October 28, 2009

Fried Tofu Sticks - curry flavor

I cooked Fried Tofu Sticks for their Bento. This time, I made it as curry flavor.
It is suitable for bento because it has no liquid and still good after it gets cold.

comment from Mrs. P.
My husband loves these Tofu Sticks! He likes to dip them in Garlic-Soy Sauce.

1 pack firm tofu (12 - 14oz)
1 tablespoon of curry powder
2 tablespoons of purpose flour
1 tablespoon of corn starch or rice flour
sea salt, vegetable oil for frying

First of all, you need to press the tofu to drain its moisture. Usually, I use same-sized square baking dishes ( they work well to press because they have flat bottoms ). Wrap the tofu in your paper towel and place on the dish. Put another dish on it and put something heavy as weight ( 1 gal water bottle, a kettle of water or something else) on the dish and leave it 1 - 3 hours until the tofu loses 1/3 - 1/2 its original thickness.
Cut the tofu into 10 - 12 sticks. Sprinkle the curry powder all over them. Mix the two kinds of flour well and sprinkle it all over the tofu.
Put the oil depth of 1/4 - 1/2 in. in your large frying pan and bring it medium-high heat. Put the tofu gently into the pan after the oil becomes hot and fry each on both sides until crisp. You can get a nice crisp if you raise the heat to high for a moment just before you bring up the tofu from the pan - a low temperature just makes them oily.
Place the tofu on your paper towel to drain some oil. Sprinkle the salt on all over the sticks to taste.
These are good for dipping in ginger-soy sauce, if you are not satisfied with salt alone. Put a teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger into 3 tablespoon of soy sauce ( or Garlic-soy sauce : see previous post ). It is easy and yummy!!
You can keep fresh ginger in your freezer. It is easy to grate with your plane grater (grater/zester). I always have some in my freezer.

October 24, 2009

Guacamole with lentils : Vegan's Steak Tartar

It was a surprise to me. Because I intended to have made a steak tartar for vegan, I hadn't thought that this dish was a guacamole until Mrs. P. called it "guacamole". How stupid of me! I got the idea for this dish from the recipe of a Japanese chef. The chef also called her dish "Steak Tartar for Vegetarian". So I had forgotten existence of "guacamole".
Yes, It is a variation on guacamole, of course. It has avocado and onion but it doesn't have any tomatoes, chili and lime juice. In compensation, it has a lot of lentils and mustard.
I dished up it as heart-shaped. Isn't it cute? When I cooked it for Mr. & Mrs. P. as Bento, I put it in the box as heart-shaped, also. When they opened the box it had already lost its shape. So we have been calling the dish "Broken Heart". It doesn't sound very happy.
I think it needs "a new name". Do you mind if I call it "Vegan's Steak Tartar."?

comment from Mrs. P.
This is intriguing! I close my eyes with every bite to savour it.

1 large size avocado sliced
1/4 medium size onion minced
1 cup of boiled lentils
3 - 5 tablespoons of prepared coarse ground mustard (my recommendation is a country Dijon.)
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 tea spoons of white wine vinegar
salt and black pepper
some sprigs of fresh Thyme (if you need for decoration and flavor.)
some slices of your favorite bread toasted

First of all, let's make a dressing. Put 2 pinches of salt and a bit of black pepper into your big bowl and add the olive oil, the mustard and mix well. Add the vinegar and blend well and leave it.
Put the avocado, the onion and the lentils on your chopping board, chop them well and mix until the avocado becomes smooth.
Put it into the bowl which has the dressing and mix.
Dish up in your style with the toast.

Squash became a pasta!?

It looks like a Tagliatelle but it has only vegetables. Both the look and texture are delightful.
You can add some boiled Tagliatelle, of course. It would be fun to have both the twisted pasta and the pasta-like squash.

comment from Mrs. P.
I love pasta and this is as satisfying as the 'real thing'!!

1 yellow summer squash
1 green zucchini ( you can choose 2 yellow summer squashes or 2 green zucchinis)
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 clove of garlic
a pinch of crushed red pepper
extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper

Wash the squashes well and pat dry. Remove both ends. Using a peeler, make 1/2 inch-wide strips the length of the zucchini. Stop when you begin to reach the seeds.
Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic in your frying pan. Bring the pan to low heat and fry the garlic very slowly. After the oil boils, add the red pepper and fry until the garlic becomes golden.
Turn up the heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes and fry, crushing them to get their juice. After the tomatoes become soft, add the squash and fry until the zucchini becomes soft.
Season with the salt and the black pepper.

