This is a compilation of all the tofu recipes I have either come across or written recipes about this past year.
I sincerely hope other foodies will find it useful for reference and copying/sharing as all pics and articles in this posting are for sharing!
“Zarudofu”, my favourite variety of tofu just filtered out in a “zaru/basket”. You just eat it with a spoon on its own. No seasoning needed!
As promised, here is the first posting about tofu.
This article concerns the home-making of it.
The next article will introduce different kinds of tofu and recipes!
Ingredients (for one large piece, one cho/丁in Japanese)
Soy beans: 2 cups (360cc)
Nigari: 2 large tablespoons
(Magnesium chloride is an important coagulant used in the preparation of tofu from soy milk. In Japan it is sold as nigari (the term is derived from the Japanese word for “bitter”), a white powder produced from seawater after the sodium chloride has been removed, and the water evaporated. In China it is called “lushui”.. Nigari or Lushui consists mostly of magnesium chloride, with some magnesium sulfate and other trace elements. It is also an ingredient in baby formula milk).
Water: 5 cups (twice and a half the volume of soy beans)
One large pot
One large clean cloth pouch to press tofu through
One large piece of gauze to filter water off shaped tofu
One large wooden spoon
One wooden tofu-shaper case
1) Preparation: soak soy beans in water overnight
2) Preparation: Mix nigari with 1 cup of water and set aside
3) According to its size, Pour the whole or part by part soy beans and water (1) and make paste as fine as possible. If mixer runs at an even pace without crushing beans into paste, add more water. The paste obtained is called “namago” (生呉)
4) Pour the bean paste into a large pot with an equal amount of water. Heat stirring all the time. The paste will come to a boil suddenly. Switch off fire. Switch on low once the paste has settled for 10 minutes and take off fire.
5) Pour paste into the cloth pouch and press. Right of the picture is tofu paste before pressing. Left is pressed out tofu
6) Solidifying (coagulating) with nigari.
Stir tofu over light fire. When the temperature has reached 75~80 degrees Celsius pour in nigari slowly and stir all the time. The solid matter will sink to the bottom and accumulate. The coagulation will be complete when liquid above tofu has become transparent. Stop the operation and let rest for 15 minutes.
7) Arrange the gauze inside tofu a tofu shaper case which should have small holes to let excess water run out.
8) Cover with lid with a weight (or glass of water) of about 250 g and further press out water for 15 minutes
9) Delicately empty tofu in basin filled with called water and leave it there for an hour to take out excess nigari. Store in refrigerator.
“Zarudofu”, my favourite variety of tofu just filtered out in a “zaru/basket”. You just eat it with a spoon on its own. No seasoning needed!
This is the second article dedicated to some of the many varieties of that celebrated food, tofu. A third article is in preparation as for recipes!
Tofu comes in various degrees of firmness.
The softest are “Zaru dofu” (see pic above) and Okinawa-style tofu.
“Kinu Goshi Tofu”
Next come “Kinu Tofu/Kinu Goshi Tofu”/Silk-sieved tofu. It can be used for almost any recipe, although you might have to press it as it contains a lot of water.
“On Tofu” is similar to “Kinu tofu”, but it has been conceived as it its name indicates for being eaten hot or warm instead of cold.
“Momen Tofu”/”Wool Tofu” contains less water, is firmer and is perfect for “Nabe/Japanese Pot-au-feu”.
“Yaki Tofu/Grilled tofu” (not to be confused with deep-fried tofu) is usually “Momen tofu” grilled to give it the “gratine” look. Tasty, it is particularly interesting when sauteed with vegetables and so forth in Japanese, Chinese, Korean or Thai food.
“Yawarakaage or Yawarakai Aburaage”
Tofu can be bought cooked/deep-fried in many manners.
“Yawarakaage” is tofu deep-fried into a thin sheet which can be opened as a pouch like in:
“Inari” is “Yawarakaage”, which has been first marinated in mirin, soy Sauce and sugar. Do ask about its preparation as some companies or individuals add dashi, which is usually not vegan or vegetarian!
