I love making food look beautiful. It is such a satisfying creative process, especially when you can share the final result with friends and family. So when some friends and I decided to meet up for a little potluck, I thought I’d make sushi… but a little bit special.
Sushi was the very first dish I made growing up after finding a bamboo sushi mat amongst my step-dad’s souvenirs. Back then, I used to dowse my sushi in Japanese mayo. But this recipe calls for a healthier homemade mayo made from cashews and cauliflower that is so creamy and delicious. The sushi rice is coloured naturally with turmeric, pink pitaya powder and blue spirulina. Of course, if you do not have these ingredients you can simply use the sushi rice as is. But if you are making this sushi for a special occasion, it could be a great opportunity to have some fun getting creative in the kitchen.
If you aren’t a fan of tofu, the teriyaki marinade is a game-changer! It gives the tofu so much flavour and makes it wonderfully crispy. The tofu is a great source of plant protein with all essential amino acids. Balancing the protein is the carbohydrates, from the rice and veggies, and healthy fats, from the homemade mayo. This recipe is also rich in micronutrients from all of those plant food ingredients (not to mention from the goodness of the blue spirulina, turmeric and pink pitaya powder)! I’ve also included fermented beetroot for a beautiful hot pink colour and probiotic goodness (great for your gut and skin).
That’s right, this dish is not just a pretty face!
Rainbow Teriyaki Tofu Sushi
with cashew cauliflower mayo
For the teriyaki marinade:
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/3 cup tamari
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
For the sushi:
- 1 packet firm organic tofu
- 3 baby carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups sushi rice, dry
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Beetroot sauerkraut
- Nori sheets
- ½ teaspoon blue spirulina (optional)
- ½ teaspoon pink pitaya powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
For the cashew cauliflower mayo:
- 1 cup cauliflower
- ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
- In a small bowl, combine the teriyaki marinade ingredients. Drain the tofu and press with a paper towel to dry. Cut into 3 cm pieces. Add to the bowl of marinade and allow to infuse for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a tray with baking paper and lay the marinated tofu on the paper, leaving space between each piece. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, rotating halfway through to cook on both sides. Once done, put back into the bowl of marinade to infuse further.
- Bring the sushi rice and 3 cups of water to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and stir through the apple cider vinegar. Place the lid on the pot and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Dish the rice evenly into three bowls and place in the fridge to cool.
- In the meantime, prepare the cashew cauliflower mayo by blending the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until a smooth consistency is reached. Transfer mayo to a container and place in the fridge to set.
- Prepare the vegetables. Fill a small bowl with warm water and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Remove the rice from the fridge. Add the blue spirulina to one of the bowls of rice, pink pitaya powder to the second bowl, and turmeric to the third bowl. Stir well to evenly colour the rice.
- Lay a bamboo sushi rolling mat flat on the bench. Place a nori sheet shiny side down (longest side closest to you). Spread a layer of rice over 2/3 of the nori sheet, leaving a strip at the top. Lay down a row of carrot, cucumber and red capsicum. Lay down a row of teriyaki tofu on top. Then spread a thin layer of beetroot sauerkraut on top.
- Pick up the edge of the bamboo mat closest to you. Bring up and over the contents of the sushi filling and roll until you almost reach the end of the nori sheet. Dip your hand in the bowl of warm water and lightly wet the end of the nori sheet before continuing to roll and seal the sushi roll.
- Place sushi roll on a cutting board and use a sharp, wet knife to cut the sushi roll into your desired number of pieces.
- Repeat steps 6-8 until rice and fillings have been used up.
- Serve with the cauliflower mayo and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.