This smoked tofu “crabby” salad is the perfect topping for a vegan sushi bake! It’s great for using leftover rice and is a delicious quick meal!
I’ve been eating variations of this grated smoked tofu salad ever since I saw Mary from Mary’s Test Kitchen shred smoked tofu in her California Sushi Bowl Meal prep. I use it for crab salad rolls, and I used it in my recent What I’ve Been Eating Lately video and so many people were mind-blown at this tofu shredding technique.
What is Smoked Tofu?
Sunrise Tofu makes this smoked tofu that I find at my local Food Basics, Metro, or Longos. It was hard to find during the pandemic and I am SO HAPPY it’s finally available again. They also used to make a regular pressed one that didn’t have any extra flavouring, and a sriracha one, but I haven’t seen either since before the pandemic. If I could find the regular pressed one without the smoked flavour, this would be my preference. But I think Sunrise discontinued that product.
This smoked tofu is a unique texture. The texture of the smoked tofu is VERY firm, almost rubbery, and that’s why grating it makes such a magical crabby texture. The tofu takes on a smokey flavour that is unlike any other tofu product I’ve tried. When I’m grating it, the outside often doesn’t make it through the grater, so I end up eating the outside smoked “shell” while I’m preparing this salad. Call it a chef’s snack.
Can I substitute the smoked tofu for a vegan sushi bake?
If you can’t find smoked tofu, you can use a regular extra firm tofu (the firmer, the better). You can also use flaked chickpeas, vegan konjac crab, or a canned vegan tuna product.
But like I said, the smoked tofu is truly a unique product that grates so easily and is so perfect to replicate shredded imitation crab in this vegan sushi bake.
Where to find Vegan Kewpie Mayo
I got incredibly lucky and found the egg-free kewpie mayo at T&T Supermarket in Mississauga. After seeing this available in the US and Australia, I’ve been eagerly scouring any and all Asian markets for this.
It comes in a very small bottle, 220 mL, but it is so rich and thick, it is SO PERFECT for things like this vegan sushi bake. However, since I know it can be difficult to find, I used regular vegan Hellman’s mayo in this smoked tofu salad mixture.
But if you can easily find vegan kewpie, by all means, use this instead. It is thicker, so you may need a bit more to coat everything, but the rich, decadent kewpie flavour is so good! Alternatively, you can use regular vegan mayo in the mix, and do a drizzle of the kewpie on top.
Optional Add-ins for the Vegan Sushi Bake
I use variations of this mixture in SO many different ways. Since it’s packed with protein, I love eating it in rolled maki, in sushi bowls, and of course, this vegan sushi bake.
It’s incredibly versatile and tasty, and is such a great base.
Sometimes I like to add other ingredients to bulk up the salad, because one block of smoked tofu only gives about 3 regular servings, or 4 smaller servings. Here are my favourite add-ins:
- 1 can of OmniTuna – Adds great flavour and texture, and extends the can of Omnituna which is about $3.50 where I live.
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas – I use a pastry knife, a fork, or a quick blitz in the food processor to “flake” the chickpeas and it adds a great texture, fibre, and bulk to this crabby salad. I use chickpeas in my tuna pasta casserole and chickpea tuna melt too and it’s always delicious!
- 1 can hearts of palm – you can use a fork to “shred” the hearts of palm and roughly chop to add more of a crab-like texture to this dish.
- Vegan konjac crab – Veggie Paradise and Nelakee (I think) make a vegan crab product that is actually so good. I find it at Coven or Asian markets. Shred or chop this to add even more crabby flavour to this sushi bake.
Vegan Sushi Bake
Tofu "crab" salad
- 1 block smoked tofu grated
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp white or black ground pepper
- 3 sprigs scallions, fine dice
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3-4 cups of cooked rice (I used jasmine, but short grain would be more sushi-like)
- Roasted nori (either the rectangle snack sheets or full size roasted nori cut into smaller pieces for easier eating)
- Avocado slices
- Diced cucumber
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Spicy mayo
- In a mixing bowl, combine grated smoked tofu, vegan mayo, rice vinegar, white pepper, diced scallions, and sriracha and mix well until everything is evenly mixed through. You can store this mixture in the fridge and keep as easy meal prep.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In an au-gratin single serving or large ceramic baking dish, brush toasted sesame oil all along the bottom and sides.
- Add the cooked rice as a single, even layer (don't pack down, just gently press evenly in a layer).
- Add the grated tofu mixture on top, and gently spread and press into an even layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, then serve with avocado, diced cucumber, sesame seeds, furikake, and even more spicy mayo if desired! Enjoy with crispy roasted nori.
This bake looks absolutely amazing, must make!
Sara McCarthy says
It’s soo good. Thanks!
I made this tonight. It was delicious! The only difference was I seasoned my rice with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Otherwise it was made as written – I happened to see this smoked tofu brand on sale at my local health food store after seeing your recipe on IG. So easy to make, will definitely make again. Only thing I would do differently would be to double the tofu/mayo layer – because it’s so yummy!
Looking forward to trying this! Is the rice measured before or after cooking, that is, is it 3-4 cups worth of uncooked rice? If it’s after, how much is it before cooking – approximately?
Lisa Le says
Hi Erla! In the recipe, I specify cooked rice. I use about 1 cup of cooked rice per baking dish. I think I am cooking two x 180 mL cups (thats the size my rice cooker cup is) of rice, which is about 1.5 US Cups of dry uncooked rice.
I’ve made this at least three times now and each time I love it more and more! So flavourful! Perfect recipe!
I had been looking for a vegan sushi recipe for sometime and was so excited when I saw this on pop up. It’s really simple and so tasty I’ve made it probably 5 times now. I like to season the rice and if you can’t find or don’t have smoked tofu regular firm tofu is great here too
So. Damn. Good.
I’ve made this a few times, and it’s so satisfying. Unfortunately, I ran out of Sriracha, and I guess there’s a supply chain issue because I cannot find sriracha anywhere. I used Frank’s (desperate). And it was still delicious, of course.
This looks so delish! Wondering if I can use regular firm tofu instead of the smoked tofu. Not a big fan of the Smokey flavour! Thank you in advance!
Lisa Le says
I explain alternatives you can use in the blog post :)
I was frankly surprised this was so good! It took me a bit to find the smoked tofu, and in the end it didn’t taste that smoky. I’m guessing braised tofu would also work. I used all the add ons at the end and it was just super great. I’ll definitely be doing this again. I used cold precooked rice, and next time I would use rice immediately after cooking or bake the whole thing longer to make it hotter temperature-wise. Thanks!