Monday, December 31, 2012

Pan-Fried Tofu with Spicy Sweet Sauce

There are several vegetarian blogs on the net which give one lots of great food ideas.  One of my favorites, with Toni Fiore, had a recipe using tofu to make a nice crispy sandwich filling.  Below is my version.

You will need firm or extra firm tofu.  In a large flat pan, such as a half- or quarter-sheet pan, place an absorbent kitchen towel, topped with three layers of white paper towels.  Slice your blocks of tofu across horizontally in four slices then place each slice on the paper towels.  Continue until you have all your slice tofu on the pan....which assumes you will do several blocks of tofu for your treat!

Place three more layers of white paper towels and another absorbent kitchen towel then top with a pan of the same size.  Place a weight on top of the pan...a good sized weight, like a couple of bricks or several cans of vegetables or whatever you have in your pantry.  Be sure that the weights a spread out equally.

After about an hour of being weighted down, remove all the layers of towels and you will find your tofu is about half as thick as it was previously. You are now ready to dredge it in a pan of cornstarch into which you have shaken some salt and pepper.  Dredge both sides well then place in a hot pan which has had canola oil heating.

You can see the cornstarch left on the plate...
Fry the tofu slices until they are solidly golden brown on the bottom, then turn them over for the other side to get golden brown.  Only flip them one time or you can break up the tofu...not that this is a bad thing, but it won't fit on your sandwich as well.

When the tofu is nicely fried, place it on a plate to be doused with spicy sweet sauce or onto a slice of bread or into pita bread as the beginnings of a sandwich.  You can add lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, onions, peppers, or whatever you like for the sandwich.

If you just want to eat this out of hand,  put a couple of pieces on your plate then sauce it with spicy sweet sauce which you can find in an Asian market.  This is the sauce I use and absolutely LOVE!  I think I will try it on other foods now!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Miso Soup Broth

Having become enamored of miso soup on a trip to Utah some years ago, I have learned how to make it at home.  It is a very simple recipe.

In a small saucepan, place 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Add one teaspoon of Hon-dashi, which you can purchase at an Asian market, and stir well.

Get out your small stainless steel strainer and place in it one tablespoon of miso, yellow, or white.  I have tried the sweet white (though I don't know why it is called 'sweet') and the red, and like both of them.

Remove the boiling water and Hon-dashi from the stove and stir the miso paste through the strainer into the Hon-dashi water.  When the miso has dissolved in the water mixture, pour it into a mug and top with any amount of finely sliced green onions/scallions, and drink up when it is cool enough.

If you like seaweed, you can add some seaweed to the boiling water until it re-hydrates.  For myself, since the first time I made it, I overdid the seaweed, and have since not used it at all. I will probably go back to it, but will break it up much more and will only put a tiny bit of it in the soup.

Filling and delicious soup.  It has helped me drop my weight, which is a very very good thing!

Red miso paste and Hon-Dashi are the main ingredients with water.

Sliced scallions add a lot to the soup.  Try not to think it looks like dishwater.  That will put you off this delicious soup.