Tag Archives: tofu

Hokkaido-Style Corn, Chicken and Milk Miso Soup

A recent purchase of a bundle of kale and a sparse pantry led to some net surfing where I ran across a recipe for this hearty version of miso soup.

It’s similar to a corn chowder, which can be kept vegetarian with tofu as the protein instead of the chicken the recipe called for. I included both as I had some diced tofu in my freezer, as well as what turned out to be 6 oz of diced chicken breast. The recipe called for cabbage as the vegetable. Funnily enough, kale is considered a member of the cabbage family. (I did NOT know that.)

Hokkaido-style Corn, Chicken, Milk and Miso Soup – serves 5

4 cups of water and 1 vegetable stock cube (or 2 tsp dashi powder)
1 cup milk (or soy milk)
1 cup white cabbage, finely shredded (or kale)
1 green onion, white only, finely sliced
1 cup of fresh, canned or frozen corn
1 tbsp butter, vegetable or sesame oil
6 oz (~ 200g) chicken breast or leftover cold chicken, cut into pieces (or firm tofu, TVP or quorn)
1 tbsp dried seaweed, soaked in 1/4 cup warm water, drained and julienned
~1/2 cup of white miso** (adjust for taste)
salt and pepper (white or black) to taste
green onion tops, sliced thinly, for garnish

** All I had was red miso paste so that’s what I used

Heat up the water in a pot and dissolve the vegetable stock cube or the dashi powder in it.

Prepare the veggies while the water comes to a boil.

Saute the cabbage and onion in a large saute pan with the butter or oil until it’s just turning limp. Add  the chicken cubes if added raw and brown briefly. Add the corn and briefly saute at the same time.

Add the soup stock to the saute pan and simmer until the chicken is just tender.

Place the miso paste in a small bowl and add about 1/2 a cup of hot stock. Mash up the miso as much as possible. Add an additional 1/2 cup of stock and stir until the miso paste is dissolved.

Add the milk to the saute pan, and bring up to a simmer. (Add the cut up chicken if using leftover chicken and heat through.)

Add the dissolved miso and drained seaweed to the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Garnish with green onion tops and serve.

Bean Sprouts … what to do with them?

Whenever I make Pad Thai, I always have about a pound of bean sprouts to use up in a couple of days, before they go bad.

Usually, I make hot and sour soup, because I have things in the pantry to make it with. Like a can of bamboo shoots. Dried seaweed I can rehydrate in five to ten minutes. And diced tofu in the freezer, where I keep it for a quick pot of miso soup. I THOUGHT about making chop suey but, I didn’t have any protein thawed and limited time available, about half an hour.

Of course, summer rolls (the ones with the rice paper you have to soak) or egg rolls are a possibility too, but you have to plan ahead for them. And then there’s the frying with the latter.

What do YOU do with your bean sprouts if you buy them?

International Cooking

What country/nationality’s cooking, other than your own, do you enjoy?

I live in Canada and other than poutine and butter tarts, I can’t really claim that I cook anything that is particularly CANADIAN. Throwing maple syrup into a dish doesn’t make it Canadian, does it?

I enjoy a variety of national cuisines. This past week … I made Chinese (kale and white miso soup), Japanese and Tex-Mex dishes.

Donburi, or Japanese rice bowls, are a great way to use up leftover sushi rice. Chicken is one of my favourite proteins to top the rice bowl. The beef version was a new one for me though I didn’t have the paper thin fatty beef that is usually used and ended up with some chewy strips of sirloin steak. It still tasted good, though.

Chicken katsu (cutlet) with scrambled egg poached in the simmering sauce …

… and gyudon (beef) with egg. In Japan a raw egg is broken over the hot rice bowl but our eggs aren’t safe to eat raw so I poached mine. Paper thin cut fatty beef is preferred for quick cooking time and flavour. I garnished the rice bowl with shredded pickled ginger and green onion. And the pink, white and green colours looked pretty too.

I made a half dozen crab stick and avocado hand rolls with the rest of the sushi rice.

As for Tex-Mex … well, it’s better than going to Taco Bell. (Even if it IS an occasional guilty pleasure.)

Beef fajitas

Tamales are more Mexican than Tex-Mex but I’m going to throw them into the mix.

And, lest I forget … an iced Thai coffee to beat the heat. One of these days, I’ll make a more expansive Thai menu.

Iced Thai Coffee

Make double strength coffee and let cool to room temperature. If you like cardamom, a pinch or two added to the coffee while you’re brewing it is tasty.

In a tall glass, add a few ice cubes, 1-2 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk depending on how sweet you like your coffee. Pour the coffee over the ice cubes.

Japanese Trio

I’ve had a sushi craving for a while now, but the budget doesn’t allow for an outing as I’m saving up for b’day dim sum next weekend. So, I dug into my freezer (duh!) for a couple of ingredients.

No recipes cause they’re all things I’ve posted YEARS ago, so you’ll have to go looking. (I’ll try to add links back to the recipes.)

I started with a savoury pancake, okonomiyaki, which features shredded cabbage (I used a bagged coleslaw mix as a time-saver) and sliced surimi aka fake crab ‘legs’. Instead of the sauce from the recipe, you can use bbq, tonkatsu or eel sauce, as I did.

Following up with inari sushi, which are seasoned fried tofu pockets filled, traditionally with sushi rice. I topped them with spicy fake crab legs and egg salad. I was tempted to make a third topping of tuna salad but I’d made too much of the other two toppings for the leftover inari from the can which I’d frozen away. For an interesting and tasty variation, you can fill your tofu pockets with somen noodle salad.

