spicy tempeh nori rolls.

it’s amazing how your students become your children. it’s a running joke in student affairs. if you don’t have biological kids, you’ve got children in the form of students. you don’t just have one or two. you have 36, 250, 1,700, or 2,000+ of them. talk about unconventional family structure. this is the epitome.

my calling to do this work is a privilege. you care for these students, your children, through their journey–not just in the college world but the real world.

the best is when you get to celebrate their milestones: getting their first internship, nominated for a prestigious college award, a new member of the family (in pet or human form), an A on that exam they studied their behind for, or they’re now a mentor for someone else. the list goes on.

so, your heart breaks when something bad happens to them. i have seen my students not do well on exams, not get that dream job, and brokenhearted. i have even had students hospitalized for serious injuries.

it’s not the greatest part of the job, but it comes with the territory.
it’s hard not to be sad. or for a parental instinct to kick in.

when it does, it’s even harder to figure out what to do.
it’s in that moment you realize that you aren’t superperson. you, too, have limitations.

i have limitations.

you can’t always save your students, your kids, from the bad.

working in student affairs has definitely prepared me for when i have children of my own.
yes, that’ll happen one day.

when something bad happens, i’ll make them this.

spicy tempeh nori rolls
printable recipe – barely adapted from veganomicon and iron chef morimoto

yield 4 rolls

1/2 package tempeh
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
4 sheets nori seaweed
1 scallion, sliced on the diagonal
1 avocado, cut into 1/4 inch slices

for sushi rice:
2 cups sushi rice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt

for sushi rice, rinse the rice at least 4 times. drain. cook the rice in a rice cooker according to rice cooker instructions. in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegars, sugar, and salt. heat until sugar is dissolved.

transfer the rice to a large bowl. pour the vinegar mixture slowly all over the rice. use a spatula to create a slicing motion into the rice to incorporate the vinegar and gently separate rice grains. cover the rice with a damp towel to keep warm.

for tempeh, steam tempeh for 10-15 minutes to enhance the flavor. after it is steamed, place it in a medium bowl. break up tempeh with a fork. add mayonnaise, chili garlic sauce, and sesame oil. incorporate well.

to assemble sushi, place enough plastic wrap to cover the bamboo rolling mat. this helps with easy rolling. put nori on top of the plastic wrap layer. scoop a small handful of rice on the nori and spread it evenly across the entire nori sheet with a spatula that has been dipped in water. near the bottom third of your rice (the end closest to you), add a small amount of tempeh and spread it in a straight line horizontally. top with 2-3 strips of avocado and a little scallion.

roll the sushi starting from the end closest to you. pull the edge over the filling and keep your grip tight. continue to roll until you’ve reached the end.

slice your sushi roll into 1 inch pieces with a sharp knife that has been dipped in water for smooth cuts. eat it up with soy sauce and wasabi.


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