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Monday, April 19, 2010

Sesame Orange Tofu Bowl

As a college student in Seattle, I remember going to my favorite Sushi restaurant where everyone knew my friends and I by our first names. They would see us coming and make up these insane rice bowls w/specialties not found on their everyday menu. I always loved the simplicity of the rice topped with sweet morsels of seared fish and tofu that melt in your mouth. Sometimes the simplest food is often the best. Today I decided to try my own version, made up of Sesame Orange Tofu with simple brown rice and garnished with avocado, radish sprouts, nori and toasted sesames. So delicious and light, this dish can be served warm or cold.
Sesame Orange Tofu Bowl
makes 4

For the Tofu:
1 pkg Extra-Firm Tofu, drained
2 tablespoons arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Orange Zest
3 tablespoons Shoyu
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 sheet Nori, cut into long 1/4 inch strips

Preheat oven to 400' and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a shallow dish, whisk together orange juice, zest and arrowroot powder. Then whisk in remaining ingredients except for tofu and nori strips. Drain tofu and gently squeeze out remaining liquid using a tea towel or paper towel. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch slabs, and then in half again. You should have 1-2 inch squares. Place squares into marinade to cover. Marinade for 1 hour or overnight. Remove tofu from marinade and reserve liquid. Place each square onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes on each side. Let cool. Wrap each square with a strip of nori and set aside.

For the Sauce:
After the tofu is done marinating, reserve the liquid. In a small sauce pan, gently bring the reserved marinate to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer on low until sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat cool. If desired, strain cooled liquid through a fine sieve to remove garlic pieces before serving.

Making the Bowls:
2 cups prepared Brown Sushi Rice
1 Haas Avocado, quartered
1 bunch Radish Sprouts
2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds, toasted
4 round Orange slices

To assemble the bowls, start with placing 1/2 cup each of brown rice in each bowl. Top each bowl of rice with nori wrapped tofu, avocado, sprouts and sesame seeds. Drizzle each bowl with sauce and garnish with an oranges slice. Serve warm or chilled.

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