Veganized eel? It can be done! This dish calls for chickpea-based Burmese tofu in a caramelly, sweet sauce that is typically served over eel kabayaki. Pair it with some black rice for the perfect Japanese dish.

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Sweet Mock Eel Nigiri [Vegan]

Serves

12

Ingredients

For the Nigiri:

  • 3/4 cup black glutinous rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 nori sheet

For the Unagi Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon whole cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sake

For the Chickpea Tofu:

  • 3 cups vegetable bouillon
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
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Preparation

For the Rice:

  1. Prepare the black glutinous rice, it needs to be prepared at a 2-to-1 water to rice ratio. If you prepare 1 cup of dry rice you need to 2 cups of water.
  2. Put 1 1/2 tbsp of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of whole cane sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Once rice is cooked, transfer to a flat tray and pour sushi dressing over it. Mix into rice using a sideways cutting motion. Cover with a damp towel and let cool.

For the Unagi Sauce:

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of mirin, 1 tablespoon of whole cane sugar and 1 tablespoon of sake. Bring to a boil in a pot, lower heat and let thicken for a few minutes.

For the Chickpea Tofu:

  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of vegetable bouillon to a rolling boil in a pot.
  2. Mix 1 cup of chickpea flour with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric. Add 1 1/2 cups of vegetable bouillon and stir until the mixture is lump-free.
  3. Lower to medium heat and pour in chickpea batter. Whisk continuously for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Pour into an 8x8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Smooth out top with the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Let cool and set for 1 hour, then refrigerate for a little while longer before cutting. This will give the "tofu" time to set properly. Cut into 12 pieces, and then cut in 2 again lengthwise to make them fit over nigiri.
  5. Note that this recipe makes a lot of extra chickpea tofu, you only need about half of it.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  7. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil, line up pieces of chickpea tofu. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, brush chickpea tofu with Unagi sauce and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Combine:

  1. Shape tablespoons of black rice into oblongs, smear tops with a bit of wasabi, lay a nori strip texture-side up, place strip of chickpea tofu as well as the rice ball (wasabi side facing downwards) and finally, fold nori over bottom of rice. 

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  • Black Rice


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