“Karaage Tofu/Deep-fried Tofu” comes in many forms.
The above “Namaage/Deep-fried raw” is the most common.
“Kinu namaage” is great for the contrast between a solid outside and vey soft inside.
“Ganmo” and “Kyo-Ganmo”
“Ganmo” is Tofu that has pressed to almost dry, then broken into very small lumps to which one added cooked carrots, Hijiki sweet seaweed, grated yam, a little sugar (not always), shaped into a ball and lightly deep-fried. Great, heated again with vegetables and a swet and sour sauce, or in whatever recipe you might imagine. “Kyo-Ganmo” is the smaller Kyoto-Style variety. Ganmo should be made exclusively with vegetal matter, but do ask if you are not sure!
Yes, you have read it, “Tofu Doughnuts”, very popular with kids!
-“Okara” is hard-pressed, almost dry tofu sold broken into very small lumps.
-“Yuba” is the “skin” appearing on top of the pan when tofu is being prepared. Very popular served cold with all kinds of ingredients.
-“Koya” is hard-pressed tofu sold marinated. Now, as it contains fish stock dashi, it is not suitable to vegans or vegetarians.
-“Kuro goma tofu” or “Shiro goma tofu” (Black and white sesame curd) are not made with soy beans but sesame, although they make for great food for vegans and vegetarians.
There are many other “fancy” varieties, but I cannot guarantee their suitability to vegans or vegetarians!
“Tofu Doughnuts” at Shizutetsu Supermarket in Shizuoka City
Following a kind message from Dawn Figueroa who after returning from Japan could not find the tofu donuts back hoem, nor their recipes.
There are many recipes indeed, most of them including eggs, milk, wheat flour, pancake mix and what not.
Moreover I discovered that the stores in Japan use wheat flour, too.
Although this would be enough for vegans and vegetarians (I’M not), I decided to introduce an easy recipe which non-gluten, nor containing wheat flour.
For people who want to start from scratch, check tofu preparation recipe below!
HOME-MADE TOFU DONUTS
Ingredients: For 3 donuts (multiply accordingly!)
-Rice powder (riz blanc in French): 45 g
-Cornstarch: 15 g
-Baking powder (non-gluten): half a teaspoon
–Sugar beet: 10 g (optional/use a little salt if you want to prepare appetizer donuts)
-(Kinu tofu) Silk Tofu: 60 g
-In a large bowl, mash/crush the tofu
-Add rice powder, cornstarch, baking powder and sugar beet. Mix well.Form a ball.
-Shape three donuts by hand and place them atop pieces of cooking paper. Shape the central hole large enough.
-Preheat oil to 160 degrees Celsius.
Drop the doughnuts into the oil with their cooking paper.
Take paper out with tongs as soon as the oil “boil”around the donuts.
Fry the donuts until they attain a nice “fox”/brown colour.
Turn the donuts over halfway for an even cooking and colour.
-If you use too much tofu in the recipe the donuts will be difficult to shape.
-Proportion between rice powder, beet sugar and baking pwder is based on the following:
Rice powder: 100 g
Beet sugar: 10 g
Baking powder: 3 g
-You can add taste to the donuts according to your preferences.
TOFU CHOCOLATE CAKE
As I said before, tofu has the great quality that it makes all things lighter, especially cakes.
have you ever thought of combining it with Chocolate?
Tofu Chocolate Cake!
-Light flour: 80 g
-Baking powder: 10 g
-Cooking chocolate or normal chocolate (the higher percentage in cocoa, the better!): 1 standard tablet/bar
-Margarine or butter: 1 tablespoon
-Cocoa powder: 20 g
-Rum: to taste
-Tofu (light/kinu tofu): 300 g
-Sugar: to taste (depends on people!)
