Archive for tofu

Tomatillo et al stir fry

Oh, tomatillos, where have you been all my life? I had them for the first time in last year’s CSA baskets, and they’ve returned again a few times this year. The taste is similar to tomatoes, but they’re sweeter, drier, and fleshier. Plus they have the added fun of being neatly packaged in papery husks. A marvelous species indeed.

For this stir fry, Yusuke began by sautéing cubes of firm tofu in olive oil until slightly browned. He removed the tofu from the pan and wiped out the extra oil.

Next, he cooked chopped eggplant in fresh olive oil until cooked.

Next, he added minced garlic and tiny slivers of fresh chili pepper.

The tomatillo was added next.

And finally, powdered kombu dashi (a stock made from seaweed) offered umami. No additional salt was needed.

The original inspiration for this recipe was fish and tomatoes, but tofu worked nicely. On the side, we had miso soup with turnips and their greens.

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Vegetable Fried Quinoa

This is a really old one. For the recipe, see http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/02/vegetable-fried-quinoa.html

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Tofu and bok choy

This stir fry featured bok choy from our CSA basket, and it was so much more flavourful and firmer than what we get from the store. I love you, dear summer.

The procedure began with bok choy stems sauted in sesame oil. After it was cooked, Yusuke added the remaining bok choy greens and mushrooms.

Next he added some veggie bouillon dissolved in about 100 cc of water (Better than Bouillon brand) along with a tiny bit of sugar.

Cubes of silken tofu followed—careful not to break it!

He let everything simmer before adding katakuriko (Japanese potato starch).

That’s it. As Yusuke says, シンプル is best! (translation…)

On the side, we had miso soup with gorgeous green onions and egg (Yusuke’s favourite).

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Spongy tofu (in a good way)

This is the first time I’ve shown こうやどうふ (koyadofu) on this blog. It’s essentially freeze-dried tofu that can be re-hydrated for use in stir fries, soups, etc. I guess it could be Japanese astronaut food…except I think it’s pretty yummy. I sometimes take it in my lunch since I’m afraid of leaving regular tofu unrefrigerated when I’m at the gym before work. I just add some water and soy sauce or put it in soup. It is indeed spongy, which might turn some people off, but I quite like it.

You can see a picture of it “plain” here.

So for this dish, Yusuke began by soaking the koyadofu in water for about 10-20 seconds, then squeezed out all the water (fun!), and cut it into cubes.

He then boiled chopped snap peas for a few minutes with salt and then drained them.

He added back more water, plus:

  • dashi
  • soy sauce
  • mirin
  • sugar
  • salt

Next came chopped green beans along with the koyadofu.

The next addition was thinly sliced abura-age (deep-fried tofu sheets).

He let everything simmer for a while. Finally, he poured in beaten eggs and let them cook briefly.

The mirin and sugar gave this a lovely sweetish taste balanced by the soy sauce, which the koyadofu soaks right up!

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タコライス

タコライス. Translation: taco rice.

This is one of the many examples of the Japanese tendency to embrace foreign concepts and make them uniquely Japanese (see also: curry, pasta, omu-rice etc. etc.). Based on Mexican-style cuisine, this particular dish is especially popular in Okinawa, so much so that you can even read about it on wikipedia.

Yusuke has been on a salsa and tortilla kick…too bad he couldn’t join me in Guatemala! Hence the desire for this dish.

Rather than using the typical ground pork, Yusuke instead used firm tofu. He also omitted the cheese and used asparagus rather than lettuce.

He began the cooking procedure by chopping white onions (suffering through the tears!). Next, he crumbled firm tofu by hand and sauteed both with olive oil.

After the onions became translucent, he added carrots, chopped into tiny pieces.

Next came the seasoning:

  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Some recipes call for worchestershire sauce or that taco seasoning stuff that you can buy in a package. But since this is タコライス, you definitely need soy sauce!

The asparagus was boiled separately, chopped, and added to rest of the mix.

Everything was then arranged on rice, topped with an over-easy egg, and served with salsa.

おいしかった / ¡muy delicioso!

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Revamped okonomiyaki

This was an attempt at a new okonomiyaki recipe, and it was highly successful!

The basis was medium-firm tofu. Yusuke squeezed the tofu between paper towels to draw out excess water and then smashed it with a whisk until it made a smooth paste.

He then assembled the “dough” and filling:

  • the tofu paste
  • shredded cabbage
  • chopped spinach
  • a tiny bit of bonito flakes
  • dashi
  • sea salt
  • 3 tbsp of katakuriko powder (that is, potato starch, sort of)
  • 4 eggs

He mixed everything in a large bowl and then separated it into individual pancake portions, which were grilled in a frying pan with a bit of canola oil.

We dressed them as usual with okonomi sauce, bonito flakes, and for Yusuke: mayonnaise.

So what made this different? No flour! It worked out quite well, although they were rather more fragile than the typical specimen.

The original recipe called for tiny shrimp and green onions, but as these were lacking from our fridge, Yusuke subbed in spinach.

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Garlicky lettuce wrap

Neglected blogs are sad. Fortunately, food chez nous is happy.

The original recipe that inspired this dish was for pasta sauce, but Yusuke modified it quite dramatically!

The goal of this dish was to use up leftover fresh garlic, so preparations began with 4 cloves: minced. He also minced white onions and sautéed them with pork and a tiny bit of oil.

Next, he added smashed tofu to the pan. (He used Soyarie brand silken tofu which is firmer than Japanese.) He let it simmer until the water content was reduced, at which he point he added a load of leeks.

The seasoning was added next: 1-2 tbsp of soy sauce, salt, and black pepper.

The mixture was transferred to fresh lettuce and wrapped up neatly. Yum!

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