Posts Tagged Snap peas

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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Five things

This is a beautiful take on ごもくまめ (gomoku-mame), or “5 things and [soy]beans.” Or something like that. Often, the dish includes kombu or hijiki, mushrooms, konnyaku, gobo (burdock root), and renkon (lotus root)—the latter two to contribute a literally earthy taste.

Well, here we had to go with what was in our fridge, and we have five things including soybeans, but I think it still counts:

  • shitake mushrooms
  • kombu (seaweed)
  • carrots
  • snap peas

Yusuke anticipated this meal by soaking the soybeans in water for 24 hours or so. When it was time to start cooking, he drained them and added new water, bringing it to a boil. The beans were cooked for about an hour at low to medium heat, and he periodically scooped out the thin, bitter residue that comes off the beans.

Meanwhile, he soaked dried shitake for about 30 minutes. and then added the mushrooms, along with their soaking water, to the beans—enough water to cover them.

Next he added pieces of kombu that had been chopped into square-shaped pieces.

Then he added 1 tsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Everything simmered for a while to reduce the water. Midway through the simmering stage, he added chopped carrots, and then almost at the very end came chopped snap peas.

Yummy and very filling.

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Thai-ish stir fry

First step: boil snap peas with sea salt for about 2 minutes and then drain.

Next it was the potatoes‘ turn to be cut into strips and soaked in water for a few minutes.

In a frying pan, he sauteed ginger and fresh garlic in a bit of oil. He then added the potatoes, followed by the snap peas, and finally defrosted frozen shrimp.

He then turned off the heat and added 1/2 tsp of nam pla and a tiny bit of maple syrup. The sweetness very nicely balanced the salty taste.

The unique flavour of nam pla (Thai fish sauce) comes from fermentation, which brings out a richer taste in the food to which it is added—the famous concept of umami.

I must note, though, that nam pla made our apartment stink, especially in combination with the fresh garlic. However, the smell disappears as soon as the sauce is heated and mixes with other flavours. The food itself was delicious, with no trace of fishiness.

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