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Vegan Tofu Salmon Rice Bowl with Homemade Vegan Mayo

This mind-blowing tofu "salmon bowl" is my favorite lunch bowl ever and I myself make it at least once a week. Perfectly seasoned and slightly charred tofu "salmon", broken apart and mixed into a bowl of steamy rice, topped with sweet chili sauce and creamy homemade vegan kewpie mayo, and finally all wrapped in a piece of crispy seaweed - it's land and ocean, nutrition and flavor, all in one bite.
You might know this bowl as an internet "trend" but for me and I believe many other Eastern Asian kids, it's a childhood memory. I grew up in a coastal city right on the beach and crispy seaweed is a snack our household always had in abundance, they're just so delicious, available, cheap, and actually healthy. And before anyone even had to teach me, I started using crispy seaweed to pick up steamed rice, I’d even skip the chopsticks and just use my fingers to pinch up the rice and whatever I mixed in it for that meal with the seaweed.
I love the feeling when my teeth crunch through the seaweed and sink into a fluffy bed of rice, it's the savory flavor from the ocean meets the aromatic taste from the earth, it's humble and simple, but it brings joy and a sense or warmth to my heart like no other foods.
So now that this bowl has gone viral, I took that as a perfect chance to make a vegan version to recreate my childhood fave. I made the fish fillet out of tofu that is FLAKY, tender, savory, and PINK just like salmon! And you can complete the bowl with sushi rice, avocado, kimchi, pickled sushi ginger, pickled radish, sriracha, and homemade mayo, which is made of silken tofu and a few other simple ingredients.
Watch the video below for an easy visual guide on how I carved and scored the tofu "salmon" fillet. And if you try this recipe please tag me on Instagram and Tiktok I would love to see them! ^^

INGREDIENTS:

1 16 oz block extra firm tofu
Sriracha sauce or other hot sauce of choice
Kimchi or homemade pickled radish on the side
Oil for cooking, any high smoke point neutral taste oil would be fine
1 avocado
Crispy seaweed for serving

For the marinade -
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoon coconut amino
2 tablespoon flaxseed oil
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1/2 cup warm water, adjust depending on the size of your container
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 - 3 slices of beetroot
1 nori sheet, shredded

TO MAKE:

- Slice the block tofu diagonally into two triangles, and carve around the straight corner to create a curve that resembles a salmon fillet shape;

- Score the top curved side with a diagonal angle, don't cut too deep, just enough to create the pattern;
- Flip and score the bottom side, make parallel small cuts, and same rule, don't cut too deep or cut through the tofu;
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in an airtight container, make sure the miso paste is well dissolved;
- Carefully transfer the tofu fillets into the marinade, let them marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge;
- When ready to cook, heat a drizzle of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, pan-fry the marinated tofu fillets till golden brown on all sides, and the edges slightly charred, about 2 - 3 minutes per side;
- For the curved top side, you can hold the fillet with a pair of tongs to get the curved side to sear and brown evenly;
- Transfer onto a bowl of rice, drizzle on some sriracha sauce and vegan mayo, serve with your sides of choice, vegetables, kimchi, or my personal fave - this crunchy, sweet, sour, and pretty in pink homemade pickled radish;
- Optionally, you can break one tofu fillet into a bowl of rice, drizzle on sriracha sauce and homemade mayo, mix well into the rice;
- Place a few slices of avocado, pickled radish, or other sides onto the rice and tofu mixture, layer a piece of crispy seaweed on top, use your chopsticks to wrap the mixture underneath with the seaweed and form a little roll, eat it with one bite, enjoy!

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