’t get chickpea spread all over the outside of your nori.
- Using the tip of your blade, puncture the nori before going in to make your slice.
I was short on time and serving to my family, who loves me even when I don’t cut my nori into sushi pieces, so I didn’t sushi up this batch. But if you want to impress the opposite sex with your crazy knife skills, or you just feel fancy, go for it.