1 cup sushi rice (approx. 2.5 cups cooked) and water to cook
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup daikon radish, julienned
1/2 cup cucumber, julienned
2 cups green salad mix
1 tablespoon pickled plums (umeboshi) pitted and sliced very small
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup black sesame seeds
6 fried tofu pouches — also known as abura-age (pr. Ah-boo-la-ah-gay) available premade from Asian grocers in the refrigerated tofu section
1 cup vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon kombu dashi (squares of kombu seaweed ground up in the coffee grinder or blender/food processor)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
4 sheets nori seaweed
Make the seitan. Combine vital wheat gluten, konbu dashi, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl or large cup, combine water, soy sauce, tahini, and sesame oil, mix well. Now combine wet and dry ingredients and a dough will form. Bring enough water to cover the seitan to a boil and drop the seitan in gently. Turn the heat to medium-high and allow the seitan to boil for 45 minutes. Drain seitan, allow it to cool, and
Rinse the rice well. Make the sushi rice by cooking rice according to package directions. I use my rice cooker for this. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and a teaspoon of salt. Cook in the microwave or on the stovetop until the sugar melts, take off heat and set aside. Once the rice is cooked, pour the vinegar mixture into the rice and stir it to incorporate the vinegar.
Lay the nori on a clean surface and spread with rice. Then lay a row of vegetables. I used two combinations for the rolls this time: pickled plum plus salad greens and sliced seitan plus daikon radish and cucumber, but you can use anything you like. Just know that pickled plum are very salty so it makes sense to use them very sparingly. I used about 3/4 cup of rice per nori sheet and 1/4 cup filling in a small row down the center to one side.
Roll away from yourself, trying to make the roll tight by tucking under as you go with your fingertips. Let it rest seam-side down on a flat surface so the moisture from the rice seals the roll. Slice with a serrated knife, thickness is up to you.
As for the abura-age, cut them in half and stuff each half with a heaping tablespoon of rice each pouch. Then gently dip the top in sesame seeds. You can use two colors if you want to be fancy like me but it isn’t necessary. I like to toast the seeds first in a dry pan on medium heat for about five minutes but it’s not a crucial step.