If you haven’t tried making vegan ‘tuna’ from tomatoes or carrots yet – oh boy you’re missing out! 🙂 It’s just mind blowing the tastes and textures you can achieve with plant-based foods. Making vegan ‘lox’ and fish alternatives has been around for a few years now and I gotta say that nothing beats a good bagel with vegan cream cheese and heaps of delicious tomato/carrot ‘lox’ slices on top – ps. my recipe for vegan lox bagels is in my breakfast cookbook. These beautiful Vegan ‘Tuna’ Nigiri were naturally the next step! 😉 Plus, they just fit perfectly within my plant-based sushi experimentation that resulted in 3 delicious recipes like this Eggplant Dragon Roll.
I gotta say that I was slightly surprised by how viral the video for my Vegan ‘Tuna’ Nigiri went on my Instagram, but then again, also not really! 🙂 Despite the obvious vegan haters I was delighted to see all your interest for trying out new textures and experimenting with plant-based food options and tastes! Super stoked to see plant-based options spark interest and educate a bit about how easy it is to find sustainable alternatives.
Now, a lot of people asked if it really tastes like tuna. Of course, it will never taste 100% like tuna as it’s just not a fish, but the marinade and ingredients do an amazing job in making you feel like you actually are eating fish. The key are always 2 things: taste and texture. The texture of slightly boiled tomato flesh is definitely different from tuna, but actually quite similar. Thanks to the addition of seaweed in the marinade ingredients, the tomato flesh adopts a fishy flavor. So the longer you marinade your ‘tuna’ slices, the fishier it gets! 🙂
A lot of people like to complain about calling things like these ‘tuna’, but in most cases, those people would never been up to trying these foods anyways. They fail to understand that it’s all about marketing. Tomato nigiri sounds much less exciting than tuna nigiri for obvious reasons. We are used to the foods we grow up with, so in order to find substitutes that are healthier, more sustainable and do less harm, we create plant-based versions of what we already know. I don’t get why people are triggered by this. It’s just words. Peanut butter doesn’t actually contain butter and still it’s allowed to be called like this and nobody cares. People only care so much about vegans because they are triggered. And that’s ok – but again, don’t understand the drama.
Back to these amazing Vegan ‘Tuna’ Nigiri! Just do yourself a favor and try making fishy tomatoes/carrots once and then thank me later! 😀 Seriously though, my non-vegan boyfriend LOVES the fish alternatives – especially my vegan bagel lox! 🙂
If you decide to give these Vegan ‘Tuna’ Nigiri a try, let me know! Leave a comment and rate it – it’s so helpful to me and other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag me (@thetastyk) and #thetastyk so I can share your remakes on Instagram! I love seeing what you come up with. Love and enjoy! ♥
- 200g sushi rice
- 3 ripe roma tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp soy/tamari sauce
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp smoked paprika powder
- ½ tsp nori flakes (I simply grated nori sheets)
- 2 Tbsp hot water
Tofu Cream Cheese:
- 150g silken tofu
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt & pepper
- Cook and season your sushi rice according to instructions on the package and let cool down.
- Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil. Take you tomatoes, place 4 small cuts into the skin on top and place into the pot. Let the cook for 40-60 seconds until the skin is slightly coming off. Immediately take off the heat, and drain and rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking.
- Carefully peel off the skin and cut the tomatoes in halves, then again, and again. Use a melon scoop or spoon to scoop out the inner parts (seeds, liquids, etc.) until you have a simple slice of tomato left.
- In a bowl combine all the marinade ingredients until smooth. Place the tomato pieces inside and stir to cover all pieces. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes (or overnight).
- In the meantime, prepare the cream cheese. Place all ingredients into your high speed blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge.
- Assemble your nigiri. Shape rice into nigiri form, place one tomato ‘tuna’ strip on top and pipe some cream cheese on. Enjoy with soy sauce!
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