Deconstruction once ruled academia. The literary theory insisted that the text (pre-texting) be taken apart, like some Lego castle, and left in pieces on the classroom floor. The game kept professor and student busy for years. Now new fads roam campus, and deconstruction has moved on to the menu.
The enchilada, for instance, no longer dresses for dinner, wrapped and sauced and plated. Now beans and pork and tortilla are heaped side by side and rebranded as the enchilada bowl. Much like the noodle bowl, the smoothie bowl and the brunch bowl.
Not even sushi is safe. Half the fun of sushi is how adorable it is, shaped and stacked and sliced. But the deconstructionists break it down to the basics: rice, fish, veggies and bowl.
Which isn’t all bad. The sushi bowl is easy to make, quick to dispatch and still delicious — in both theory and practice. If you don’t favor raw fish, extra-firm tofu works just as well.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes: 3 servings
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, rinsed
About 4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced into half-moons
1 avocado, cubed
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon mild red or yellow miso paste
3 cups cooked rice (white, brown, sushi or a combo)
1 (0.7-ounce) package crisp seaweed
1. Drain: Slice tofu into 1/2-inch thick slabs. Set slabs on a baking sheet lined with a clean kitchen towel. Cover with a second towel. Weight with another baking sheet. Let drain 15 minutes.
2. Toss: In a large bowl, toss together cucumber, avocado, carrot and scallion. Season with salt, vinegar, sesame oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
3. Roast: Whisk together 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the miso. Cube drained tofu and toss with soy/miso sauce. Spread out on an oiled baking sheet. Roast at 425 degrees, stirring once, 20 minutes.
4. Serve: Add rice, roasted tofu and seaweed to the vegetables. Toss. Add a little more soy, if you like. Serve at room temperature.
©2017 Chicago Tribune
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