Thursday, March 3, 2011

rice salad, japanese style

I made a japanese style rice salad* for dinner on Monday. I like that rice salads are easy to make ahead, and I like that they're usually one dish meals. On Sunday, I cooked my rice and prepared my tofu. Ingles had a bogo on tofu last week, so I bought 4 packages for $6. I love pressed tofu, but I wanted to try baking tofu as well.

To bake the tofu, I put the block in a non-stick skillet and brushed it with soy sauce. Then I baked it for an hour, until the top was brown. I stuck the whole thing in the fridge and forgot about it until Monday night.
To prepare the salad, I combined cooked rice, green onions, bell pepper, thinly sliced carrots, and miso dipping sauce.** (I made the sauce with honey, rice vinegar, miso paste, and water. I have plenty leftover for dipping crudite and I'm excited) To give the salad a japanese spin, I stirred in crumbled nori and black sesame seeds. I also added a bit to Mark Bittman's recipe-- sprouts and purple cabbage-- because I had them in my fridge. I topped each salad with a few slices of the baked tofu and dinner was served.
I loved this. The flavors were fantastic and I really liked the different textures. Edwin said he felt like he was eating a sushi bowl, and I kindof agree. Although he liked the flavors, EDW wasn't crazy about the tofu's texture. When we had it for leftovers at lunch, I chopped the tofu into cubes instead of slices, and Edwin said that tasted better to him.

I'm going to try baking tofu again, because I thought the chewy crusts were phenomenal. I think I'm going to cut the tofu before baking to increase the chewiness and decrease the smooth, custardy insides that EDW disliked.
*Bittman, Mark. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. "Rice Salad, Japanese Style." p. 79
**Bittman, Mark, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. "Miso Dipping Sauce." p. 781

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