The first time I made this dish I accidentally fooled everyone into thinking they were eating ground meat. I didn’t mean to — I love tofu, for what it’s worth. It’s just that’s how inconspicuous the tofu is here. It absorbs all the umami-laden flavor of the seasonings, including the chili crisp, which does a lot of heavy lifting. (No such thing as too much chili crisp, amirite?) Fragrant, slightly sweet coconut rice and crunchy cucumbers round out this heavy hitter of a one-dish meal.
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed
3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 pound firm tofu, rinsed and drained well
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chili crisp (I recommend Big Spoon Chili Crisp)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Torn basil leaves, for serving
Whisk coconut milk, salt, and 1 cup water in a cold medium saucepan to combine. Add rice and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pan and reduce heat to low; cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let sit covered 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.
Toss cucumbers, vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl to combine and let sit until ready to serve.
Crumble tofu into small pieces (about the size of a pea). Heat avocado oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add tofu, shallots, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tofu is crisped, 11–13 minutes. Add chili crisp, soy sauce, and sesame oil and cook, stirring often, until well coated, about 1 minute. Stir in peanuts.
Divide coconut rice and tofu among plates and top with marinated cucumbers and basil.
I don’t make sushi often, but whenever I do, I regret not making it at home more often. Sure, my rolls aren’t beautiful or symmetric, but they’re absolutely delicious. This take on spicy tuna rolls is one of my favorites.
Soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger, for serving
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and tuna. In another small bowl, combine lettuce and green onion.
Place a piece of nori, shiny side down, on a bamboo mat wrapped in plastic wrap. Spread nori evenly with 1 cup rice, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sesame seeds over rice. Spread 1/4 of tuna mixture lengthwise down center of nori. Sprinkle 1/4 of lettuce mixture over tuna. Place 1 strip of carrot along one side of tuna mixture and 1 strip of cucumber along the other side.
Using mat to help you, roll sushi into a cylinder. Press mat around rolled sushi to seal the edges. Repeat to make three more rolls.
Place sushi on a cutting board and slice each roll into 6 pieces. Serve with wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger.
This is a simple dish, but it’s much greater than the sum of its parts. I love anything with pesto, but would have never thought to add spicy, citrusy yuzu kosho to it. Adapted from Donabe, I usually serve this with good-quality tinned sardines.
2 rice cups (1 1/2 cups) short-grain white rice, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 clove garlic
2 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon yuzu kosho
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the rice in a rice cooker according to directions.
Meanwhile, make the pesto: in a small saucepan, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat, stirring and watching carefully until pine nuts are lightly golden, about five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. In a food processor, combine 1 tablespoon of the pine nuts with the garlic, basil, olive oil, yuzu kosho, soy sauce, and lemon juice.
Once the rice has finished cooking, uncover and add the pesto, the remaining pine nuts, and the Parmesan cheese. Gently mix to combine and serve.
Noodles, chili sauce, and nut butters are an unrivaled trifecta. These spicy noodles are a perfect example — chewy udon, fiery gochujang, and nutty tahini make for an easy and delicious summer dish. Adapted from Bon Appetit, you can substitute the udon with ramen or lo mein, and feel free to replace the broccoli rabe with whatever is in season.
8–10 ounces udon noodles
1 tablespoon gochujang
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 bunch broccoli rabe, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Handful of torn basil leaves, plus sprigs for serving
Toasted sesame seeds, for serving
Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cool running water.
Whisk gochujang, soy sauce, brown sugar, tahini, sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl to combine; set sauce aside.
Heat avocado oil in a wok over medium-high. Add broccoli rabe and garlic; season with salt and lots of pepper. Cook, tossing often, until broccoli rabe stems are crisp-tender and leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add reserved sauce and cook, stirring often, until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Add noodles and a handful of basil and toss until sauce clings to noodles, about 1 minute.
Divide noodles among bowls and top with sesame seeds and more basil.