Furikake Super Crunch Salad boats are piled with a hearty chopped sunflower filling mixed with a tangy, creamy dressing, all ready in less than 20 minutes.
Like my Sesame and Ginger Rainbow Salad, these tasty salad boats boosted with plant protein are a powerhouse of nourishment and flavor.
The real dynamite in this super crunch vegan salad is the duo of Japanese seasonings mixed in the filling and sprinkled over the top.
Soak and sprout your sunflower seeds to boost nutrition even more. They'll have a welcome crisp texture that makes them easy to chop.
Why it works
- Colorful summer dish
- Gluten-free sandwich alternative
- Great texture
- Eaten out of hand like tacos
One of the bonuses of this recipe is it's a great way to use leftover brown rice. Its chewy texture is a welcome addition to the other wholesome, crunchy ingredients.
I love how juicy ripe tomatoes and smooth avocado complement the delectable filling inside crisp purple cabbage leaves.
- Brown rice - Use short-grain whole brown or black rice. Other types won't be chewy or sticky enough.
- Sunflower seeds - Choose raw, untoasted, and unseasoned.
- Cabbage - Purple is by far the prettiest but you can substitute firm white cabbage.
- Dill and parsley - If you need to substitute, choose fresh herbs and not dry.
Mayo, celery, pickle, fresh dill, parsley, and lemon zest give the filling its tangy, creamy taste.
But hello umeboshi plum vinegar and furikake! These two seasoning stars add zing and mouth-watering impact in spades.
- Furikake - The star ingredient. Check the label to make sure it doesn't contain MSG.
- Ume plum vinegar - Fruity, salty, and tart make it another key ingredient.
- Dill pickle - Savory and sharper than bread and butter pickles or sweet relish.
- Vegan mayonnaise - Use a brand like Vegenaise that doesn't taste sweet.
- Black pepper - Fresh cracked is best.
- Bragg's liquid aminos - Can be substituted with tamari (gluten-free) or soy sauce.
- Lemon zest - Be sure to include this.
Furikake and plum vinegar
Umeboshi vinegar is fruity, sour, salty, and complex. It adds a unique flavor to salad dressings and marinades and elevates recipes to a new status.
As to furikake, in Hawaii, it gets sprinkled on everything from rice and edamame to popcorn. In fact, Hawaii has its own signature snack called Hurricane Popcorn. It's mixed with furikake and tiny rice crackers.
It originated in Kaneohe on the island of Oahu in the 1990s and has since grown to worldwide distribution.
If you haven’t already tried hurricane popcorn, you will want to add it to your bucket list. That is, of course, after you have enjoyed this sensational recipe.
You won’t believe the incredible freshness and crunch when you scoop your moist and flavorful salad into purple cabbage leaves. Of course, you don’t want to stop there.
Top it with juicy tomatoes, silky avocado, and more sesame seaweed sprinkle, and this meal is complete.
- Mash your brown rice and chop soaked sunflower seeds, celery, pickle, herbs, and lemon zest.
- Mix the filling with seasonings. Taste and add more ume vinegar if desired.
- Separate the cabbage leaves and slice the tomato and avocado.
- Fill cabbage leaves, top with tomato and avocado and sprinkle with furikake.
It’s surprising how sustaining this fun-to-eat, open-faced furikake topped salad is. It's a great gluten-free alternative to a sandwich made with bread.
You know the way a sandwich made on thick bread can sometimes leave you feeling sluggish?
Well, you won't feel weighed down after chowing this protein-boosted salad. At the same time, it keeps you full for hours. It's a meatless masterpiece.
- To easily separate cabbage leaves, remove the core first. Then place the head of cabbage in a large bowl of water or hold it under running water. Gently coax the cabbage leaves open while water runs in between the layers.
- Soak sunflower seeds for 30 minutes or sprout them before making the recipe.
- Use short-grain whole brown rice as other types won't mash as well or be chewy enough.
- Bring leftover rice to room temperature or warm slightly to make mashing easier.
- Chop pickles into small dice and squeeze out the juice before adding them to the recipe.
- Taste the salad filling after mixing and add more ume plum vinegar or a squeeze of lemon if desired. Keep in mind the ume vinegar is salty, as well as the furikake sprinkled on top of the salad boats.
You can substitute another fruity vinegar or red wine vinegar and increase the salt in the recipe to compensate for the saltiness of ume plum vinegar.
Furikake is a dry Japanese condiment used to sprinkle over rice or season dishes. The main ingredients are sesame seeds, seaweed, soy sauce, and sugar.
Some mixes contain fish flakes that vegans will want to avoid. Other blends include tart-tasting shiso, also known as perilla leaf, or even spicy wasabi. You can have fun customizing dishes with the different styles of furikake!
Fortunately, many brands of furikake do not include MSG. You'll want to read the label carefully to be sure. The Tokyo Life has a great article on how to avoid MSG in furikake and foods in Japan where MSG is more prevalent.
More island recipes
Furikake Super Crunch Salad Boats
Super crunch salad
- 1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
- ½ cup soaked or sprouted sunflower seeds
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup small dice dill pickle, squeezed dry
- 4 TB vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. umeboshi plum vinegar
- 1 tsp. Bragg's liquid aminos
- 1 tsp. fine lemon zest
- ⅛ tsp. cracked pepper
- 1 TB furikake
- 1 TB sliced fresh dill
- 1 TB minced fresh parsley
Cabbage leaves and toppings
- 8 small purple cabbage leaves
- 3-4 small vine ripe tomatoes
- 1 large avocado
- Extra furikake for sprinkle
Make super crunch salad
- Use a large fork to mash brown rice on a plate. Coarsely chop sunflower seeds. Dice celery and dill pickle and slice lemon zest, parsley and dill.
- Place brown rice, sunflower seeds, celery, lemon zest, parsley and dill in a bowl with vegan mayonnaise, Bragg's liquid aminos, pepper, furikake and ume plum vinegar. Stir to mix.
Prepare cabbage leaves and topping
- Slice tomatoes and avocado. Lay out 8 cabbage leaves.
Assemble salad boats
- Divide sunflower crunch filling between cabbage leaves. Top each serving with sliced tomato and avocado. Sprinkle with furikake as desired.
- Serve furikake salad boats right away or chill in the refrigerator to eat later.
- Store super crunch salad boats in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to three days. Don't add extra furikake sprinkle until just before serving. Do not freeze.