-Fresh cream: 100 ml
-Jam: 1 tablespoon
-Whip the tofu until smooth. Pass it through a fine mesh sieve.
In a separate bowl pass the flour and baking powder through a fine mesh sieve.
-Melt margarine/butter and chocolate on a bain-marie (put the bowl inside a larger one over a fire.
Add 50 ml of hot water and the coca powder. Keep mixing until misture thickens.
-Separate egg yolks and whites.
Beat the whites in to solid meringue.
-Add flour and baking powder, egg yolks, rum and sugar to chocolate mixture. Mix well. Fold in the egg whites in.
-Check taste. Add flour and cocoa powder if necessary. mix in quickly.
-Line your rice-cooker with a little oil. Pour in the whole mix and switch on the rice-cooker.
If you do not have a rice cooker, pour the mixture inside a mold and bake for about 20~25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (check from time to time.
-Wait until cooled down completely before taking out.
Serve with whiiped cream mixed wit a little jam of your choice.
Plenty of variations possible!
VEGAN SMOKED TOFU
It is sometimes a hard world for vegans when it comes to find new ideas and recipes, even you love tofu!
Here is a simple way to prepare and enjoy tofu as it was a big piece of cheese!
Vegan Smoked Tofu!
INGREDIENTS: for ? People
-Tofu: a large piece 300~400g or more
-Miso of your liking, as much as you wish
-Soy sauce, not too much (beware the salt)
-Sake or mirin, a little just for the taste
-Spices, if you wish!
-As the tofu shouldn’t be too soft, choose “momendofu”, or slightly solid.
-Place the tofu on a clean cloth.
-Top it with a clean plate or board.
-Put a heavy weight on top.
-Leave it like this for half a day. The tofu will reduce to half.
-Smear the whole tofu on every face with plenty of a mixture of miso, soy sauce and other ingredients of your choice. The more, the better.
-Wrap it carefully in cellophane paper and leave it in the fridge overnight.
-Take it out of the fridge and take off the cellophane paper.
-Let it dry for 2 hours at room temperature over a piece of kitchen paper.
-Smoke inside a Chinese smoking set for 1 hour.
-Very practical for smoking small quantities!
-Here you are! Enjoy!
TOFU POUND CAKE
Tofu has the great quality that it makes all things lighter, especially cakes.
Have you ever thought of making a pound cake with it (with a twist added!)?
Tofu Pound Cake!
INGREDIENTS: For a cake 16.5 cm long and a square cut of 7 cm sides
-Egg whites: 2
-Egg yolks: 2
-Sugar: 30 g
-Tofu (after taking some of its water off): 120 g
-Honey (liquid): 2 tablespoons
-All-purpose flour: 50 g
-Baking powder: half a teaspoon
-Soy sauce: 1 teaspoon
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
-Milk: 2 tablespoons
-Mix flour and baking powder well.
-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
-In a bowl drop the egg whites with half of the sugar. Beat until solid. Beat 30 more times with a whisk.
-In a separate bowl drop in the tofu, rest of the sugar and egg yolks. Beat with a whisker until smooth. Do not mix too much!
-Add honey, soy sauce, mirin and milk in that order to the egg yols mixture and mix in one each at a time.
-Add and mix in the flour and baking powder mixture little by little with a spatula.
-Add the meringue (beaten egg whites) by folding them in with a spatula in 2 or three sessions.
-Line the mold with baking paper and pour in the whole mixture.
Bake for 40 minutes (the picture above shows the cake baked after 10 minutes)
-Leave the cake inside the oven for 10 more minutes after the oven has switched off after the 40 minutes of cooking. Open the oven, but leave the cake inside for an extra 10 minutes before taking it out.
-Let cool down completely.
Leave inside the fridge for half a day before serving.
You can replace the soy sauce and mirin with cocoa powder (1 tablespoon)!
TOFU YOGHURT CAKE
Tofu and yoghurt are two very healthy ingredients that can be easily magicked into a cake for the delight o children and calories conscious adults:
Tofu Yoghurt Cake!
