sweet mock eel nigiri

2 servings — 50 minutes

Burmese tofu is made with chickpea flour, one of our staple foods. We first learned about this kind of tofu by reading The Burmese Kitchen by Aung Thein. The process for making this kind of tofu is usually much longer, if you're interested in making it the correct way the process is described at length on this page(which was copied digitally from The Burmese Kitchen). Our recipe suggests a quick way to make chickpea tofu, which was inspired by this recipe. It's a great soy-free alternative, and the texture is comparable to that of soft tofu.

Note: This recipe will use up about half of the burmese tofu, which means you'll have a whole other half to use in other meals.

We thought the chickpea tofu would be well-suited as a 'mock unagi kabayaki', and that it would look especially striking atop some black rice.

The sauce served over unagi (eel) kabayaki is sweet, with hints of caramel. Most Japanese sauces are easy to make, and usually require around 3-4 ingredients, these almost always include: soy sauce, sake, mirin, or Japanese rice vinegar. If you want to cook Japanese food, having these around is a must.

Besan flour. In this recipe I use chickpea flour, ground from whole dry chickpeas(garbanzo beans), besan/gram flour comes from ground brown chickpeas(sometimes peas too) and usually comes out finer, smoother when ground into flour. If using besan(gram) flour, remove 60 ml of water, or add 1/4 cup of flour. It's also possible to make chickpea tofu by soaking the beans, to blend them and to use that to make the batter(cooked, of course).

Thicker chickpea tofu.. If you prefer a firmer chickpea tofu, use 450 ml of vegetable broth instead of 500 ml.

Inorganic arsenic(iAs). Rice can be a significant source of iAs, especially brown rice because it is concentrated in the outer bran layer(bran is removed in white rice). Cooking the rice in excess water, say using a 1:6 rice to water ratio, reduces iAs up to 60 percent. [Source]. How to cook the rice?
Method 1: Boil 4 cups(1 cup of water for every cup of rice), add rice and boil for 5 minutes, discard the water, add 1 1/2 cups of fresh water back to the pot with the rice and bring to a boil, then lower to medium and cook until the water is absorbed.
Method 2: Regardless of the kind of rice you are cooking, bring a pot-full of water to a boil, add the rice and cook it like pasta(15 minutes boiling time for basmati), then drain the water out.
Note that soaking rice is also a good way to reduce iAs, but cooking the rice in excess water is a better approach.


black glutinous rice140 g
japanese rice vinegar7 ml
natural brown sugar15 g
nori sheets1 sheet


soy sauce30 ml
mirin30 ml
natural brown sugar15 g
sake15 ml

chickpea tofu

vegetable bouillon500 ml
chickpea flour125 g
salt1.25 g
ground turmeric1.25 g