Today I’ve got a few things to share, including a rice bowl modeled after the one from my favorite restaurant in the city, 13th Ave Coffee House. But first, I want to share a few brag-worthy photos from my Saturday at Saskatoon’s comic convention. And finally, I have some news-type stuff to talk to you guys about, which I’d love your input on. So let’s get to it!
First of all, when one is at a comic convention full of people cosplaying it up, decked out to the nines in their awesome nerdiness, there’s bound to be some awesomely nerdy vendors too. If you can tell me what my pin is from (the black pig), I will be your best friend.
But the best part is that nyan cat scarf. A scarf! With nyan cat! I’m sad his cute face gets cut off, but you get the idea. This actually gives me a reason to look forward to winter this year.
And even more awesomely, check out the guy in the middle (framed by two super-cool people):
That’s right, dudes – Billy West. You know, the guy who does voices for Futurama characters like Fry, the professor, Zoidberg (not a word I’ve ever had to spell) and Zap Brannigan. And lots of other cool stuff like Ren and Stimpy, too. The random guy in the back photo-bombing is also a nice touch. Billy’s a really down-to-earth guy, actually, and made fun of me for my heavy purse because it attacked him. I wish I could say that I engaged him with clever witticisms, but mostly I just went “hee hee”, being star-struck and all.
So my weekend was pretty much perfect. And then I had a kitchen disaster which I’m too ashamed to talk about, so instead, I’ll share my kitchen success instead – a sushi bowl.
You know me, I love them bowls. Rice, fresh and crunchy veggies, tofu (in this one, anyway), and a creamy dressing? Hard to go wrong there. This particular bowl is reminiscent of a sushi roll – the wasabi dressing packs a punch (but not a painful one – promise), and the bowl is topped with cut-up nori and pickled ginger. And you know you’ve made something hella tasty when you’re daydreaming about leftovers.
2 cups cooked brown rice (sushi rice would be yum, too)
1/2 block firm tofu, cubed and cooked the way you like it (I pan-fried them with soy sauce)
1 heaping cup cucumber, sliced in semi-circles
1 cup shredded carrot
1 small red bell pepper
1-2 sheets nori, cut in skinny strips (if you lurve nori like me, use 2)
Pickled ginger, for serving (about 1 tablespoon each)
Gomasio or toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional but worth it)
6 oz soft silken tofu (1/2 a tetra pack)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon prepared wasabi paste (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon agave or sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Prepare the dressing: combine all the ingredients in a little blender and blend. That’s it! Taste it to adjust the wasabi potency, because the strength varies from brand to brand.
2. Assemble the bowl: in each bowl, layer 1 cup of rice, 1/2 of the tofu, and 4 tablespoons of the sauce, followed by half the cucumber, carrot and red bell pepper. Garnish with the nori, pickled ginger and gomasio, if using. And don’t fear the nori being all crunchy – once it gets mixed in with everything, it softens right up.
The wasabi punch of this bowl is definitely prominent but not crazy. Every now and then I’d take a bite that cleared out my sinuses, but for the most part it’s pretty non-offensive, and has a great flavor to boot. Oh yeah, and because of the tofu usage in both the sauce and the layering, this is a protein-heavy meal. If you’re not into that, substitute the tofu cubes with something else or omit them entirely…but come on. Tofu cubes are freakin’ delicious.
And now I need your help!
For the last several months, I’ve been working on a cooking project – specifically, I’ve been compiling a cute little cookbook about bowls. You know, those rice bowls I’m in love with. And noodle bowls, too! I intend to keep it fairly short and will probably have no more than 25 recipes, many of which are already in development. To keep costs to a minimum, I plan on releasing the book in electronic formats, like as an e-book and for e-readers. And I plan on completing this project by the end of September.
What would be awesome is if you could let me know what you’d really like to see in a book about bowls – is there a rice or noodle bowl that you’re head-over-heels for and would really like to see? Are you looking for soy-free, gluten-free, etc kind of recipes? What about recipes for preparing important bowl components like tofu, seitan and beans? Do you prefer recipes that serve 4, or 2? I have about a million questions and I’d love any and all input you have to offer, and in the coming months I’ll keep you posted on the happenings and we can talk about it more.
Thank you! I’m super excited about this project – there are a lot of gems (like this sushi bowl!) that I can’t wait to share. 🙂