Sushi filled with maitake, avocado, Japanese cucumber, and umeboshi-spiced tempeh
Since turning vegan, there have a great deal of things I don’t get to partake in anymore (DUH, you say.), one of which is ravenously devouring a boat of sushi. This was best accomplished around American holidays (Valentine’s Day Boat, New Year Boat, Tree Day Boat), and best done with someone you are not dating, so as to avoid looking like a complete eatin’ monster in front of him or her. And, don’t kid yourself, you’d eat the complementary salad and miso soup just because it’s in front of you.
Unfortunately, such days of near-psychotic gluttony are fewer and farther in between for me. For the time being, I’ll leave the depletion of ocean creatures to my flesh-eating friends.
Where does that leave me, though? How could I completely give up sushi, a wonderful, magical food that allows me to inhale everything in front of my mouth yet masquerade it all as a practice in austere aesthetic and culinary appreciation?
Make my own, duh!
I was inspired/completely overwhelmed at H Mart out in Wheaton. Besides spending a week’s worth of salary on all sorts of wonderful Asian foodstuffs (look out for some veganized Malaysian/Nyonya favorites!), I picked up some fresh, organic maitakes, a Japanese cucumber and a rolling mat. Having been inspired by the Veganomicon’s use of tempeh, I brought some to A’s place to somehow turn into a yummy filling. The original recipe calls for veganaise (or another tofu-based mayonnaise thing-thing), which has never really flown with me…so we placed our faith in some experimentation.
A. rounded things out nicely with some semi-firm tofu and some umeboshi paste. I whipped the tofu, (raw) tempeh and umeboshi paste into a spreadable consistency, and rolled it up along with everything else I brought. A. sprinkled some Japanese basil on top, along with the typical black and white sesame seeds. The result was spectacular. See for yourself:
We made it at A’s house, so we were missing a few important items, such as a sharp, serrated knife. Instead, we used scissors, which explains the rolls’ ragged look and also explains why Masaharu Morimoto left a death threat signed in pretty, calligraphic blood on my door. Happy Thursday!