PREP: 15–20 minutes
COOK: rice, 15–20 minutes; remainder 20–22 minutes
ASSEMBLE: 10–20 minutes
Serves 6 / A simplified, vegetarian version of fancy sushi rolls. Caramelizing the tofu adds a hint of sweet, smoky flavor. Prep tip: The sushi mat allows you to apply even pressure and create a long, even roll, but if you don’t have one, simply use a tea towel covered with plastic wrap, or a heavy, gallon-size ziplock bag (unopened). Serving tip: Dip into wasabi-spiked, low-sodium soy sauce, if desired.
2 ¼ cups sushi rice
2¼ cups water
1 tablespoon wasabi paste1 avocado, mashed
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped carrot (1 small carrot)
2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1 pound firm tofu, drained, blotted, and cut into ½-inch strips
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
6 nori sheets
1. Combine rice and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 15–20 minutes, until tender.
2. While rice is cooking, combine wasabi paste and mashed avocado in a small bowl. Set aside. In another small bowl, combine soy sauce and brown sugar; set aside. Chop carrot.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add tofu and fry until golden, about 10 minutes, turning once (do not stir). Remove to a plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; add soy-sauce mixture and reduce. Add tofu and simmer 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons water and cook until sauce is thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes to absorb flavors. Stir in carrot and sesame seeds.
4. When rice is done, add vinegar and toss to fluff.
5. Cover sushi mat with plastic wrap. Place one nori sheet shiny side down on mat. Using moist hands, pat 3/4–1 cup rice onto nori, leaving 1 inch uncovered at the top. (Some of the nori may show through.) Spread with 2 tablespoons avocado mixture. Place one-sixth of tofu mixture 1/2–3/4 inch from bottom edge of rice. Wet top 1 inch of nori. Using the mat, roll nori sheet from the bottom, slowly raising and tucking nori over filling, forming a tight roll. Keep lifting mat and rolling nori until you reach the upper edge; press gently to seal. Repeat process with remaining nori and ingredients. To serve, cut each roll crosswise into 6 pieces.
PER SERVING: 438 cal, 11g fat (6g mono, 4g poly, 2g sat), 0mg chol, 13g protein, 68g carb, 2g fiber, 317mg sodium