This Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice recipe is a healthy, vegetarian sushi that fish-lovers and vegetarians will both love!
I love traditions. And maybe it’s just the Type A in me that secretly really loves structures and order. Or maybe I just really love pizza. Because as soon as I landed in Holland 9 months ago, I initiated pizza Friday’s. But then the boyfriend tulip-man dropped the fact that he doesn’t like pizza on me, and all structure nearly went out the window. But pizza was quickly replaced by sushi Friday’s, and things haven’t been tastier (or more $$$$) since. That is until this Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi.
Around the time that sushi Friday’s began, Marisa Baggett, author of the new cookbook Vegetarian Sushi Secrets, reached out to me. What stemmed from this were a few very exciting things:
- Her book encouraged me to successfully fry my very first thing (!!!)
- I learned to make sushi rice with quinoa
Today we’re rolling up the Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets, using quinoa rice instead of sushi rice! It’s a really customizable sushi recipe, so use whatever sushi rice variation suits your fancy (she has many kinds of sushi “rices” in the cookbook), or whatever fillings you’re feeling.
- 1 1/4 cup uncooked rinsed quinoa
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2.5 Tbsp honey or sorghum syrup
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 oz firm tofu 115 g
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch + more for dusting
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup cold carbonated water
- Handful of ice cubes
- 4 Tbsp unsweetened shaved coconut
- 4 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- Oil for frying
Odds and Ends
- 4 4×7-inch nori sheets 10×18 cm
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced cabbage
- 1/2 of a carrot thinly sliced
- 1 green onion sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 avocado thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp Madras curry powder**
- 1/4 tsp chili garlic paste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Quinoa should be just a tad undercooked and not quite transluscent.
- While quinoa cooks, whisk together vinegar, honey, sugar, and salt.
- Spoon cooked quinoa onto a large cutting board and drizzle on half of the dressing. Toss together, add the rest, and toss again. Spread quinoa into a thin layer and let it cool for 10 minutes. Gently turn it over and let it cool for 5 more minutes. Transfer to a large non-metal bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside.
- Press excess moisture out of tofu by placing it between a few layers of paper towels and setting a heavy pan on top. Set aside.
- Heat 1 inch (2.5 cm) of oil to 350 degrees F (175 C) in a large pan or wok (if you don’t have a thermometer, drop a touch of batter in. If it sizzles right away, it’s ready)
- To a medium bowl add flour, cornstarch, salt, and carbonated water, stirring just until mixed. Gently stir in ice cubes, coconut, and breadcrumbs.
- Pat dry the tofu and cut into chopstick wide lengths. Dust with cornstarch, shake off the extra, then dip into the coconut batter. Coat well and transfer to the oil. Cook until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Set cooked tofu on a wire rack.
- Set a sheet of nori on a bamboo rolling mat, rough side facing up. Spread about 3/4 cup (150 g) of the quinoa rice onto the bottom 3/4 of the nori. Lay 1/4 of the tofu horizontally across the center of the rice, followed by 1/4 each of the cabbage, carrot, green onion, and avocado. Optionally sprinkle with peanuts.
- Slide your thumbs under the mat and use your fingers to hold fillings in place as you roll, tucking the fillings tightly under the fold. Roll up, gently shape if needed, and set sushi roll seam side down.
- Let rest a few minutes before cutting into 5 pieces with a sharp, slightly wet knife. Repeat to make 3 more rolls
- Serve fresh with curry mayo (mix together all “Curry Mayo” ingredients”.
Tips & Tricks
- *You can definitely just use normal sushi rice instead of the quinoa.
- **Madras is a spicy Indian curry powder. If you don’t have it (I didn’t), just go with regular curry powder.
- ***For vegan option, just go with soy sauce.