Make Japanese Style Lunch
Sick of the same old lunch options? Try one of these recipes from the cookbook Japanese Superfoods by Yoshiko Takeuchi (New Holland Publishers Australia, $29.99)
Japanese cuisine is known to be among the healthiest in the world. It’s packed with vegetables and superfoods like amazake, azuki, green tea and seaweed, and can be very simple to prepare.
The two recipes we are sharing are for Cauliflower Sushi and Rice Sandwiches, they can both be prepared in advance and make for light but satisfying lunch options.
Japanese Superfoods by Yoshiko Takeuchi (New Holland Publishers Australia) is available now and retails for $29.99
It’s a sushi-shaped salad! This is a great way to eat lots of veggies. I like to fill mine with raw vegetables but you can put in any of your favourite fillings. Just make sure not to add too much filling because it will become too “loose” and hard to cut and eat!
Makes 4 rolls
Half cauliflower (about 750 g / 26.5 oz), cut into small florets
1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or mayonnaise
1 tsp sea salt
4 sheets of nori
100 g (3.5 oz) hard tofu 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1⁄4 tsp turmeric powder black pepper to taste
1 tsp oil
3 florets of broccoli (about 60 g / 2 oz), chopped very finely
About 80 g (2.5 oz) red bell pepper (capsicum), cut into 12 strips
2 tbsp ponzu or soy sauce 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Steam the cauliflower with a steamer or boil.
Place cooked cauliflower into a food processor and process until fine. Add olive oil and salt and mix well. Set aside.
To prepare the turmeric tofu, crumble the hard tofu with your hands. Place oil in a frying pan and heat over medium heat, then add the crumbled tofu, salt, turmeric powder and mix well. Once all ingredients are evenly yellow, add black pepper to taste. Set aside.
Place a sushi mat on a clean work surface with the slats running horizontally. Place a nori sheet, shiny-side down, on the mat, 2 cm (0.8 in) from the edge closest to you. Use wet hands to spread a thin layer of cauliflower evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a 3 cm (1 in)-wide border along the edge furthest from you. Now you can place strips of bell pepper (capsicum), a line of chopped raw broccoli and turmeric tofu, on top of the cauliflower, in the center.
Now tuck in your thumbs, place your fingers over the ingredients, roll the nori over and squeeze. At this point, you should have the roll 3/4 of the way to the top.
Dip your hand into some water and get the top of the nori damp.
Quickly continue rolling until the nori meets the nori and seals itself. Be sure to move quickly, if the seaweed dries out on the top it will look sloppy and possibly won’t seal right.
Cut the roll into bite-sized pieces and serve with mixture of ponzu and olive oil, or mayonnaise.
Recently this rice sandwich has become really popular in Japan since we don’t need to get our hands dirty to make it, and you can fill them with a variety of stuffings, unlike rice balls which is Japan’s most popular lunch item.
Its shape is like a sandwich and taste almost like sushi but without the hassle of rolling and the sweet vinegar flavouring of the rice. You can simply fill them with your favourite foods.
1 nori sheet
140 g (5 oz) cooked rice
2 tbsp or 30 g (1 oz) copycat tuna (see recipe on page 178 or use regular tuna)
10 g (0.5 oz) shredded carrot
1 lettuce leaf
2 tsp vegan mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
Start by placing a square of cling film bigger than the size of the nori sheet on your bench. Then place the nori sheet on the cling film and sprinkle over a pinch of salt.
Spoon 70 g (2.5 oz) of warm cooked rice into the center of the nori and spread it out lightly to make an even layer in a squarish shape. Remember to leave some space around the edge of the nori, especially along the corners.
On top of the rice spread the tuna evenly.
Cover the tuna with carrot, apply a squeeze of mayonnaise then place the lettuce leaf on top.
Spoon the remaining rice on top of the lettuce but in the centre of the whole filling.
Start from one corner and fold the nori sheet into the centre using the cling film to assist. Fold the opposite corner in, then the remaining two corners to completely seal the filling, then wrap tightly with the cling film. The shape should now resemble a sandwich. Press firmly.
Turnover and cut in half to reveal the arrangement of your rice sandwich.
– Left over stir-fry
– Grilled firm tofu, avocado and baby spinach
– Sautéed mushroom and sautéed kale
– Teriyaki tofu, lettuce and vegan mayonnaise
– Grilled zucchini (courgette), grilled eggplant (aubergine), avocado and pesto