The hot and sour breakfast was delicious but the refrigerator is clearly conceding a lack of tenancy. That the case, I had the brilliant idea to wing by the local grocery for some nori rolls on the way to work but they very inconsiderately do not open that early! So instead I went to the Meijer where, on eyeing their regrettable goop plastered rolls, grabbed hummus and carrots – and enoki because they look funny. (Also, asparagus because it looked good and a cantaloupe because Will likes them but for some reason we never buy any.)
The ingredients listed for the hummus were water, chickpeas, sesame tahini, canola oil, garlic, sea salt, citric acid and potassium sorbate, and that seemed just fine. Except somehow, that mostly typical combination was sublimed into something of the consistency as mayonnaise and the flavor was not nearly chickpea nor tahini, actually far closer to mayonnaise.
Perturbed and continuing to crave nori rolls, as I unloaded this course of exceptional events, Jen summarily set about synthesizing some semblance of supper from the supercilious assortment of purchased pieces.
The plan began as a enoki-asparagus-cantaloupe with cilantro roll and evolved into a plan for two specific combinations:
- Lime marinated bean curd, tamari marinated enoki, red pepper, asparagus and cilantro
- Tempura battered eggplant, red pepper and cilantro with peanut sauce
We drained the bean curd and marinated it in lime juice, ginger powder and garlic then baked it until it began to brown. The enoki was dropped into a pot of simmering tamari, marsala and water, then drained. The eggplant we dusted with a spiced flour – mixed in cayenne, ground garlic and black pepper – battered and fried.
The assembled ingredients:
Assembling the tofu roll:
The combinant eggplant roll:
The perfect roll:
And finally, like, really, finally – say, 8:30: dinner
Jen thought the eggplant/peanut sauce combo was superior; I thought the tamari enoki and acidity in the bean curd with the cilantro was the perfect complement of flavors. Really, though, I’ve never wrapped anything in nori and been disappointed.
Approximate assemblages (This is like a travelling caravan of a meal!):
- 1/2 cake of bean curd, cut into 1x3x1/2 inch rectangles
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder (obviously fresh ginger would be much better)
Drain tofu. Combine juice, garlic and ginger and carefully marinate the tofu for about 15 minutes. Place bean curd on a tray to bake, pouring any excess juice over the pieces. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until it starts to turn golden, turning occasionally.
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup sushi vinegar
Cook rice to done, mix in the vinegar. While the rice is cooking do the rest:
- 1 cup de-rooted enoki
- 1/3 cup tamari
- 1/4 cup marsala
- 1/4 cup water
Combine liquids and bring to a simmer. Drop the enoki in the brew and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain.
- 1 small eggplant, sliced into 1x3x1/2 inch rectangles
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp ground garlic
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Combine the dry ingredients and dredge the eggplant pieces through the mix.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- Oil for frying
Heat pan and oil. Combine first four ingredients. Batter the above eggplant and fry in pan. This batter never really browns (or maybe I’m just impatient) so done-ness is best monitored considering the eggplant.
- 1 red pepper, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 cup cilantro
- 12 pieces asparagus
- Peanut sauce (This always seems to generally be on hand in our house. If you want to make it try something like this, making sure to half the lime juice)
Steam the asparagus.
Assemble the rolls on your rolling mat:
Roll type I: Spread a thin layer of rice on the lower two-thirds of the nori sheet. About 1 inch from the bottom, run a 1/2 inch wide row of the enoki, tofu over that and asparagus on red pepper along either side. Top with sprigs of cilantro and roll.
Roll type II: Spread a thin layer of rice on the lower two thirds of the nori sheet. About 1 inch from the bottom, string a row of the eggplant, placing rows of red pepper on either side. Pour peanut sauce over the tofu, top with cilantro and roll.
Assemble all the rolls before slicing and begin with the first roll made. Use a very sharp knife and run it through cold water between slices (and do not dry the knife). I like to slice 2 rolls at once, starting with a slice right down the center.