INGREDIENTS: For an 18cm-diameter mold
-Tofu (kinu tofu or soft tofu): 300 g
-Sugar: 80 g
-Flour: 30 g
-Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
-Place a sieve over a bowl. Pour the yoghurt in. Let it drain naturally in the refrigerator for a day.
-Place the tofu in a bowl (no need to cover it). Leave it in a microwave oven (500 W) for 3 minutes.
Place a sieve over a bowl. Pour the tofu inside the sieve. Let it drain naturally in the refrigerator for a day.
-Next day, pre-heat oven to to 180 degrees Ceslius.
Throw the yoghurt and tofu water away.
Drop all the ingredients inside a food processor.
-Blend until smooth. Switch off halfway and stir with a spatula to even up the mixture.
-Pour the mixture inside a mold lined upwith cooking paper. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.
-Take mold and cake out. Let it cool completely. Chill it inside the refrigerator together.
-Take the cake out of of its mold only when it has chilled well.
-Cut, serve and enjoy!
You can of course serve it with jam and other toppings.
You can also add liqueurs, fruits and so on to the recipe!
TOFU LEMON CUPCAKES
Here is another simple Japanese style cupcake recipe made with tofu!
Tofu lemon Cupcakes!
INGREDIENTS: For about 16
-Tofu (kinu tofu or soft tofu): 100 g
-Sugar: 70 g
-Grated lemon pel: 1 lemon
-Flour: 160 g
-Baking powder: 1 and a half teaspoons
-Milk (or soy milk): 3 tablespoons
-Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
-Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
-Mix flour with baking powder. Mix grated lemon juice and milk in a separate bowl.
-In another bowl drop tofu and sugar. Mix thoroughly into a smooth paste. Add egg and mix well with a wisker.
-Add lemon juice and milk and mix well until smooth. But don’t mix too long!
-Mix in flour and baking powder with a spatula until the floury look has disappeared but don’t overmix.
-Fill cups (previously oiled) and bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 16 minutes. If the cups are really small 12 minutes should be enough.
Tofu does have to be food exclusively for vegans, vegetarians and people with special priorities.
I can assure you that monivores like I are very fond of any any combination including tofu!
Here is a simple recipe that will impress your friends:
INGREDIENTS: For 4 servings
-Tofu (momen tofu, a bit mopre solid than kinu tofu): 300 g
-Wakame seaweed (salted preserves): 15 g
-Carrots: 30 g
-Sugar peas in their pods (or their equivalent. They are called pois gourmands in French, or kinu saya ingen in Japanese): 8
-Salt: a pinch (for boiling the veg)
-Mushrooms (white agarics): 3
-Broad beans (boiled or steamed) for decoration: 4
-Soup stock: 2 tablespoons
-White wine: One and half tablespoons
-Salt: 1/3 teaspoon
-Pepper: to taste
-Salad oil for brushing
-Break the tofu in large pieces. Boil lightly. Transfer into a large clean cloth and press as much water out as possible.
-Wash the wakame in clear cold water. Boil for a little while. Take out and press water out. Put it inside a clean cloth and press out as much water as possible.
-Chop the carrot fine. Boil a little and take water off as above.
-Take the “thread” off the sugar peas, boil in salted water. Let cool completely. Take off water and chop finely.
-Cut the mushrooms very fine (you may fry or boil them a bit if you wish to).
-Work the tofu in a suribachi (mortar and pestle) to obtain a smooth paste. Add eggs and mix with the pestle (food processing is fine, too). Add wakame seaweed, carrot, sugar peas, mushrooms, soup stock, slat and pepper, and mix.
-Coat the insides of 4 ramequins/oven cups with a very thin layer of salad oil and pour 1/4 of the mixture in each. Flatten the surface with a spatula.
-Place ramequins inside a steamer. Steam on a medium fire for 5 minutes, then 10 more minutes over a low fire.
Let cool down completely.
