Brown Rice Tofu Pockets

Brown Rice Tofu Pockets

This is a versatile and fun recipe for getting the kids involved and has been a SOBO menu mainstay. The brown rice adds a nice nuttiness and is healthier, too!

3 cups (750 mL) brown rice
3 1/4 cups (810 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
4 tsp (20 mL) mirin
3 Tbsp (45 mL) rice wine vinegar
4 tsp (20 mL) sesame oil
4 tsp (20 mL) wasabi powder, made into paste by adding a bit of water
3 Tbsp (45 mL) Japanese mayo
1 avocado, thinly sliced
15 oz (425 g) smoked Chinook salmon, sliced paper-thin
12 pressed tofu pockets (available at Asian specialty stores)
4 tsp (20 mL) black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
2 cups (500 mL) sunflower sprouts
1/4 tsp (1 mL) light soy sauce

Wash rice until it runs clear. Combine rice, salt, and enough water to fill to the 3-cup mark on rice cooker. Start rice cooker according to manufacturer’s directions. For stovetop method combine rice, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil; simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.

Add mirin and rice wine vinegar to rice in a wooden bowl. Fan and slice through rice with a wooden flat paddle to separate individual rice kernels while cooling quickly. This process should take about 4 minutes (over-paddling will make the rice gummy). Cover rice with damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Put sesame oil in a bowl; use it to keep rice from sticking to your fingers. With well-oiled hands begin forming and shaping rice into balls or discs the size of a toonie but about 3/4 in (1.9 cm) thick. Lay discs on a clean work surface and start an assembly line:

  • Mix wasabi paste and Japanese mayo together and paint a disc. (The wasabi mayo acts as a glue to hold avocado and fish in tofu pockets.)
  • Add slices of avocado and smoked fish onto the discs.
  • Gently open tofu pouches and fill with rice, avocado, and fish discs.
  • Sprinkle each with sesame seeds and top with a few sprouts.
  • Just before serving squirt 1/4 tsp (1 mL) light soy sauce into each pocket.

Serves 6.

source: “SOBO’s Sophisticated Bohemians“, alive #304, February 2008

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