October 23, 2009

Garlic - Soy sauce

This is a very useful seasoning. It has a rich flavor.
It is good for dressing, fried rice, curry and so on. I often use for "Fake Chicken" (the previous post). Easy and savory!!

7 - 12 cloves of garlic
1 cup of soy sauce

Put the garlic into a clean bottle and add the soy sauce.
That is all!! You can use after one week and can keep up to 1 year in your fridge.

October 20, 2009

Fried Tofu named "Fake Chicken"

This is the dish we call Fake Chicken. It looks just like a Japanese fried chicken and is, of course, yummy!!
The idea is from "ooLife organic recipe" : http://oola.cocolog-nifty.com/. Ms. ooLa is a famous cook and blogger in Japan. She has a great talent and beauty!! Thank you so much, Ms. ooLa!!

comment from Mrs. P.
That's the sound my husband makes when he sees Fake Chicken in our bento! He loves tofu and this is his favorite!

1 pack of tofu, frozen in its package in your freezer. (Buy a plastic-tubed, refrigerated tofu, not the paper-boxed kind found on the regular grocery shelf.)
4 tablespoons of rice flour
4 tablespoons of coconut milk
1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder
a clove of garlic minced
vegetable oil - for frying

3 tablespoons of soy sauce
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of white sesame seed crushed by your finger
1/4 teaspoon of kombu-tea or kombu-dashi powder
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Let the tofu defrost (under the running water, in hot water or leave it in your fridge 1day etc., - you can chose your way).
Put the garlic into the soy sauce.
Cut the tofu in 9 -12 pieces. Grasp each piece and press tightly to completely drain off the water.
Put the tofu in the mixture of the coconut milk, the cumin powder and the garlic/soy sauce. Mix them gently and leave it for 5min.
Sprinkle the rice flour all over the tofu and deep fry the pieces in 360-degree oil until the surfaces become crisp.
Put them on your favorite salad. ( pictured is a baby spinach and shredded carrot salad.)
Mix the dressing ingredients and sprinkle it over the dish.
Fake Chicken is also good for dipping with your favorite sauce. Ms. ooLa 's recommendation is a sweet chili sauce. Mine is a Ponzu sauce : mix all of the ingredients of *dressing except the sesame oil.

October 11, 2009

Crazy food town Osaka-city!!

It is a symbol of Osaka (?) "Gulico" - the character of candy brand.

Osaka is well-known as FOOD, COMEDY and beautiful sunset.

Osaka people love flashy. Every restaurant fights fiercely on their display.

People enjoy all night.
Every display looks like a comedy. Funny!!!

October 10, 2009

Today's my lunch: in Kyoto

My friend and I went to a fantastic French restaurant in Kyoto.
Every thing was amazing and we were knocked out!! So I forgot to take the pictures of appetizer and soup. both of them were gorgeous, unique and elegant.

Zen Temple in Japan

I went to Kennin-ji, the oldest Zen Temple in Kyoto.
It has beautiful gardens and wonderful arts.
the second picture is my favorite "The Wind and Thunder Gods".
The last one is Hatto - Dhama Hall. The front facing altar enshrines a seated image of Shakyamuni Tathagata and attendant statues of the Buddhist priests Mahakasypa and Ananda.
The painting on the ceiling is "Twin dragons" (11.4m by 15.7m). Amazing and powerful!!

October 8, 2009

Japanese Temple

Today, I went to Hgashi-honganji Temple.
It was just 5min. walk from Kyoto-station (first picture-very modern) to the temple.
I had lived in Kyoto but it was a first time to go to the temple. Because It is different from my denomination. Higashi-honganji is a head temple of the Shin sect Buddhism Otani party. I am a Shingon-esoteric Buddhist. However most of Japanese people don't mind such a thing. I went to there just sightseeing. It is under repair but still fabulous. I enjoyed Buddhism quiet and spirits.
The last picture is a ginkgo tree's fruits. We had a typhoon last night, so they dropped. You can eat these nuts roasted. Yummy!

October 7, 2009

Japan!! Japan!! Japan!!

It was rain today, but it still was beautiful!!

How clean Gion street is!!

Today's our lunch. It was too delicious to take a picture.
Every dish is half eaten.

I am in Kyoto now. Kyoto is a beautiful ancient city in Japan.
I enjoy delicate and elegant foods and gorgeous hospitality.
Quiet, graceful, spiritual and exciting!!!