I’ve been a big fan of Marisa Baggett for quite some time now. (We sushi ladies stick together!) I loved her first book, Sushi Secrets – so when I heard she was coming out with a second, vegetarian sushi cookbook… I was definitely excited.
Then she reached out to me about a year ago, asking if I’d write a foreword for her upcoming cookbook. I was flabbergasted. Marisa Baggett, southern sushi chef extraordinaire, wants me, maker of the most random sushi and owner of a more or less defunct sushi blog, to write something for her cookbook?! This woman had Trevor Corson write the foreword for her last cookbook. I was certain she’d made a mistake, perhaps she meant to ask someone else?
But no – she really did mean to ask me.
And today, nearly a year later, I can officially say I’m a published author (I swear this counts… sort of…), because today is the release date of Vegetarian Sushi Secrets!!!
(Can you tell I’m all sorts of excited?)
And seeing as not only did I contribute a foreword to the book, but also that I am a sushi blogger (ignore the fact that I haven’t blogged in ages), of course I had to try out some recipes from her book to celebrate!
As a matter of fact, I tried three recipes. Her Faux Roe “Boats” are a fun vegetarian take on fish roe gunkan maki! Her Clear Soup with Pumpkin Dumplings was delicious and easy to make, and perfect for these cooler autumn days – you can find that recipe over on the Fridgg Blog.
But my absolute favorite recipe that I tried from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets is her Spicy Tofu Roll.
To say Son and I loved this roll would be to put it mildly. It would be more accurate to say we’re obsessed, we’re addicted, we couldn’t stop going back for more.
Now I must warn you – there’s a good reason this is called a Spicy Tofu Roll. One piece had me sprinting for a glass of water, then following it with a glass of milk to try to cool my flaming mouth. (Although, yes, I am a bit of a spice wimp. But in my defense, Son thought it was pretty spicy too.)
But despite all that (or perhaps because of it), I couldn’t.stop.eating them. The flavor combination is exactly on point (and trust me – even though it makes it even spicier, you must top each piece with a bit of curry mayonnaise!), and the textures of the ingredients complemented each other perfectly. Next time I’m quadrupling the batch, because Son and I demolished the rolls I made.
And the ultimate complement? Of all the sushi recipes I’ve ever posted on Sushi Day, there are only a few that end up on the annual New Year’s Day sushi rotation: I make a bunch of bacon crunchy shrimp rolls, a few kyoto rolls, plenty of spicy shrimp inari, and just a couple of kappa maki. But despite the fact that my mom’s generation of my family really, really doesn’t do spicy, these Spicy Tofu Rolls are definitely going in this year’s sushi rotation – even if the younger generation are the only ones brave enough to eat it!
Recipe from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets by Marisa Baggett, out today!
- 4 oz (100 g) tofu, drained and cut into tiny cubes
- 1 green onion (scallion), thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 1 teaspoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-flavor pepper)
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic chili paste
- salt, to taste
- Four 4×7-in (10×18-cm) nori sheets
- 3 cups (600 g) sushi rice
- 1/4 avocado, cut into 4 wedges
- One 4-in (10-cm) length carrot, cut into matchsticks
- curry mayonnaise, to taste
- faux roe (optional)
- Mix together the tofu, green onion, orange juice, fresh orange zest, togarashi, dark sesame oil, and garlic chili paste. Add salt, to taste.
- Place a 4×7-in (10×18-cm) sheet of nori vertically on a bamboo rolling mat. Make sure that the short end is parallel to the bottom of the mat and that the rough side is facing upwards.
- Dip your fingertips lightly in cool water and spread about 3/4 cup (150 g) of the sushi rice evenly over the bottom 3/4 of the nori.
- Spread 2 1/2 tablespoons of the spicy tofu mixture horizontally across the center of the rice. Place 1 avocado wedge on top of the spicy tofu. Top with 1/4 of the carrots.
- Wet your fingertips again and slide your thumbs underneath the mat while grasping the fillings with all other fingertips. Roll the bottom of the mat just over the fillings, tucking the fillings tightly under the fold. (Do not allow the mat to get stuck inside the roll!)
- Lift the edge of the mat. Continue rolling until the roll is complete and the seam is facing down. Gently shape the roll by pressing your forefingers on top of the mat while simultaneously pressing your thumbs and middle fingers on the sides.
- Allow the roll to rest seam-side down on a cutting board for at least 2 minutes. Repeat steps to make 3 more rolls.
- To cut the rolls, dip the blade of a very sharp knife in water. Use a swift sawing motion to cut each roll into 5 pieces. Dollop curry mayonnaise on each piece and top with faux roe before serving.
I received a copy of this cookbook for free, as well as provided a foreword for the cookbook. Links in this post may be affiliate links.