I’m pretty challenged when it comes to rolling sushi. I thought stacking it and slicing it was a genius idea. You also get a higher proportion of fillings to rice and nori this way.
I like some tofu in my sushi, so I made a variation on my usual square tofu omelet for one layer. Avocado is a must in sushi at my house, so that became another layer. Finally, I added carrots for color and crunch. I also grabbed some chives and basil from the garden for a little extra flavor. We loved this combo!
There are a couple of tricks to a sushi stack like this. First, arrange the fillings from bottom to top with the firmest first and softest last, so that your soft fillings don’t squish out on the bottom when you cut through the stack. Second, use a long, serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to cut the squares. If you’ve pressed the stack firmly enough, you’ll be able to make lots of bite-sized squares without any toothpicks to hold them together.
Yield: 24 pieces
Serving Size: 6 to 8 pieces
For the sushi
1 1/2 cups sushi or Calrose rice
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 medium carrot
1/4 recipe tofu-besan omelet (see below)
1 small Haas avocado
6 small basil leaves
4 sheets nori
Small bundle chives
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Prepared wasabi and soy sauce to serve
For the tofu besan omelet
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon mirin or water
1/4 cup besan (chickpea flour), preferably from roasted chickpeas
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Preheat oven to 400 F.
For the sushi
Cook rice according to package directions. Or, add rice to a small pan with a tight-fitting lid, along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a low boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook without stirring for 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Stir together the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Transfer rice to a bowl and gently stir in the vinegar mixture. Allow rice to cool enough to handle.
While the rice is cooling, make the omelet.
Cut carrot into matchstick-sized pieces. Cut omelet piece into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Slice avocado. Roll basil leaves into a tight bundle and thinly slice.
Mix some vinegar (any kind) with an equal amount of water in a small bowl. Place a sheet of nori on a cutting board. Add a generous 1/2 cup of rice. Dip your fingers into the vinegar and water to keep the rice from sticking to them, and spread the rice across the sheet of nori all the way to the edges. Distribute the carrots on top. Top with another generous half cup of rice and spread it out. Top with a sheet of nori. Make the second layer the same way as the first, using tofu strips as the filling. Top with another sheet of nori. For the last layer, use the avocado, chives, and basil. Top with the last sheet of nori and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Top sushi stack with another cutting board. Weight with something heavy, such as a cast iron skillet, and press gently but firmly. Carefully remove skillet and cutting board. Using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion, cut stack into 6 strips on the long side, and then cut the strips into 4 pieces each on the short side.
For the tofu besan omelet
Combine tofu, olive oil and mirin or water in a food processor until creamy. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Spread batter into a well-oiled 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm and golden.
Cut into 4 squares.
Use 1/4 of this in the sushi and save the rest for sandwiches. It freezes well.
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