Wrap them in cellophane and keep in refrigerator until you serve them
Decorate with broad beans.
This is the basic recipe. It is open to all inds of variations!
VEGAN TOFU LEMON CUPCAKES
This is a slightly different version of the Japanese style vegan tofu cupcake I introduced a couple of days ago. It will give you an idea of how to play on that idea!
INGREDIENTS: For about 16 cakes
-Tofu (kinu tofu): 180 g
-Sugar (of your choice): 0 g
-Soy milk: 3 tablespoons
-Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
-Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
-Flour (use chestnut flour if you are wheat allergic): 160 g
-Baking powder: 2 teaspoons
-Grated lemon skin: 1 whole lemon
-Dried English tea leaves, finely chopped ( the contents of 1 tea bag is adequate)
-Mix flour and baking powder well.
Mix soy milk and lemon juice separately and and set apart.
-In a large bowl drop in the tofu and sugar. Mix well until you obtain a smooth paste. Add the soy milk, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix the lot thoroughly with a whisker.
-Add the all flour and baking powder mixture and mix in with a spatula until floury lumps have disappeared, but don’t mix too much!
-Pour mixture into cups and sprinkle them with grated lemon skin and dried tea.
-Bake inside oven for 16 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius.
If you make mini cupcakes, 12 minutes should sufficient.
keep looking at the colour of your cupcakes!
VEGAN TOFU CUPCAKES
Cupcakes are the norm all over the world when it comes to bakery and tofu is a must for vegans.
Now, it is possible to make very simple cupcakes for vegans!
Wheat flour allergics can replace the wheat flour with chestnut flour like the Corsicans and Portguese do in their traditional food!
This is only the basic recipe to which you can add fruits and vegetables!
Vegan Tofu Cupcakes!
INGREDIENTS: For 5~6 cupcakes
-Tofu (kinu toufu): 300 g
-All-purpose flour (for substitutes, read above): 100 g
-Sugar (white, cane, or even honey): 30 g
-Get ingrediens ready and pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
-Mix tofu and sugar. Mix well.
-Sprinkle flour over tofu and mix roughly so as to leave a little flour on the surface.
-Bake for 25~30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius or until desired colour.
-Dead simple, aren’t they?
Now your skills will reside in what you add!
Tofu & Chicken stuffed Green Peppers
Tofu when mixed with other ingredients opens a door on an infinite number of easy recipes!
Here is a very simple Japanes-style snack:
Tofu & Chicken stuffed Green Peppers!
INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
-Green peppers: 6
-Kinu tofu: 400 g
-Minced chicken: 175 g
-Japanese Sake: 1 tablespoon
-Soy sauce: 2 teaspoons
-Cheese powder: 1 tablespoon
-Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
-Black or white pepper: to taste
-Cornstarch: a small amount according to preferences
-Leave a weight on top of the tofu to drain water and reduce it about two thirds of its volume.
-Wash the green peppers, cut in halves and wipe off humidity.
-In a bowl drop the tofu and minced chicken. Mix well by hand until you obtain a soft smooth paste.
-Add Japanese sake, cheese powder, salt and pepper and mix well.
Sprinkle insides of peppers with cornstach and fill each pepper half with tofu/chicken mixture.
-Place on oven plate and cook at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.
Serve with a little salt or soy sauce.
VEGAN TOFU CARPACCIO
I’ve been in tofu recipe search mode for quite a while, and I finally found one to please my vegan friends who can’t boast a carpaccio of their own!
It is ridiculously easy, but it makes for great impression!
Choose the best ingredients!
Vegan Tofu Carpaccio!
-Tofu (kinu tofu/silk tofu): as much as you like?
-Salt (Guerande for example): to taste
-Black pepper (freshly ground only, please!): to taste
-Lemon juice (organic lemon, please!): to taste
-Olive oil (EVO): to taste
-Pink pepper/baies roses: to taste
As you can see, it is basically up to you!
