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Posts Tagged ‘silken tofu’

A couple of our friends are growing their own shiso. apparently their plant is going haywire and they have too much shiso for their own usage, so they gave us a bunch. I do mean a bunch! I only used half of it for the pesto. Does anyone want some? I have a feeling you’ll see at least one more shiso recipe on this blog sometime this week.

I made the pesto much like I would a regular pesto, but with a few changes. I used about 1/2 ounce of shiso leaves, one clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese, and about 1/4 cup of olive oil. I put it all in my little food processor and whipped it all up.

For the tofukatsu I used mustard, 1 block of silken tofu, and some panko. I pressed the water out of the tofu in the fridge for about an hour. Then, I cut it in half. I sliced the halves into 4 equal pieces to look like cutlets.

I poured some panko on a plate and then spread a thin layer of mustard on top of each tofu cutlet. I pressed the tofu, mustard side down, on the panko and spread another thin layer of mustard on the other side then flipped and pressed again. I wanted both sides of the tofu crusted in panko. In a large skilled heated to high I poured in a few tablespoons of peanut oil. I like to shallow fry in peanut oil because it has a high smoking point and doesn’t really have that strong of a flavor. I fried the tofu in two batches so as to not overcrowd the skillet. After both sides were nice and golden I laid them on a wire rack to let any excess oil drip off.

I made a couple of sides to go with the tofukatsu. One was a simple steamed head of broccoli. I cut the broccoli down into bite-sized pieces, florets and stem and them steamed it for about 4 minutes. I had a packet of mixed sesame seeds with dried carrot so I decided to sprinkle that on instead of salt and pepper.

I had about 1/2 pound of oyster mushrooms in my fridge, so I decided to saute them with 1 teaspoon of sherry, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of flour, 1/2 tablespoon of butter, and I was going to use 1/2 onion.

For whatever reason I wasn’t feeling the onion. No rhyme or reason, I just decided not to use the onion and instead use the enoki mushrooms that were in my fridge. I also grated a clove of garlic at the last minute too.

In a hot pan I poured in about 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and put the grated garlic in for about 30 seconds. Then, I threw in all of the mushrooms, both oyster and enoki. I let them saute for about 4 minutes and then poured in the sherry and soy sauce. Once the liquid was almost completely boiled off, about 2 minutes, I poured in the flour and butter and stirred that all in. The flour thickened up the last bit of liquid while the butter made it all silky and smooth, as butter always does.

Finally, I took a daikon radish and skinned about half of it. I grated the part that I skinned and served it just as it is.

To serve everything, I had some white rice and then put some broccoli next to it and then two pieces of tofukatsu next to that. I poured a little of the pesto on top of the tofukatsu. The grated daikon went on the plate as well. It was a little sharp, so we poured a few drops of soy sauce on it. In a separate plate I laid some mushrooms down. Next to them I put some kimchi cucumbers that we picked up at the Assi Plaza. I’m not a big fan of cucumbers, but these kimchi ones are so damn good they just might make me a believer. Bon apetit!

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Last night I was back at it with Meatless Monday. I haven’t used tofu in a while so I decided to make a dish with it. I treated it like a piece of fish or chicken and cooked it en papillote with some vegetables. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I used foil instead of parchment paper. Same cooking method though.

I had some baby bok chow in the fridge, so I finished that up by separating it into individual leaves. I sliced half of an onion, a small red bell pepper, and halved some shiitake mushrooms. I picked up a block of firm tofu, I prefer silken because of its silky texture but they didn’t have any. Any kind of tofu works. I pressed the water out of it for about an hour in the fridge then cut it into 4 equal “steaks” before cooking. I also picked up some yellow string beans.

On a square of aluminum foil I first laid down a couple of bok choy leaves. On top of that some onions and then a tofu steak. I scattered some pepper slices, yellow beans, shiitake, and more onions on top and around the tofu. Then I put a couple small pats of butter on top with 1.5 teaspoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sake. A little bit of black pepper and my packet was ready to be sealed. I make 4 packets. I wanted to make sure that the foil was completely sealed so that the vegetables would steam inside and not lose any good juice.

