You will never ever never ever guess what this vegan tuna sashimi is of. NEVER EVER. And if you do? GOOD ON YOU, SUPER GENIUS. As a reward for being so much smarter and better than the rest of us, please make me all of the amazing vegan sushi in this delicious Thursdays With Wanda recipe post KTHXBAI.
[h/t furika ke]
Beyond Sushi serves all-vegan sushi with extra flair in NYC! »
Meave and I had the pleasure of visiting NYC’s Beyond Sushi (Union Square location) last week and we were pretty much blown away! Seriously, I didn’t know sushi could be so fun—and so vegan!
People have always told me about different places with such and such vegan roll and I’ve always been like, “whatever, I just like avocado rolls! Why I gotta go somewhere special for that?” Little did I know there’s a big, exciting vegan sushi world out there! What an idiot I was. But we live and learn, yeah?!We started off with some of their yummy juices. These are not the cleanse type, which is good because that’s not my steeze. I got the cucumber mint lemonade and it was SO GOOD. Meave got some sort of watermelon juice that I refused to try because watermelon is bleh! But my juice was the yum.Next, we had one of their wraps. I wasn’t that excited because I think of wraps as just like a bunch of raw veggies pretending to be a sandwich. Boy was I delightfully surprised! This Nutty Buddy wrap ended up being maybe my favorite thing we had. It was full of buckwheat noodles, cashews, carrots, cilantro, jalapeño peanut butter, avocado, sesame oil, tofu, and lettuce—whoa! Plus it came with a side of sweet soy mirin sauce. I love the noodles and peanut butter!!! I could eat this every day.
Next came the sushi! OMG how pretty, right? On the very left is their most popular roll, the Spicy Mang: black rice, avocado, mango, English cucumber, spicy veggies and toasted cayenne sauce. A lot of their rolls use black rice, which is actually more purple. It’s really good. It’s a bit sweeter than white rice and just has more flavor in general. In the middle, is the roll of the month! Every month they have a special roll. For June, it’s this fun eggplant roll: black rice, roasted eggplant, avocado, and baby arugula topped with rosemary infused butter bean purée and roasted roma tomatoes infused with garlic and thyme. YES. I was all, “I didn’t know you could even have sushi like this” and Meave is all, “well, it’s BEYOND sushi!” Haha, indeed.
The third roll was the Mighty Mushroom: six-grain rice, enoki, tofu, shiitake, and micro arugula with a shitake teriyaki sauce. This was my favorite! The shitake teriyaki sauce on top was so good.
We also had two of the individual pieces, baked tofu with chili mango. AWESOME.
So, if you couldn’t tell, we love Beyond Sushi! I warn you if you go though that seating is limited. But we got there at 6:30 on a Tuesday and there were plenty of places to sit. But by the time we left, people were waiting to sit. I also advise that you TRY EVERYTHING! Because it’s so good. Oh, besides the one in Union Square, there’s also a location in Chelsea Market.BONUS! They have all these exciting almond butters they make in-house! I got my big bro this truffle oil/thyme almond butter because those are his favorite things and I’m so nice to him.
Disclosure: we dined for free because we are very fancy! I paid full price for the almond butter though, and I’d do it again! Because I’m so nice to my big bro!
Commercial fishing SUCKS. It is absolutely terrible. Vincent Peone of College Humor made this beautiful video—reminiscent of that Chipotle happy-times free-range pigs video, notes Fast Company—called “The Story of Sushi” to illustrate the nightmare behind those tidily cut and arranged pieces of dead fish. He created it at the behest of Bamboo, a sustainable sushi restaurant in Portland, Ore., so it ends on the same cheerful, “look at us kill stuff in a less abhorrent way” note that bothers me so much about that Chipotle ad. I know some of you loved it, but ugh, those “happy” pigs. At least this video doesn’t pretend like fish are at all pleased to be caught.
My issues aside, this is an important topic. Overfishing is ruining our oceans! So watch it, and maybe pass it on to your favorite sushi-eaters. Because you’ll feed more hummingbirds with sugar-water than saltwater, right?
Healthy Food in Fashion included a fashion show, silent auction, and vegan food and drinks, and was a fundraiser for the New York Coalition for Healthy Food, which works to get “healthier, delicious, plant-based foods” into New York public schools. We love healthy school lunches! Further, and possibly more importantly, that sushi looks delectable. Go read about the whole thing on Ecouterre, already!
[photo by Amanda Coen]
The Vegansaurus Diet: Megan Rascal! »
Hey guys, did you know we have a little series called the Vegansaurus Diet? Readers can submit their weeklong adventure in vegan eating! Jeez louise, do you want to be internet famous? Here’s your chance! For inspiration (and attention), here’s my Vegansaurus Diet!
