Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eggplant rice roll

There's a local Japanese restaurant between my tot's school and my house called Sakura. He and I go there at least once a week for sushi lunch. Convenient, quick, healthy and most of all my tot absolutely loves going there. He's such a pro, when we walk in, even though our waitress knows it's always just the two of us, he tells her, "For two please.". We sit at our usual table and wait for our miso soup which my tot loves. And he loves their ginger carrot dressing that comes with the salad. It's so funny, one time I made ginger carrot dressing at home. It tastes very close to it but slightly different. I called him for dinner and he said he's busy. I said I got the dressing from Sakura! Then he ran to the table. He ate cucumber slices with the dressing and said,"It tastes good, but chef changed the dressing a little." and continued to eat. Hahaha I could not believe this kid. He's too much. How does he know that super subtle difference?  

Steve sometimes envies our little Japanese lunch dates. He wants to like sushi or any seafood and tried but he claims that he just physically can't. To make him feel like he's eating sushi roll, I decided to make him some veggie rolls. He doesn't like seaweed nor tofu. So I had to go with a whole new direction. Shape of it looks pretty much like sushi roll. Especially with unagi sauce, it tastes very yummy. I like a little kick with a drop of sriracha. Or if you want a subtle kick, use sriracha mayo. 

I love how this meal has so much vegetables. I absolutely love meat but if I don't eat just as much as vegetables, I feel like my meal is not complete. It doesn't look like it's much but it's pretty filling, just like any sushi rolls. No matter how many times I've had sushi and sushi rolls in my entire life, the look of it always makes me feel like it's not going to be enough. Maybe it's just me. Omg that reminds me of my college days. My best friend and I went to a sushi restaurant that has a conveyer belt for lunch. We were both starving. You know how you pick a plate that's going around on the belt and at the end they count your plate and you pay for it. By the end of our meal, plates were stacked so high, it was not even funny. No joke, sushi chef looked at us as if we were two elephants. We weren't even embarrassed. Lucky we had good metabolism at that time and we were both as skinny as chopsticks. I don't think I can ever eat like that. Ah...good o'le days... =)

Eggplant rice roll

*Approximately two servings

Ingredients :

2 cups cooked sushi rice, warmed
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1/4 cup broccoli floret, only floret part shaved so it's powdery
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 egg plant, sliced thin
1 Tbsp sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste 
Unagi sauce and sriracha, optional

Unagi sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1 1/2 Tbsp sake
2 1/2 Tbsp sugar

Directions :

1. In a skillet, heat 1tsp vegetable oil and saute onion and carrot until carrot's almost done. Add shaved broccoli floret and cook for a minute or so. 

2. Add the vegetable mixture to warmed rice and season with salt, pepper and soy sauce. Mix well and let it cool.

3. Brush sesame oil on each side of sliced egg plant and season with salt(go easy on the salt). Grill both sides until browned and soft. Let it cool. 

4. Grab a Tbsp or two of seasoned rice depending on the width of the eggplant, squeeze hard with your hand once and shape into a little cylinder. Place the rice at one end of the eggplant and start rolling up. 

5. If your eggplant is wide, you might want to cut each one in half.  Drizzle unagi sauce on the plate and place the rolls and top each roll with a drop of sriracha. Serve room temperature.

*Unagi sauce - Mix mirin and sake in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add soy sauce, bring it to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes until thickened. Let it cool and use. Sauce gets thicker as it cools. I make a larger batch and keep in fridge and it has a restaurant unagi sauce like consistency.

*Unagi sauce recipe from Just one cookbook

No comments:

Post a Comment