Recipe: Mira Sushi & Izakaya’s Sesame Leaf Wraps

Chef Brian Tsao shares a light, healthy, and simple-to-make recipe for a vegan appetizer that's bursting with color.
Mira Sesame leaf wraps
(Photo: Mira Sushi & Izakaya)

To date, only one chef has defeated culinary superstar Bobby Flay on his appropriately-named Food Network series Beat Bobby Flayand that chef is Brian Tsao.

Equally as impressive as Tsao’s competitive culinary chops is the menu at his new Flatiron restaurant, Mira Sushi & Izakaya, which adds Korean, Chinese, and Malaysian influences to the concept of an Izakaya (basically a Japanese gastropub).

And while some of his food is on the heavier side, Tsao, formerly at Telepan, has plenty of healthy fare to share, like the sauces traditionally made with undisclosed wheat ingredients (think teryaki) he’s currently creating his own gluten-free versions of.

And this gorgeous, light seasonal appetizer that packs as much flavor as it does color. Although the recipe calls for a few ingredients that may require a quick trip to Koreatown, the assembly process is so speedy, you’ll make up for that time in the kitchen. —Sarah Sarway

Mira Sushi & Izakaya’s Sesame Leaf Wraps

Serves 6-8

6-8 sesame leaves (can be found at most Korean supermarkets; may be labeled as Korean Shiso, Ggae Nnip or Perilla Leaves)
2 tbsp warm water
1g Stevia (or 1 tbsp brown sugar)
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and pureed in blender or food processor
1/4 cup Gochujang (found in most Korean supermarkets)
1 small cucumber, cut into sticks approximately 2 inches long and about ½ inch wide)
1 small carrot, lightly blanched and softened in hot water, cut into fine julienne
1/3 cup bean sprouts
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tbsp sesame powder (found in most Korean supermarkets)
1/4 bunch scallions, finely chopped

1. Combine warm water and stevia in a bowl, stir to dissolve then add soy sauce and reserve. Combine apple puree and gochujang and reserve.

2. Gently rinse the sesame leaves with cold water to ensure crispness and shake off any excess water.

3. Divide the cucumber, carrot and bean sprouts between the leaves. Top the vegetables with approximately 1-2 teaspoons of the soy mixture and approximately 2 teaspoons of gochujang mixture. Garnish with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds, sesame powder and scallions.

Wrap the leaf edges around the vegetables and enjoy!

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