Sesame sweet and sour tofu

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Tasty tofu. Good tofu is tasty. A tasty tofu dish.
I don’t like when people say “it’s a recipe for people that don’t like such ingredient”. If you don’t like tofu, there is no obligation to eat some. But,but… Let’s say this is a recipe that makes tofu taste and feel differently. It is marinated and prepared in a Chinese style sauce.

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It’s very firm momendoufu (cotton tofu). I’ve put a plate on the block during 15 minutes to squeeze out excess water.
Cut, and mixed with a marinade (1 tbs soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, 2 tbs Chinese wine, 1/2 ts wuxi 5 spices mix) and let 1/2 hour.
Then I passed the cubes in a plate of potato starch and stir-fried till golden.

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For the sauce :
Heat 1 tbs of sugar (here kurozato black cane sugar), when it’s getting into caramel.
On lower heat, add in water, paprika powder or paste, grated garlic, the rest of the plate of starch and the plate of marinade.
Stir till it takes texture. Add some black rice vinegar. Check salt, add chili pepper to taste, more water if you want.
Reheat the tofu in the sauce.

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Top with a little fragrant sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.
Yuummmmm….

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As a side a salad of lettuce, onion, parsley and umi-budo “sea grapes”.

DSC00119-003 umi-budo (more here)

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Served with genmai (brown rice).

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Leaves and buds, plant powered early Spring meal

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The big lunch. A veggie orgy.
You have seen already 3 dishes, here is the final installment.

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I cooked this with all the veggies leftovers I had. Spring cabbage and maitake mushrooms that you see here. Also onion, kintoki red carrot and I’ve added potatoes. At the end, more greens of shungiku.

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The veggies are cooked without oil, steamed in the pan. Just salt. They bring enough complementary flavors.

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The dish : jardinière de légumes (vegetable garden lady). That looks dry, but it’s very mushy, soft and juicy.

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Garlic and yuzu sautéed tsubomina. That you are detailed here.

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The main dish maybe is the tofu on wasabi leaves, from this post.

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The last slice of this delicious black sesame azuki bean terrine that I had frozen, a while ago (here). I had 2 huge bean terrines that fed me for a while. Now I need to bake the next ones.

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Garlic and yuzu sautéed tsubomina

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A simple and incredibly tasty dish.

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I had a pack of tsubomina (more here). I’ve cleaned and cut them.

I cut some yellow peel from a yuzu lemon, and minced garlic. And I cooked in a drying pan. At the end, I’ve added more peel, salt and a splash of yuzu juice.

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Mmmm…

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Ryori, a Japanese classic menu… (compilation by cooking techniques)

Quick list of Japanese “classics” to help you navigate on this site. That’s not complete at all. I tried to make it representative. I often make them with a twist, but I tell you in the post.

Short memo about the Japanese meal

-all dishes are brought at the same time, ideally served in individual dishes, one plate per item.
-there is rice + soup + three items. Or more.

The items, called okazu tend to be side-dish sized. On the menu in restaurants, traditional style was to present the okazu by cooking technique.

ONE :

GOHAN, rice
rice cuisine list ***** sushi list

and ONE :

吸い物,SUIMONO
A soup to drink !

DASHI (basic stock tutorial)
vegan dashi tuto
misoshiru (miso soup, in many posts)
shijimi miso soup
clear soup
O-zoni New Year soup
sake kasu Winter white soup

And THREE, FOUR, FIVE… many :

OKAZU LIST

お造り o-tsukuri
Normally, that’s a term for seafood sashimi, raw seafood. I don’t *cook* it of course.

scallop sashimi
calamari sashimi noodles
hamo no aburi (flamed sashimi)
hiya yakko (chilled tofu cubes)
konnyaku faux-sashimi

和え物,aemono
Cold dish with sauce.

shira-ae veggies
goma-ae kogomi (sesame fiddle heads)
snappy beans and shrimps in kimizu-ae (yolk sauce)

蒸し物, mushimono
Steamed.
egg tofu
dobin mushi (steamed soup)
okowa kabocha (steamed pumpkin with rice)
steamed scallop

御浸し, o-hitashi
Blanched.
mustard green o-hitashi
green leaf maki
reishabu (poached meat)

揚げ物 agemono
Fried dishes.

tempura (tutorial)
kakiage (mixed tempura)
karaage fish
agedofu, fried tofu DIY
kaki-furai (fried oysters)

