Saturday, 15 Dec. 07
Grilled Cheese-Stuffed Fried Thin Tofu, page 142
Abura-Age no Fukuro-yaki
Stir-Fried Freeze-Dried Tofu, page 121
Thanks to the internet, a person can let time get away. Thanks especially to whoever posted about the magicians (illusionists) yesterday. What fun.
It made me forget that the recipe I’d intended to make involved a long marinade. So I looked in the fridge and cupboard to come up with something on hand.
Abura-age keeps well in the freezer and I had a chunk of cheddar in the fridge. Aha! Something to snack on while I find something to cook! Rinse the tofu in boiling water, drain, and squeeze out the water and oil. Slice 2 pieces in half and you have some cool little pockets to stuff. Mr. Tess used the cheddar and some sliced green onions. A few minutes in the toaster oven and voila: a snack. As per the recipe, he garnished them with grated diakon and a few drops of tamari. They tasted better than the picture looks.
Freeze-dried tofu can be stored in the cupboard, along with kikurage (wood-ear fungus). The tofu comes in blocks about 2″ by 2 3/4,” and looks like the blocks of foam people use in flower arranging.
Soak the tofu in hot water for 2 minutes and it changes to a finely textured sponge. People say that tofu does not have much flavor, but it absorbs flavor from other foods. I don’t find this true; it seems to extend flavor of other foods by providing bulk. The freeze-dried tofu really does absorb liquids; in this case it is chicken stock. The mushrooms soak 20 minutes in cold water and provide a nice crunchy contrast to the soft tofu.
I had some nice red peppers, but the recipe calls for green peppers as well. I had only 2 very small Japanese peppers, and they did not make for much of color contrast, so I topped the stir-fry with some sliced green onions. Flavors in the dish included sesame oil, ginger, toban jiang (Japanese chili-bean sauce), sake, sugar, and shoyu. Very pretty and colorful dish. The picture is of leftovers—forgot to take pictures before we ate. It will be good for lunch.
OK, now Tess, step away from the computer. Get to the kitchen and start banging some pots and pans… We’ll want to eat again.
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