Vino for Veggies

The food, wine & lifestyle blog for Vegans, Vegetarians, Pescitarians, and other Awesome People.

Deconstructed Sushi Bowl June 21, 2010

Do you love sushi?  Ever think, “I could seriously eat a whole bowl of sushi.”  Here it is!  A soul satisfying bowl o’ sushi that has all the clean flavors of your favorite roll but without the fish.  This recipe is a combination/tweak of Heidi Swanson’s Sushi Bowl with Toasted Nori, Avocado, and Brown Rice (Super Natural Cooking) and Deborah Madison’s Caramelized Golden Tofu (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone).  It has quite a few components but the combination of flavors is really what makes this dish so satisfying.  It is also a highly recommended main course for a dinner party as the plating is just so impressive.

Contributor’s note:
If you are new to the world of tofu, no worries.  Just contact me at and I will walk you through the tofu preparing process, explain all the different varieties of tofu, and answer any questions you might have.  It is such an amazing food and so easy to work with, so don’t be shy, just drop me a line and I’ll help you out.

Deconstructed Sushi Bowl
1 cup sushi rice
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. plain sesame seeds
1 sheet of nori (pressed seaweed sheets)

1 package extra firm tofu
1 Tbsp. peanut oil (or vegetable if you don’t have peanut)
1 1/2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame seed oil
1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce (optional)

Optional toppings
lightly sautéed vegetables such as bok choy, carrots, snow peas
Raw sliced veggies such as avocado (my personal favorite), cucumber, or bean sprouts
pickled ginger
chopped green onions

Cook sushi rice according to package instructions.  Meanwhile, toast nori in the oven or toaster oven for ~10 minutes @ 250 degrees until crispy.  Toast sesame seeds on the stove top in a dry pan until the plain seeds begin to brown but not burn.  Mix rice wine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.  When the rice is cooked, transfer to a non-metal bowl.  Toss rice with vinegar-sugar liquid.  Sprinkle and mix in sesame seeds and crumble in nori sheet.  Your rice will be sticky with flecks of sesame and nori.

Drain, press (in a cloth or paper towel for 15 min.), and cube or slice tofu. Heat the peanut oil in a non-stick pan.  Sauté  tofu pieces until they are golden brown.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix brown sugar, Braggs/soy sauce, sesame seed oil, and chili garlic sauce.  Once tofu is golden brown, pour the mixture over the tofu.  Continue to cook on medium heat until the liquid is absorbed and the tofu is fully coated.

Assembling the bowl:
Put you sushi rice in the bottom.  Place your optional sautéed or raw veggies on the sides next to the rice.  Top with tofu and sprinkle with extra sesame seeds and green onions.  Place piles of ginger, wasabi, and avocado on the side.  Enjoy!

VanVino’s Wine Pairing Suggestion

When I think of Asian food, especially sushi, I think of Rieslings.  The clean, crisp nature of Rieslings pair perfectly with the clean flavors of sushi.  Also, the residual sugar in Rieslings have a way of cutting through the heat of the wasabi.

I paired our recent deconstructed sushi bowls with the 2007 Weingut Brandl Riesling Zöbinger Heiligenstein.  This is an Austrian Riesling.  The Brandl has a grassy, herbaceous nose that reminds me of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  On the palate, there are tart grapefruit flavors upfront transitioning to a grassy, mineral mid-palate.  The wine finishes with a dry crispness and petrol-like mouth feel (in a good way, not that I’ve ever drank petrol).  This wine is a very dry Riesling, not your mom’s sweet stuff from Germany.  I scored the 2007 Weingut Brandl Riesling a 93/100.  It is one of the best Rieslings I’ve ever had.  I’m glad I bought two bottles.

The Wine Stats

WineryWeingut Brandl
Type:  Riesling
Vintage:  2007
Appellation: Kamptal, Austria
Retail Price: $34.99
Available Price: Under $25 (I paid under $20 so there are some deals out there.)

Do you like sushi?  What is your favorite wine to pair with sushi?  We look forward to hearing your impressions of this dish?