Look for some great organic green leaf vegetables to make a “bed” for the tofu.
-Wrap tofu inside a large piece of kitchen paper.
Put the wrapped tofu inside a tupperware box (no lid, please) and top the tofu with a light weight.
Leave overnight (a full day, if you can) inside the refrigerator.
-Take out the tofu (discard the water).
-Cut it slices and plave it on a bed of leaf vegetables.
-Sprinkle in that order with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil.
-Srop a few pink pepper grains for decoration and taste.
Simple, ain’t it?
VEGAN ITALIAN TOFU SALAD
The Japanese come with some simple and tasty new ideas for Vegans and Vegetarians!
I just discovered this recipe. It is basically a Cabrese-style salad.
The twist is that the cheese is replaced by tofu!
Vegan Italian Tofu Salad:
-Tofu (kinu dofu): half/200g
-Tomato: 1 large
-Sweet basil: 10 leaves
Wine vinegar (white): 1/4 cup
White wine: 1/4 cup
Salt: 1/3 teaspoon
Whole black pepper: 3 grains, crushed
Garlic: 1/2 clove
Fresh red chili: 1/2
Olive oil (EVO): 1．1/4～ tablespoon
Onion: 15 g, grated
-Cut tofu into 1 cm thick slices.
-After taking out the stem part, cut tomatoes into half moons.
-Leave tofu tomatoes in a bowl full of iced water.
-Crush and mince garlic. Mix it with the wine vinefar, white wine, salt, pepper and chili. Cook in a pan until the lot has reduced to half. Let cool.
-Take tomatoes and tofu out the iced water (drain as much water as possible) and drop them in a large bowl. Add onion and olive oil. Mix well.
-Place tomatoes, tofu and basil alternately as shown in picture on a srving dish. Pour dressing all over.
-For calorie conscious vegetarians, tofu has almost none while chesse has loads of them!
Tofu and Egg Dumplings in Sweet and Sour sauce
INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
-Tofu: 350~400 g
-Soy sauce: 1 large tablespoon
-Dashi/Japanese stock soup. Add a little sy sauce and mirin/sweet sake for taste
-Cornstarch: 1 large Tablespoon
-Trefoil (mitsuba) or available leaves: enough for decoration and taste
-Drain water from tofu. Put in a bowl and break it up. Break eggs in and add soy sauce. Mix well.
-Divide into 4 bowls. Cob\ver ach bowl with kitchen cellophane paper (30 cm wide square).
-Turn over bowl and wrap tofu inside cellophane paper. Secure with a rubber band.
-Bring water to boil inside a lare dep pan. Drop tofu dumplings in boiling water and cook for 15 minutes to make sure they properly coked inside.
-Place each dumpling inside its cellophan paper in a serving dish. Cut top of the cellophane paper and carefully pull out the cellophane paper or turn over (whatever way you feel comfortable with.
-In a separate pan prpare the sweet and sour sauce.
Pour in dashi to which you would have added soy sauce and mirin (Taste varies with individuals. Need for a lttle experimentation!).
Mix cornstarch in some water and then add to sauce.
Once ready pour over dumpling and serve it decorated with trefoil cut to size.
Take care that cellphane paper does not get in contact with bare parts of the pan as the cellophane paper might melt on contact!
TOFU AND WAKAME SALAD
Here is another very easy recipe to help you and the “Tofu Tribe” (Terecita, Elin, Jenn and Jennifer modify and preserve tofu for all kinds of usages!
I’d like to take the opportunity to apologize to Tinako for my past mistake!
Tofu and Wakame Salad!
INGREDIENTS: For 2~3 people
-Tofu: 300 g
-Salt-preserved wakame: 20 g
If bought dried, let it “come back” in lukewarm water first.
If you are worried about the salt, let them rest in water for a while first and drain.
-Kawaire daikon, or any fresh sprouts available: To taste.