焼き物, yakimono
Grilled dishes.

shioyaki (salt grilled fish)
kabayaki conger eel
yakiniku, beef BBQ
yakitori (chicken skewers)
teriyaki chicken(the “real” thing, recipe)
teriyaki fish
miso yaki chicken
miso yaki fish
dengaku (skewers)

鉄板焼き,teppanyaki
Grilled on the hot plate.
Beef liver teppanyaki
okonomiyaki (compilation)
ika-yaki (calamari)

煮物, nimono
Simmered.

pumpkin kabocha no nitsuke
kakuni (pork)
beef shigure
buri daikon (fish and radish)

炒め物 itamemono
Stir-fried.

champuru (Okinawan scramble)
kinpira

漬物, tsukemono
pickles
wasabi leaf tsukemono
daikon radish leave tsukemono
dashi’t, Obanazawa pickle
pink lotus root tsukemono

酢の物, sunomono
Quick vinegar pickles. Salads with lots of vinegar.

potato sarada
daikon ume sarada
kabocha sarada

Spaghetti squash and favas

Spaghetti squash is a convenient veggie. A pack of pasta, sold in 2 bowls to serve it.

The beast raw.

Boiled in the cro-wave.

Stir-fried. No cheese and no tomato paste… I’ve used sake kasu and gochujang plus paprika powder.

Favas (broad beans) for the proteins.

If you flip on the plate. Mmmmm…

Nira chahan, fried rice du jour


Cha-han is a anything goes Chinese style fried rice. Nira (Asian garlic chives) are those long leaves with a slight garlic taste. And they came for lunch together…

Sunny and eggy, with a touch of chili sauce. Let’s make it :

First, stir-fry all the veggie left-overs (eringi mushrooms, celery, negi leeks, onion, the white stalks of the nira) in oil flavored with garlic a cut dry chilly and a ts of salted shrimps ami-ebi.

Scramble an egg in the middle. Add in hot rice from the rice cooker, spices.

That makes a ton. Let’s store half for another meal.

To the rest, I added natto beans, a beaten egg, the bouquet of nira.

And served !

With marinated eringi, and red favas in the pod.

A flavor of caramel with hints of shiso, shiitake and fish…

Sweet’n salty for a surprise stir-fry. With chesnut rice.
It’s my invention, but that’s not so creative as I mixed different Japanese dishes.

That’s really a delicious dish : tofu, fish, sweet potato, shiitake mushroom, carrot, onion, chili, shiso blossoms in a sweet glaze.
You can’t do a random stir-fry as if you throw in the ingredients, you will get a big mess, the tofu crushed, the sauce sticking, the potato not cooked.
So there is an order to make it, and things go smoothly.

Preparing stir-fried tofu
1. dry your tofu.
I have used silky tofu. It is very soft. There is a way to harden it. Don’t press it, it would crack. Cook it. You can either boil the whole block, or cook in microwave (I do 3 times 1 minutes, taking away water in between). Then I let it cool.
2. frying.
Cut cubes of cooled tofu. Heat a pan with a little oil. Roll each cube in starch (corn or potato starch) and place them in the pan. Put moderate heat. After 30 seconds, with a spatula and a fork, make them roll on another side. Do the 6 sides.
3. golden glow
Pass on high heat, and cook the cubes while you move the pan to make them roll.

Prepare ingredients :
I prepared the sweet potato too by baking it with the chesnuts.
I rehydratated dry shiitake.
Sliced carrots, onion, red chili.
Added all that to the fried tofu.

I also added komame (small dried fish).
komame cooked for New Year

Caramel soy sauce :
After stir-frying everything together a few seconds, I added the water from the shiitake, plus a tbs of soy sauce. Put a lid. Let Simmer.
Then I mixed 1 tbs of starch + 2 cups of water + 2 tbs of mirin + 1 ts of shiso blossoms. Added and stirred till the sauce became thick and transparent.
Ready !
Serve hot, with more shiso blossom on top.

My shiso blossoms (shiso no mi) are the flowers you could see on this soup :

I dried some and they have kept a great shiso flavor. Otherwise yukari, flakes of dried shiso, leaves can be used, and you can buy it in Japanese groceries.

about yukari

Grilled kuri (Japanese chestnuts).

On top of new koshihikari genmai (brown rice). The season’s presents.