Rolls are very common in Japanese cooking because lots of vegetables are used, look pretty, and taste good the next day in the Bento Box. Usually they are braised in a soy sauce mixture, but I wanted a different taste using daikon oroshi and daikon sprouts. Aburage is an amazing ingredient because it holds its shape after heating, and are stuffed as in Inari Sushi or with mochi for a one-pot ingredient. —BoulderGalinTokyo
makes 25 pieces (serving 5)
Aburage (deep-fried tofu)
Daikon Radish, lower section at least 4 inches long, peeled
stalk Asparagus, medium fat, sides cleaned
Carrot (if too skinny to make 5 spears, add another carrot)
tablespoons miso (if using prosciutto ham, reduce miso to 1 1/2 tablespoon)
The aburage needs to have the oil washed off. Pour boiling hot water over aburage in a colander. Do both sides, then rinse with running cold water. Or put in a plastic bag, microwave until steaming. Put in colander, then being careful to prevent a steam burn, open the plastic and pour water and oil off. Rinse in cold water.
Squeeze aburage to remove oil/water, but be careful not to rip. Cut each aburage along the short sides, then cut along one long side. A small paring knife works best. This will give you a rectangle twice the size of each original sheet.
Lay asparagus along side of the aburage. Have tip extend about half an inch at the top. Cut off the bottom of the asparagus even with the aburage.
Repeat for all asparagus spears.
Line the carrot up with aburage edge at top (will be 1/2 inch shorter than asparagus) and cut off the bottom extending longer than the aburage. Cut into 5 spears.
If your daikon piece is 8 inches you can cut into 5 spears, the same width as the asparagus and carrot. If using the 4 inch bottom section, you will need 10 pieces (2/wrap).
Mix miso with the sesame seeds. Divide into 5 portions. Spread one portion of miso along the longest side of an opened aburage. Repeat with the others.
If you are using the ham, starting at the miso edge, lay 2 ham slices across each aburage to cover as much area as possible.
Lay shiso leaves side-by-side on top of the miso edge of the aburage.
Put the asparagus, carrot, and daikon on top of the shiso leaves. Starting at the miso side, roll the aburage up. Use 2 toothpicks along the side to hold the wrap together. Repeat for the others.
Lay the wraps in your largest non-stick DRY skillet on lowest heat, and close with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes or so. Roll 90° (25%), cover with lid and cook on low heat for maybe 7 minutes. Turn again, and keep cooking each side on lowest heat. The aburage should develop a nice caramel color and inside veggies should look tender. If veggie seem uncooked, microwave, then return to skillet). (You could microwave from the beginning but the aburage will stay soft, not good for cutting later).
Turn the heat up in the pan to high, and in center add sesame oil. When hot, start moving the oil around the rolls, until all sides of the rolls are seared in oil. Remove from heat, and slice each in 5 pieces. Serve with individual bowls of daikon oroshi, topped with radish sprouts and spicy chili oil.
MAKE DAIKON OROSHI: Grate with a ceramic grater which is easiest for this purpose (photo). What you use for garlic should be fine. Or chop in half-inch pieces and pulse in food processor. Over processing will make juice. Drain a little but oroshi should not be dried out.
MEMO* I plan my recipes to be low-sodium. If you like saltier food, up the miso. If you are not sure, prepare as written. Later, you can add sodium to the daikon oroshi with soy sauce, or Tabasco sauce.