-Ponzu: 2 large tablespoons
-Sesame oil: half a large tablespoon
-White sesame seeds: to taste
Leave tofu in clean cold water for 30 minutes. Wash and clean wakame seaweed and cut in bite-sized pieces. Cut sprouts in thirds.
In bowl mix seaweed, sprouts, ponzu and sesame oil.
Drain tofu and cut in bite-sized pieces. Mix in.
Place salad in serving bowls and sprinkle white sesame seeds.
Note: You can use either kinu tofu or momen tofu.
You may use green shiso/perilla leaves vinaigrette instead of ponzu.
In summer add cut plum tomatoes.
I personally like to add a little sweet umeboshi/pickled Japanese plums!
TOFU SHIOZUKE/SALT-PRESERVED TOFU
-Tofu: 1 “cho”/200 g (Kinu or Momen type)
Take tofu block out of its package and put it kitchen working plank. Sprinkle it with 1 g of salt.
Cover with a sheet of kitchen paper.
Cover the tofu and its kitchen paper with a plastic Tupperware-type box.
Turn box and plank over holding them together.
Take off plank and sprinkle the tofu bottom face with 1 g of salt.
Close paper kitchen over tofu.
Close the box and leave inside refrigerator in the evening.
Next morning there should be about 20cc of water having seeped through the kitchen paper. Discard water.
Wrap again in new clean kitchen paper. Put back into dry Tupperware-type plastic box and close. Put back into fridge until the next morning.
The tofu will have reduced size by half by then.
That’s how it would look. Smaller and firmer. More water should have seeped out. Discard it.
On a bowl of freshly steamed rice serve with with thinly sliced raw okra, preserved chrysanthemum leaves. Then pour hot tea on top!
Pickle it with fresh miso for one night and eat it as a snack!
Beautiful in salad with avocado slices!
Served with chopped vegetables and garlic chips!
Stuffed inside Aburaage with boiled beans then grilled and seasoned with seaweed dashi/stock and ponzu!
TIPS FOR EASY SNACKS
The day before the Missus had served a quick snack (see pic above) consisting of tofu on which she poured extra virgin olive oil, coarsely ground black pepper and a little salt.
Very simple. Not very artistic, I admit, but the idea was there.
Now, many vegans and vegetarians like their tofu, but are running out of ideas…
How about, for example, creating a plate (use a large one with “compartments” for better effect!) with an assortment of tofu pieces seasoned with different varieties of oils, ground peppers and other spices, finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers for good colouring. I love my tofu mounted with chopped shiso/perilla leaves, umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums meat and a dash of ponzu!
And what about natto/fermented beans with chopped shiso leaves and grated fresh ginger?
You could do the same thing with fried tofu, deep-fried tofu and aburaage.
How about a piece of fsh tofu mounted with freshly cut and fried aburaage, wasabi, grated fresh ginger and ponzu?
Will be introducing oils in my next posting!
Tofu recipe: Tofu Manju with Ankake Sauce/Tofu Dumplings in Sweet and Sour Sauce
Here is another simple tofu recipe dedicated to Elin, all tofu lovers, vegans and vegetarians:
Tofu Manju with Ankake Sauce/Tofu Dumplings in Sweet and Sour Sauce!
-Tofu (momen tofu style9: 1 “Cho”/200 g
-Carrot: one fifth
-String beans: 2~3
cornstarch: 1 large tablespoon
-salt: a pinch
For sweet and sour sauce:
-Dashi (Konbu dashi/seaweeed stock): half a cup/100 ml
-Soy sauce: half a large tablespoon
-Sugar:2 large tablespoons
-Rice vinegar: 1 large tablespoon
-Cornstarch dissolved in water: to one’s personal liking
RECIPE: For 2 people
Press water out of tofu. Sift it completely. Boil finely cut carrots and string beans until soft enough. Drain all water.
drop tofu and vegetables in a mixing bowl. Mix in cornstarch and salt. Divisde in 4 and make balls. Wrap each individually in cellophane paper. Twist cellophane warap and secure with rubber band or string.
