Think "wasabi" and you might think that this delicious mustardy root is for sushi and sashimi and the story ends there. It's true that most wasabi is used to season those dishes but wasabi is really too oishi not to use it in other dishes as well!
I usually keep a tube of wasabi paste in my fridge at home and one way I use it (other than when I make sushi) is to make salad dressings like the one in this recipe. (PS: If you ever buy ready made takeaway sushi or sashimi and you don't use the little balls of wasabi that comes with the food, please don't throw it away. Just pop it in a small container and put it in the fridge for recipes like this - it'll last a week or two in the fridge and as you bought it, you might as well make use of it!)
Anyway, back to the recipe. As my partner and I get older, we've cut down a lot on our intake of meat and try to eat a main meal salad at least twice if not three times a week. Eating a salad as a main course presents a few challenges - like, how to make it substantial enough and how to make it nutricious enough for the main meal of the day. That's where the brown rice and the tofu come in to the picture. Both the tofu and the brown rice provide protein. You'll also be getting Vitamins B1 and B6 along with calcium and magnesium. All this and plenty of fibre and very low levels of fat. What's not to like about that!
As for the vegetable content, the salad contains bell pepper, cucumber, baby tomatoes, spring onion and avocado - so that's your 5-a-day veg sorted as well. The idea here is simply to add a little sweetness and some contrasting textures and colours. If there's something else you would prefer to use or substitute, then please do so - we live in a cooking democracy after all!
If you like the sound of this recipe, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Tofu and Brown Rice Salad or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
(makes 2 large servings as a main course)
2 portions of cooked brown rice
(I cook 1 cup /140g/8oz of brown rice in a rice cooker as it is a convenient amount to cook. I use 1/2 the cooked rice for this salad and save the rest. If your have bigger appetites to feed, you can add more rice to the salad accordingly)
1/2 a medium size cucumber
15 baby tomatoes
3 spring onions
1 bell pepper
1 medium avocado
300g / 8oz pack of silk tofu or firm tofu
for the wasabi soy dressing:
2 tsp of wasabi paste from a tube*
1/2 tbsp of honey
juice from 1 lemon, appox. 2 tbsp
1 tbsp of Japanese rice vingar
1 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp of toasted sesame seeds for topping (optional)
*wasabi paste available in tubes has a stronger flavour than what you might get with a sushi takeaway. so, if you decide to use wasabi left over from your sushi, then use double the amount
first, rinse 1 cup of brown rice 2 - 3 times and drain. cook the rice in a rice cooker or a saucepan
next, prep your vegetables. slice the cucumber into quarters longways, then cut into segments. place in a large mixing bowl
halve the 15 baby tomatoes and add to the bowl
remove the tops and bottoms of the spring onions, then dice and add to the mixing bowl
halve and deseed the bell pepper. slice, then cut into the bite sized pieces and add to the mixing bowl
cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and peel. slice and dice into bite sized pieces. add to the bowl.
remove the block tofu from its packaging. cut the block in half to create a top and bottom layer., then, slice longways and cut into about 1 cm / 1/2 in cubes. drain any excess liquid from the tofu before adding to the bowl
to prepare the wasabi soy dressing:
put 2 tsp of wasabi paste and 1/2 tbsp of honey into a small bowl. squeeze and add the juice of 1 lemon. mix well until the wasabi paste and honey are smoothy blended
add 1 tbsp of rice vinegar, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to the jar and stir until combined
add the brown rice and tofu to the salad vegetables in the large mixing bowl
pour the dressing in and gently mix everything together, making sure not to break up the tofu
lastly, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and your tofu and brown rice salad with wasabi soy dressing is ready to eat