I threw them into an oven at 425 degrees and let them cook for about 20-25 minutes. They were opened at the dinner table to keep the steam in. I used chopsticks to open mine so that I wouldn’t burn myself with the steam.

For the tomato and bread soup I used 6 Roma tomatoes, two cloves of garlic, three dinner rolls, and some fresh basil from my balcony. I started by skinning the tomatoes in hot water. Just make a small “x” with a sharp knife on the bottom of each tomato and drop them all into boiling water for about 15 seconds. The skin will come loose and you can easily peel it off. Then I chopped the tomatoes into half-inch square pieces. I also chopped up the rolls about the same size. The garlic was minced and the basil chopped.

In a hot pan I poured about a quarter cup of olive oil and threw the garlic and basil in for about a minute. Then I added the bread and let it go for another few minutes.

Then I added the tomatoes and seasoned with some salt. I poured in about a 1.5-2 cups of the water that I used to skin the tomatoes. Once that came to a boil I lowered the heat to medium, covered the pot, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. That’s it, just check for seasoning and serve, along with white rice.

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A common dish in our diets is a shiitake burger. When I was at the store cremini mushrooms were on sale for $1.49 per 8oz package as opposed to the normal $4.99. Shiitakes also typically cost about $4.99 per 8oz package. So, I decided to use creminis.

To make the patties I small diced a quarter of a medium-sized onion, two garlic cloves minced, about 5 or 6 oz’s of creminis diced, and about a pound of ground beef. To that, I mixed in a half teaspoon of mirin, 1 teaspoon of sake, 1.5 teaspoons of sake, and one egg all beaten together. I don’t typically like to put egg in my burgers, but I didn’t have any bread crumbs or any bread to make breadcrumbs and I was a little worried that the added liquids would make the meat too loose. Once everything was mixed up I let it rest for about fifteen minutes. Then, I made it into 4 patties and put them in the fridge, covered, until just before grilling time.

I made some soup to serve with the burgers. I put about 3 cups of water in a pan and turned the heat up. I added about 8 chopped green onions, one chopped carrot, the rest of the creminis sliced, and let that all boil for about 7 minutes. Then I added a tablespoon of instant dashi and about a quarter cup of soy sauce. Once that all mixed in I added some sliced aburage and a half block of silken tofu that I diced. I let that simmer a little and then covered it and turned the heat down to keep it warm while I grilled.

I first grilled some broccoli and orange bell pepper slices (both drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper) over direct heat on the top rack until the broccoli started to show some grill marks. Then I moved the broccoli to the other side of the grill off the direct heat so that it would continue to cook a little without burning. After the broccoli was moved I put the burgers on the lower rack and grilled them up. By the time the burgers were done on both sides the peppers were nice and roasted and the broccoli nice and al dente.

I served everything with white rice. I also drizzled a little ponzu on top of the burgers to add a little zing to them.

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After making a run to Mitsuwa for some Japanese ingredients (some staples in our kitchen) I let Yuki do the cooking last night. She made a dish called Jjigae Don. Well, that’s what she calls it anyway. Jjigae is an old Korean recipe (you see Ira, Yuki doesn’t have anything against Korea), a stew typically made with kimchi. She didn’t use any kimchi but did use Tobanjan, a Korean fermented chili paste.

First, she made a broth out of miso, tobanjan, and dashi. She simmered some green onions, carrot slices, and baby bok choy until soft and tender. Then she took those vegetables out and cooked some thinly sliced kurobuta pork. By thinly sliced I mean deli meat thin. You can purchase it that way at Mitsuwa and some other Asian grocery stores. It’s typically marked for use in Shabu-shabu or dishes like that. The pork cooks quickly since it’s so thin. Be careful not to cook it more than a minute or two because the meat will get tough if overcooked. Once the pork was cooked she took it out and then cooked some shimeji mushrooms in the broth.

While all of this was going on we had pressed the water out of a package of silken tofu. Once the tofu was firm enough we cut (she did the cooking I did most of the cutting, I’m her sous chef as I love to use the hand-carved Japanese steel she got me for my birthday a few years ago) it into smaller pieces and then cooked it in the broth.