Steam for at least 4 minutes.
Sweet and sour sauce:
Heat dashi stock, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar, stirring all the time. Mix in cornstarch dissolved in water.
The sauce is ready.
Serve dumplings on plate and cover them with the sauce!
Aburaage is basically a deep-fried thin slice of tofu.
It does offer a very versatile option as it can be used as it is, or open as a pouch it becomes the base for inari sushi and many other variations!
Here is a simple recipe:
Tofu (firm Momen tofu type): 1 large piece/block (Icho in Japanese)
Long wooden disposable chopsticks (wari-bashi)
“Piano string”, or the equivalent
Oil thermometer (up to 200 degrees Celsius)
Make identations or marks on the chopsticks every 5 mm up to the height of the tofu block.
Tie “piano string” around chopsticks as shown on pic first at 10 mm height (or higher up to 15 mm if you wish), and cut tofu by sliding chopsticks along the cutting table (it should easy, but make sure you cut tofu evenly!)
Tofu being soft, it is not easy to manipulate.
Later, when you will manipulate it, the best way is to first turn over the whole onto your open palm and have each slice slide away.
Before manipulating the tofu, first put a 500g weight (anything over a thin wodden plank if you don’t have asushi weight) on top of the tofu for 2 hours to get as much water off as possible.
Transfer slices onto thick towel and leave them there for an hour.
First frying step: fry tofu slice at 130 degrees Celsius (make sure to keep the temperature constant!) for 6 minutes. This will allow for a uniform heating.
Second frying step: bring oil temperature to 160 degrees Celsius.
If tofu contains too much water or if you fry in a single step, it will fail to achieve the right shape and quality.
Aburaage will usually be a bit hard upon frying.
To make it soft, wrap it in xellophane paper and and heat inside electric oven. As soon as water comes out of aburaage inside the cellopahne paper, take the whole out and unwrap aburaage.
The aburaage should be soft by then.
Check if the aburaage needs a second frying (according to your liking).
if you fry it at 130 degrees, it will reduce as the one on the right in the picture.
If you fry it at 160 degrees you will obtain an aburaage like the left one on the picture (longer one).
To properly open it, cut in half, and then cut inside to form a pouch!
Vegetarian Japanese Cuisine: Fried Tofu and Vegetables
The other night, the Missus thought that some healthy food was in order, that is as much for herself as for me, what with her drinking wine and me savouring my Japanese sake!
She used already deep-fried tofu cubes called “nama-age” bought at the nearby supermarket, cut them to bite-size, saute them on a non-stick frypan as they were (no need for oil) with a liberal amount of pizza cheese and served them with a good measure of freshly chopped thin leeks. All the while on another pan she fried slightly boiled renkon/lotus roots slices with eringi mushrooms cut lengthwise and half-cut Brussels sprouts with some olive oil, a litle salt, pepper and a spicy seasoning mix.
Once ready she added themhot on the same plate.
So simple and tasty!
1): Fried Namaage with Cheese and Ponzu
This is I hope the first installment of a long series of simple recipes with tofu. Some will be vegan and vegetarian, some vegetarian like this one, others for omnivores!
This particular one is one one of the Missus’ favorites.
She uses on full “namaage tofu”, tofu that was deep-fried whole and that you can buy either fresh at a Japanese market or packaged.
She cuts the tofu in equal-sized bite pieces about 1 cm thick and fry them in a non-stick pan. No real need for any oil as what is contained in the surface of the tofu will be sufficient.
The point is that she fries them only on side. While they cook she lay a thin piece of mild/processed cheese over each tofu piece, add some black pepper, and cover with a glass lid. When the cheese has nicely melted over the tofu, she takes off the lid, sprinkles the whole with ponzu and fries for another minute. She serves on a dish with the sauce and liberally sprinkles the lot with chopped thin leeks!
Great snack with Japanese sake or beer!
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