[Ed.: Megan wrote a whole lot of excuses as to why she didn’t vary her routine or cook a lot this week, which frankly is 0 percent important when compared to the fact that she recorded a regular old week of vegan eating. You think models are embarrassed to have eaten, like, the same $30 salad from the same restaurant for a month? NO. And you’re vegan, you’re obviously more interesting than someone whose job is “skinny.”]
Tuesday, Jan. 11
I start the day with my favorite breakfast: multigrain english muffins with Earth Balance and grape jelly! Plus, two Yves breakfast patties; I love those little guys. Vegan sausage is generally a solid bet, am I right? I always recommend sausage items when I take the omnis somewhere new. Then I had about five to 10 clementines. I can’t help it! They are so good! Of course I’d prefer satsumas but they just aren’t very good on the East Coast. Sad face.
For lunch, I had what I’ve had for the last two weeks: sushi! I only like avocado rolls so that’s what I had, along with edamame and veggie spring rolls. Then I had 10 to 12 clementines.
Snacks: tamari almonds and—drum roll!—clementines!
Dinner: An Amy’s non-dairy burrito. I like ‘em.
Wednesday, Jan. 12
Today for brekkie I went a little crazy and mixed it up: apples and peanut butter! It’s not just for children. Today I had a Honeycrisp apple but I’m really into Pink Ladies—Gala apples are totally played out. For lunch I had sushi and edamame again. For dinner I had a toasted multigrain english muffin with peanut butter and strawberry jelly. Nothing beats a PB+J!
You’ll notice a lack of clementines. I ate them all yesterday and then it snowed and I was too lazy to trek through the snow for some more.
Friday, Jan. 14
Apples and peanut butter for breakfast! Sushi and edamame for lunch! For a snack, I had two Lightlife sausage links and a cup of applesauce; it’s a good combination. I think I like the Yves sausage patties better but the Lightlife is a solid alternative—they have more flavor—but they’re a bit tough. For dinner I had Dr. McDougall’s roasted peanut noodle! Apparently it’s in his “Asian Entree” series. I’m a big Dr. McDougall fan—have you tried the miso ramen? It’s out of control. I’m a big peanut fan too so I was very excited when my interests came together in noodle form. It wasn’t the most amazing thing ever but it was pretty darn good for something that recommends you microwave it for best results. Lastly, for dessert, I had toast with I. M. Healthy chocolate soy nut butter.
Sunday, January 16th
I had a lovely breakfast: oatmeal and a chocolate chip banana muffin from 'Snice, with Earl Gray tea of course. For dinner, I ordered from Dao Palate! It’s a vegan pan-Asian place. It’s yummy! I got spring rolls and pad thai (pictured left).
Monday, Jan. 17
I had an english muffin with jam for breakfast. Sushi for lunch, duh. Now for dinner, I had some crazy good stuff! It was my sister-in-laws birthday and we had a big party for her at Gemma in Manhattan. The waiters were so nice and got me all kinds of vegan food! I had bruschetta that had these killer grape tomatoes; then a nice little salad; pasta with tomato sauce and basil for the entree; and raspberry sorbet for dessert! And champagne—lots of champagne.
That is my week in eating! My diet is basically the same as a 10 year-old’s, a 10 year-old who really likes sushi.
Would you like to be featured on Vegansaurus? Of course you would! So submit your Vegansaurus Diet already!
Mark Bittman has it GOING ON(ish). A fabulous how to article on fish-free sushi in The New York Times. He’s really making it happen(ish) over there. Okay, he does mention one with gross meat and gross egg but the recipes are 90% vegan with some really delicious, innovative combos and a slide show tutorial on how to make sushi OMG SO FUN.
Tuna Rolls, now synonymous with diarrhea, discharge, and fraud! »
If the idea of eating raw fish didn’t turn you off already (seriously? DISGARSTING!), I don’t know if the news that ordering a Tuna Roll could end with both bizarre cases of diarrhea (WTF, mate?) and waxy intestinal discharge is going to do much to change your mind.
For the rest of you: Scientists doing DNA testing at Sushi Restaurants (in order to make identifying species of fish easier and more efficient) have discovered that many of these restaurants are either serving an endangered species of tuna, fish that couldn’t be identified, or fish that could pose a health hazard to the diner (did i mention waxy intestinal discharge?).
Here’s an idea: Stop eating fish!
Being vegan, most of the time it’s easy to make decisions at restaurants. Usually at most there’s two or three vegan or veganizable items on a menu. With years of practice, it takes about three seconds to flip through a menu and zero in on what I can eat with pinpoint accuracy. (It also “helps” if your parents are there: “Look honey, they have tofu!”)
It can be a little daunting to eat someplace with a really big vegan menu. Cha-Ya's menu is about six pages long and everything on it (over 50 items) is vegan. I’ve eaten some meals here that were oddly disappointing, and others that were “fuck yes” amazing.
