Brown Rice & Tofu Maki

Brown Rice & Tofu Maki

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From: EatingWell Magazine March/April 2008

Maki is the Japanese name for the “sushi rolls” favored by many. Short-grain rice is full of amylopectin, a sticky starch, which gives it its characteristic chewiness.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 2 1/4 cups short-grain brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons mirin, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 sheets toasted nori seaweed, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 32 matchstick strips flavored baked tofu, such as Thai or teriyaki (about 3 ounces)
  • 32 matchstick strips red bell pepper, (about 1 small pepper)
  • 32 matchstick strips peeled and seeded cucumber, (about 1/2 small)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped


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  1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in rice, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer at the lowest bubble until the rice is tender, about 50 minutes (see Test Kitchen Note). Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, stir mirin, soy sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar in a small skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Spread the warm rice evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Whisk vinegar, the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in a small bowl; drizzle over the rice. Toss with 2 spatulas until cool enough to handle and slightly sticky.
  4. Place a nori sheet on a bamboo sushi-rolling mat—shiny side down with a shorter end close to you. Wet your hands and pat about 3/4 cup of the seasoned rice into a thin layer on the sheet, leaving a 1-inch border at the top of the sheet (the short side on the far side of the mat). Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the mirin sauce about 1 inch from the bottom of the rice; place 4 strips each baked tofu, bell pepper and cucumber over the sauce; then sprinkle with about 2 teaspoons chopped peanuts. Using the bamboo mat to help you, roll the maki closed, getting the mat out from inside the maki as it rolls up. Gently press the closed mat over the roll to seal the roll. (Go to for illustrated instructions.) Trim any ragged edges and slice into 6 pieces with a wet sharp knife.
  5. Repeat Step 4 with the remaining nori, rice, tofu and vegetables. Serve the rolls with any remaining sauce.
  • Equipment: Bamboo sushi rolling mat (a.k.a. maki rolling mat)
  • Shopping tips: Mirin is a low-alcohol rice wine essential to Japanese cooking. Toasted nori seaweed sheets are thin, dried seaweed wrappers used for maki rolls. Be sure to choose nori that is labeled “toasted” when making maki—untoasted nori is too chewy. Look for both ingredients in the Asian section of the supermarket.
  • Test Kitchen Note: ?Perfectly cooked rice is not simple. In fact, it's something that we struggle with occasionally in the Test Kitchen. To have the most success cooking whole-grain rice, we recommend using a pan with a tight-fitting lid, cooking on your coolest (or simmer) burner and making sure the rice is simmering at the “lowest bubble.” While testing the recipes that use less than 1 cup of dry rice, we found that the cooking time varied greatly depending on what stove we used. Although whole-grain rice usually requires 50 minutes of cooking, we found smaller volumes of rice were sometimes done in as little as 30 minutes (and burned at 50 minutes). So, when cooking a small batch of rice, start checking it after 30 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn.
  • Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.
  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 6 pieces
  • Per serving: 286 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 3 g fiber; 48 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 22 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 2 g added sugars; 3031 IU vitamin A; 17 mg vitamin C; 56 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 447 mg sodium; 224 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

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