Ahi Sashimi Bowl with Tofu and Orange Sesame Vinaigrette

Taking inspiration from the fabulous Heidi Swanson's "Sushi Bowl", Dan and I have been making this every Monday night for quite a while now. It's a light, healthy way to start out the week after typically having indulged one way or another (or another!) over the weekend, and I'm always perfectly satisfied without feeling stuffed and weighed down when it's over. This one's a keeper, folks.

The beautiful flowers are Tatsoi blooms. Those of you who frequent this site know that I love to eat flowers and these little babies are no exception. Tatsoi is an Asian mustard harvested for the greens. The flowers remind me of my childhood - they taste similar to the mustard flowers that bloomed all over the hills in the area where I grew up. Before the Tatsoi from our garden went to seed, we were lightly sautéing the leaves and adding them, too. I haven't been able to bring myself to pull the plants out yet - their  delicate and mild-flavored little blossoms are too delicious and continue to spring up.

                    2/3 lb. sashimi grade ahi tuna
                    1 package soft tofu
                    1 cup brown rice
                    1-2 avocados, sliced
                    1/4 cup chopped scallions for garnish
                    2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
                    torn nori pieces (optional)

For the vinaigrette:
                    1/4 cup orange juice
                    2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
                    1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
                    1 tablespoon soy sauce
                    1-1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Rinse the rice and and add to a medium saucepan with 1-2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Let cook for 45 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand an additional 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Toast the sesame seeds by heating and tossing them in a small pan over medium heat until light brown and fragrant.

For beautifully cut sashimi, cut the ahi into 1"-wide blocks with the grain along the length of the fillet. Then slice the blocks into 1/4" thick slices against the grain. For a great video tutorial on the art of cutting perfect sashimi slices, click here.

Slice the tofu into 1/4" thick slices and pan fry them over medium heat to brown on either side. remove from the heat and cut again into dominoes of desired size.

Place the rice, sashimi, tofu, and avocado slices in a bowl and garnish with scallions, toasted sesame seeds and torn pieces of nori (optional). Generously spoon the vinaigrette over the top.

Makes 2 healthy servings. 

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