My advice for navigating Cha-Ya is this: only get things you’ve heard of before at other Japanese restaurants. Simpler is better. Their tempura is awesome. Their gyoza is amazing. The miso soup and sushi are really good, too. Things like cold soba salad are OKAY, but wouldn’t you rather have something fried? They also have something called “Moon Garden.” Don’t get that. Just don’t. And though you might have heard of natto before, don’t get that unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. Do enjoy some warm sake with your meal. Do get the ice cream sundae for dessert: it’s vanilla So Delicious with green tea sauce, adzuki bean sauce, pineapple chunks, and toasted nuts. Um, yes.
Cha-Ya has sort of a weird ambience, though. It’s bright and clean and sterile in there, like a cafeteria in the future. This is the case at all three locations so it must be what they’re going for. Japanese people are crazy! I can say that because I once dated someone Japanese, that’s how it works. They only accept cash so be sure to bring some. At the Mission location, they were kind enough to install an ATM inside, but that also makes it feel like you’re eating in a liquor store. The other two locations have ATMs nearby. In other news, ACCEPT A FUCKING CREDIT CARD WHY DON’T YOU IT’S 2009 GODDAMN.
Sushi Bistro opens second location in the Mission! »
Sushi Bistro opens a second outpost tomorrow (July 23) at 24th Street and York Avenue and looks to have some decent vegan sushi offerings. Obvs you’ll be seeing our fat asses in line tomorrow night.
Here’s the entire veggie section of their menu, (almost entirely) copy-and-pasted because it all looks so g-d delicious:
Crunchy veggie roll
Lightly deep-fried vegetables with crunchy tempura batter outside, drizzled with sweet sauce.
Avocado and Tuscan dried tomato wrapped in a seaweed, ﬂash-fried and served with spicy sauce.
Shiitake veggie roll
Grilled vegetables, topped with shiitake mushroom and house sauce.
Avocado with crunchy outside drizzled with sweet soy.
Avocado and asparagus, served with ponzu sauce and garlic onion aioli.
In the sun
Avocado, cucumber and mango wrapped in soy paper topped with thin-sliced tomato.
Cucumber, mixed greens, avocado and salad dressing.
Avocado and/or Cucumber
Shiitake mushroom nigiri
We were lamely scooped on vegan happenings in the Mission (Mission) AGAIN. I’m ashamed/lazy. Ugh.
Review: Eiji! »
Eiji is a super-tiny sushi place on Sanchez at 16th Streets. It would be easily missed if it weren’t for the gigantic sign-flag out front that screams, “TOFU!!!!!” How is a vegan supposed to resist? You can’t fly a flag the size of a sperm (hee) whale that says only “TOFU!!!!!!” and not expect to be descended on by my people. And we vegans would be oh-so-right in doing so because the homemade tofu is phenomenal and unlike anything you can buy in the stores (even hippie stores like Rainbow!). There are several kinds, most of which can be served vegan. I know you’re like, “SOME? it’s TOFU, bitch.” and I’m like, “A) you gotta relax with calling me names and B) Yes BUT this is Japanese food made by Japanese people and these fools be lovin’ to put fish flakes on everything, you know?!” So sometimes they can all be made vegan (depending on if you get the nice waiter or the mean waiter) and sometimes only some of them can be made vegan. The hot tofu dish is by far the best and is naturally vegan, kinda like a vegan chawan-mushi (hot savory custard, DUH). UGH SO GOOD. Hot and sweet and it just melts in your mouth and send you straight to heaven. It’s the whole package. It’s the massage and it’s the happy ending.
Apart from the homemade tofu and bizarrely inconsistent service, you must go for the mochi. The mochi is so in demand that you must actually eat in the restaurant to get it. And you can’t just order mochi, you must eat a meal. And even with these crazytown rules, they still sell out of mochi pretty early so put your order in when you arrive to ensure that there will be mochi waiting for you at the end of the meal. Oh man, that pisses the other tables around you off SO MUCH. They are like, “WAH WE FINISHED FIRST, I THOUGHT YOU WERE OUT OF MOCHI, HOW DID THOSE PEOPLE GET SOME WAH” and I’m like, “It’s because we’re better-looking than you.” And that is both a truth and a lie. You see? Anyway, the mochi is house-made with huge fresh strawberries and adzuki bean paste. It’s the best in town and worth the trip. From Mars, even.
Other than that, the veggie sushi options are pretty pedestrian, although high in quality and freshness: cucumber, avocado, squash, etc. They are expertly rolled too and it’s nice to see sushi that is packed tight like an 18-year-old’s ass. What? I’m so sorry.
Oh and make a reservation. And be on time. If you’re not on time, your table will be given away and you will be scolded. It’s no fun.