The spicy crab was garnished with masago (capelin roe) and the egg salad with shichimi togarashi (chili pepper condiment).The inari was served with the last of my sake. The bottle is pretty too. 🙂

And since I had a couple of cups of leftover cooked sushi rice, I decided to make a donburi or rice bowl. For a topping, I used one of the larger chicken cutlets/katsu made previously and an egg poached in the simmering sauce. I only used 1 cup of the rice so I think I’ll freeze away the rest. The only recipe you need is for the simmering sauce as the topping choices for the rice bowl are very flexible.

The egg stuck to the bottom of the pan while poaching so I lost a lot of the yolk to the simmering sauce. Oh well. What was there was still somewhat runny, the way I like it.

General Tso’s Tofu and Tofu Miso Noodle Soup

I’m a proud carnivore but every once in a while I bring home a tub of tofu and make something relatively ‘healthy’ with it.

To date, “Mapo Tofu” is my favourite way of eating this soy product, though cubes of tofu added to miso or hot and sour soup are tasty as well.

NOTE: Baking is a healthier option in making this dish, than the one I chose, which was to shallow fry the sliced tofu planks in 1/2 inch of oil until browned on both sides, and then draining the fried tofu on paper towels.

General Tso’s Tofu over Rice

I’m including the healthier baking version of this recipe below.

Baked General Tso’s Tofu – serves 3

3 cups water with 2 tsp salt, boiling
12 oz block of firm or extra firm tofu
2 tsp oil, divided
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha (rooster) sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp water
1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds and/or 2 sliced green onions, optional garnishes

Cooked white or brown rice, to serve

Prepping the tofu:

Drain the tofu and cut into 3/4 inch thick slices.

Lay the slices of tofu in a glass baking dish and pour the boiling salted water over the tofu. Let the tofu soak for 15 minutes. Drain, lay tofu on several sheets of paper towelling and cover with several more. Press gently to dry tofu as much as possible.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a cookie sheet with 1 tsp of your oil.

Arrange the tofu pieces on the cookie sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

Mise en place for General Tso’s Tofu

While the tofu is cooking, combine brown sugar, hoisin sauce, sriracha, soy sauce and rice vinegar in one small bowl.

In another small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water.

Mince or grate ginger and garlic and set aside.

When tofu has cooked for 15 minutes, flip the tofu and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm 1 tsp of oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for a minute or so. If the ginger and garlic sticks to the bottom of the pan, don’t be concerned.

Add the 1/4 cup water and as the water simmers, use a spatula to release the ginger and garlic from the bottom of the pan. Keep scraping until all of the ginger and garlic comes off of the bottom of the pan.

Add the brown sugar, hoisin sauce, sriracha, soy sauce and rice vinegar mixture. Bring to a simmer, then turn down to low until tofu is ready. Once the tofu is ready, add the corn starch mixture to the sauce and increase the heat to medium. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens and darkens.

Toss the tofu in the sauce to coat and serve over rice.

Tofu in Sauce

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and/or sliced green onion.

Tofu Miso Noodle Soup – seaweed, rice noodles, Sriracha sauce and green onion along with the fried tofu cubes

Korean Inari Sushi (Yubu Chobap) and a more traditional version

Inari sushi or pockets of fried tofu are filled traditionally with sushi rice, as I’ve done here and here and somen noodles or non-traditionally with grains such as quinoa. You could even use couscous if you wished, I think.

It’s been ages since I made any however, and I keep running across a can of the pockets in my pantry. I did some net surfing and ran across a very tasty sounding Korean adaptation of the classic Japanese recipe.

You can use sushi rice for this recipe but the recipe I based this on used a medium grain Arborio rice which is used in Italy for risotto or even a Spanish paella. And, the rice is flavoured with a combination of sauteed and seasoned vegetables that make it suitable to serve as a side dish or even a single dish meal.

And here are some more traditional inari sushi I made last week with plain sushi rice and topped with spicy shredded fake crab legs, masago (capelin roe) and egg salad.

Korean Inari Sushi (Yubu Chobap)

1 can (16 pockets) or 1 package (20) seasoned frozen bean curd pockets

Rice – enough rice to fill 16 to 20 tofu pockets or as a side dish to serve 4-6 people

1 cup Arborio rice
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp rice vinegar

In a large bowl, rinse the rice several times in cold water, using your hand to stir the grains. Drain.

Bring the water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in the salt and the drained rice. Stir, cover and reduce heat to a low simmer.

Cook for 20 minutes, stirring several times.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle the rice vinegar over the top, folding the vinegar gently through the rice with a spatula. Allow to cool, uncovered.

Seasoning Sauce for rice

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

Vegetable Mixture – fills ~20 bean curd pockets

1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 medium (1/2 cup) carrot, minced
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
6-8 dried shiitakes; rehydrated, drained, and minced or 4 oz cremini mushrooms, minced
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine or mirin

Furikake for garnish or stir 2 tbsp into the rice and vegetable mixture at the end

NOTE: Instead of the mushrooms, you can use 1 green pepper or 4-6 green onions. For a meat version, use 1/4-1/2 pound ground beef.

Heat oil in large saute pan on medium high heat. Cook the carrots first for about 1-2 minutes, push aside and add the onions. Saute until the vegetable are tender. Make a well in the center, add the shiitakes and garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Add the sauce mixture to shiitakes and the Shaoxing wine. Mix all the vegetables together in the pan.

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.

Mix together the rice, vegetables and furikake, if desired.

Fill the bean curd pockets with as much filling as you want!

Serve hot or at room temperature.