Archive for July, 2011

Miso soup with konnyaku

We ate miso soup with konnyaku, carrots, daikon, white onions, and green onions.

We also had asparagus with balsamic vinegar.

It was good.

That’s all.

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Okara stir fry

Fluffy. Filling. Fantastic.

This was a meal from ages ago…just now getting around to writing it up. The central ingredient is okara, which resulted from the Great Tofu-Making Adventure.

Because I’m supremely lazy, I’m copying from the other post:

Okara or “soy pulp” is often referred to as a tofu by-product. But the description is misleading. It’s the fluffy soy beans stuff that is separated from the soy milk (which actually becomes the tofu). Japanese tofu shops often give it away by the bag or sell it for the equivalent of a few cents. It can be used in a variety of dishes, eaten on its own or used to add texture to other foods.

It’s super-proteinious, plus calcium, iron, and riboflavin. Oh, boy.

To me, it’s somewhat reminiscent of quinoa, but softer and fluffier, with a vaguely grainy texture.

This stir fry marshalled:

  • shitake mushrooms (originally dried, but soaked overnight)
  • carrots
  • green beans

He cooked the okara in a dry frying pan for 5-10 minutes to reduce the water content and then set it aside.

Next, he poured the water in which the shitake had soaked into the frying pan and added

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp cooking sake
  • 1 tbsp sugar

He cooked the veggies in this mixture until slightly soft.

Finally, he add the okara and simmered everything until it was fairly dry (not soupy).

More okara ideas and information can be found from the lovely Just Hungry. She uses it in bread recipes, pasta sauce, stir fries, polenta, and even a tuna sandwich! The comments on the post have even more ideas.

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Golden tofu with spicy bean sprouts


  1. Cut firm tofu into cubes
  2. Fry tofu in pan in sesame oil until golden
  3. Assemble sauce:
    • 1 tbsp peanut butter
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
    • tiny bit of tobanjan (spicy sauce)
  4. Boil bean sprouts and drain
  5. Sprinkle sea salt on the bean sprouts and mix with the sauce while still hot
  6. Dump in a frying pan and add chopped green onions and the tofu
  7. Mix everything until heated
  8. Eat
  9. The original recipe that inspired Yusuke called for pork, but he used tofu instead, just for me. (Awww.)

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Here’s a simple one. Yusuke started by sautéing sliced white onions with minced garlic and a few splashes of chicken broth. Next, he added sliced crimini mushrooms, followed by zucchini. He cooked everything until the zucchini was lightly browned, seasoning with sea salt and black pepper. The onions’ natural caramelization made additional oil and sauces unnecessary. That’s it! Very flavourful.

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Magical soba

This dish was rather a nifty creation, in my opinion.

Yusuke’s first task was to boil fresh bean sprouts: just a few minutes to retain a crunchy texture.

Next, he halved cherry tomatoes, removed the seeds, and sautéed them in a dry frying pan (they had enough liquid alone).

He set the tomatoes aside and repeated the sautéing with asparagus spears, again in a dry pan.

After the veggies were done, he boiled soba in plain water for about 4 minutes. Longer leads to mushiness!

He arranged the drained noodles on a plate, topping the pile with neatly placed bean sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, and sliced avocado.

In the centre went glorious natto, sans the mustard sauce that comes in the package.

Last, we drizzled soba sauce over everything, sprinkled a bit of shichimi (spicy seasoning) and mixed it all up—after taking a picture, of course. The soba sauce had its usual components: water, dashi, mirin, sake, soy sauce, and a tiny bit of sugar.

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Tako feast

Lucky day: tako [octopus] at the grocery store! Ok, so it’s not quite the same quality as tako fresh out of the Pacific ocean a few hours before, but it wasn’t bad.

To prepare this lovely salad, Yusuke began by scrubbing the tako in salt to reduce fishiness. After rinsing, he boiled it for just a few minutes until tender. In a large bowl, he added minutely sliced white onions and halved cherry tomatoes. Then he poured in a marinade:

  • lemon juice
  • soy sauce
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • rice vinegar

We ate the salad at room temperature after a few hours of marination.

The second component of this tako double-whammy was mixed rice. The following was cooked in the rice cooker:

  • rice [duh]
  • water (usual amount)
  • sake
  • soy sauce
  • dashi
  • kombu [seaweed]
  • fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • tako, boiled and thinly sliced

The tako came out fantastically soft and the ginger gave the rice a great aroma.

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Leek and potato pottage

This delightful pottage was inspired by a fantastic meal that we had in Ireland.

The recipe that Yusuke found to work from advised not using the green part of the leeks, but that would be a terrible waste!

First, he chopped up the leeks into tiny pieces. He separated out the white parts and sautéed them in a bit of butter until soft. (N.B. olive oil would also work.)

Next, he added a few splashes of white wine and let it simmer for a while.

After a few minutes, he added the green leeks and white potatoes that were cut into tiny cubes. In addition, he threw in:

  • chicken broth
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • five bay leaves (thyme would also work)
  • basil

He let everything simmer until the potatoes were soft.

Next, the pot went into the fridge until it was cool, and then the contents transferred to the blender.

Once smooth, the mixture went back on stove over low heat. 1/2 cup of soymilk was stirred in. Last, the soup was seasoned with salt and pepper.


We also enjoyed grilled asparagus with balsamic vinegar alongside the pottage.

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