After everything was cooked we put some rice in the bottom of our bowls and then topped it with all of the ingredients. While we did that Yuki cooked some shungiku in the broth. You have to cook that last as it turns the broth a darker color. That way the veggies and meat keep their natural colors. Once the shungiku was cooked that went in the bowl with everything else.

No extra fats, just the natural fat from top quality pork, were added to this dish. Along with the variety of fresh vegetables and white rice this is an extremely healthy dish. Absolutely delicious as well.

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Another Meatless Monday in the books. I had some veggies and tofu I needed to use up so I made a vegetarian version of Mapo Tofu.

I chopped up half of an onion and sautéed it for a few minutes. Then I added a half-inch piece of ginger and two cloves of garlic, both grated. After a few minutes I threw in some green beans that I cut down to smaller pieces. A few more minutes and I added some diced baby eggplant  and some chopped mushrooms.

While that was all sautéing, in a hot skillet I poured in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil and scrambled two eggs. The hot oil cooks the eggs up nice and fluffy. Once they were almost finished I put them on a plate off to the side.

Back to my veggies. I seasoned with salt and a lot of freshly ground Sichuan Peppercorns, that’s what will give it the numbing burn you need with a good Mapo Tofu. Then I added about three tablespoons of water just to deglaze some of the garlic and ginger bits on the bottom of the pan. After that I added three or four tablespoons of soy sauce and a spoonful of Korean Chili Paste, any kind of chili paste will work for the most part.

Once the sauce was nicely mixed I added the scrambled egg making sure it was broken into smaller pieces. Finally, I added a block of diced silken tofu that I had drained the water from. To drain the water I lined a plate with a couple of paper towels, laid the tofu on top, then a couple more paper towels, a cutting board, and then something to weigh it down a little. That sat in the fridge for about 45 minutes.

When the tofu was coated with the sauce and heated through the dish was ready, about 5 more minutes. I simply served it with plain white rice and a cold beer. Oh, right before I served it I threw in some chopped parsley. I did this only because I had some in the fridge and thought it would add a nice freshness to all the spice. It did.

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I took the easy way out for this past Meatless Monday adventure. I found a packet of Japanese Curry in my cabinet and decided to use it up. I don’t know if you can buy Japanese Curry packets at regular grocers, but it is available at almost any Asian market. It comes in a box with two packets and comes in different spice levels. I like the spicy, but it does come mild and medium.

At any rate, we usually eat this with either chicken, beef, or pork as the protein. Being Meatless Monday I used tofu instead. Not all that creative, but still delicious and healthy.

For this batch I chopped up a whole onion into about 1/3 of an inch chunks. I also cut up a green pepper, red pepper, carrot, and some potatoes (all about the same size as the onion chunks). I wanted them cut a little larger since they’d be stewing for a while. If they’re too small they can disintegrate.

In a hot stew pot I put in a little soy oil and then the onions and carrots. After they sweated a little I added the peppers so they could sweat too. Then I added the potatoes. After about 5 minutes or so I added 3 cups of water. That was a bit of a mistake on my part. The package said to add 3 cups, but my wife told me that in Japan a cup is much smaller. Not sure why that is, but it was a little too much water. To fix that I just boiled it down a little longer without covering to pot to let the water evaporate. If I had the proper amount I would have covered it. Next time I’ll only add 2 cups.

Once the veggies were cooked through I broke up the curry cube into 4 pieces and added them one at a time to mix them in completely. You’ll want to let it simmer for a little bit to let the curry sauce thicken, otherwise it’ll be too soupy.

All the while this was going on I had taken some silken tofu and pressed it to firm it up a little and rid it of some water. To do this I took a plate and lined it with a few paper towels. I put the tofu on top and then covered it with a few more paper towels and laid a cutting board on top. I put some weight on the cutting board and let it press the water out of the tofu in the fridge for about an hour.

Once the tofu was a little firmer I cut it into cubes and stirred it gently into the curry. I let the curry cook with the tofu for about 10-15 minutes over a lower heat to let some of the flavors absorb into the tofu.

I served it simply with white rice and drank it down with a cold beer. Just for my friend Tsutomu I did not add a hard boiled egg. Actually, I never do for this type of Japanese Curry.

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