While it may seem like a new trend, this simple Hawaiian dish has been around for centuries! I have given this traditional bowl a bit of a vegetarian make over. Even though it may be a far cry from Hawaii’s classics, roasted golden and red beets marinated in an asian vinaigrette are the perfect stand in for raw tuna or salmon. It boasts all of the amazing flavours of a perfect sushi bite, sweet coconut quinoa topped with pickled ginger, avocado, quick pickled onions, radish slices, toasted nori strips, drizzled in a sesame soy dressing and then topped with black sesame gomashio. Gomashio is a Japanese condiment made from toasted ground sesame seeds and sea salt.
This may seem like a long list of steps however; you can make the gomashio and pickle the onions in advance (at least 2 hours). The gomashio is great to have on hand to sprinkle on salads, cooked grains or even popcorn! Left over pickled onions are also great in salads or on avocado toast.
The Pickled Onions:
- 11/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. pink himalayan salt
- 1 medium sized red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Combine all ingredients in a 2 cup mason jar. Press the onions down to submerge them in the pickling liquid. Allow to marinate for 2 hours or more.
Ingredients for the bowl:
- one recipe of quick pickled onions
- 2 avocados (ripe but firm enough to cut into cubes)
- pickled ginger (found in the asian section of your supermarket)
- black sesame gomashio (recipe follows)
- 1 sheet of nori (The kind of sea week used to roll sushi)
- a mixture of red and golden beets, peeled and cubed into 1/2 in. pieces to make a total of 3 cups
- 3 Tbsp. avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp. himalayan pink salt
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- fresh chopped cilantro
- 4 cups of arugula
- one recipe of soy sesame dressing (recipe follows)
- 1 recipe of coconut quinoa (recipe follows)
To prepare the beets:
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Peel and cube beets into 1/2 in. pieces. Toss with the 3 tbsp. of avocado oil and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Arrange on a cookie sheet. Roast for about 30 min. or until the beets are tender and lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Set aside while you prepare the sesame soy dressing.
The Sesame Soy Dressing:
- 1/2 cup tamari
- 3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup of mirin (Japanese rice wine vinegar, available in the asian section of your grocery store)
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic minced
- a pinch of red chili flakes
Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss 1/2 cup of the dressing with the roasted beets and allow to marinate while the quinoa cooks. Reserve the rest of the dressing to drizzle more on top of the finished dish.
The Coconut Quinoa:
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk
- 11/2 cups of water
- 1 Tbsp. of coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. himalayan pink salt
Combine all of the ingredients in medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 min. or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. I find that with the addition of coconut milk the quinoa takes a little longer to cook. Turn off the heat and allow to rest with the lid on for about 15 min. before fluffing with a fork. Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Black Sesame Gomashio:
- 2 cups of black or brown sesame seeds (hulls on)
- 3 Tbsp. himalayan pink salt
In a dry skillet, roast the sesame seeds until they pop. Traditionally gomashio is made in a Japanese style pestle and mortar called a suribachi bowl but you can use a food processor or a pestle and mortar to crush the seeds along with the salt. Grind or process the toasted seeds and salt until 95% crushed. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.
The Nori Strips:
Remove one sheet of nori from the package. Set one of your small burners on the stove on high. Using tongs, warm the nori over the burner until it begins to lighten in color. It will become crisper in texture as well. Cut into thin strips. Set aside to garnish.
The Final Assembly:
Divide the cooked coconut quinoa evenly amongst 4 bowls. Place 1 cup of arugula slightly off to the side of the quinoa in all four bowls. Top the quinoa with the marninated beets making sure to scoop a generous amount of the marinade into the bowls as well. Artfully arrange pickled ginger slices, pickled onions, avocado cubes, toasted nori strips, radish slices, chopped fresh cilantro and gomashio on top. Before eating toss the ingredients together with a fork so that you get a little bit of all of these amazing flavours in each bite! Extra Sesame Soy dressing can be served on the side!