There has been more testing in Tess’s kitchen: first, a recipe experiment with soy milk panna cotta with a Japanese flavor, and then another recipe test for Jadin’s upcoming book, Steamy Kitchen’s Modern Asian.
The Japanese oyster chowder used only one cup of the half gallon carton so I have been thinking about what to do with the remainder. Soy milk is a new and unfamiliar ingredient for me. Of course I’m still thinking about different ways to use agar-agar so it was natural to consider a sort of panna cotta. I chose ginger juice as the dominant flavor and used maple syrup as a compliment. Coriander, the dried ground seeds not the leaves (cilantro), is a spice that adds a mellowing flavor, and the hot pepper adds a subtle bite. The kanten (agar-agar) made a nice soft gentle pudding, so for contrast I browned some apple wedges in butter and sugar. The butter added some richness—the soy milk does not have the mouth-feel of milk or cream. The cinnamon adds another layer of flavor.
Ginger Soy Milk Panna Cotta
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 packet agar-agar powder (4 grams)
- 1 1/4 cups unflavored soy milk, room temperature
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey (start with less)
- 1/2 Tablespoon ginger juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- pinch of hot red pepper
In a small saucepan, stir the agar-agar into the water. Heat on medium low and stir to dissolve the powder.
Combine the soy milk, maple syrup, ginger juice, coriander, and red pepper. If necessary, warm the liquid over a double boiler to room temperature. Cold milk will make your kanten set—this from experience. Taste to be sure you like the balance of the flavorings.
Add the soy milk to the dissolved gelatin. Heat on medium low to just below boiling. If you boil soy milk, it will curdle.
Wet 4 half-cup bowls or molds and shake out excess water. Divide the liquid among the dishes. Cool to room temperature, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill.
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
In a small saucepan on medium, melt the butter until it is beginning to brown. Watch it carefully because butter can go from brown to burnt in an instant!
Add the apples and sugar. Gently turn them to brown and cook until not quite soft. Can you have al dente fruit? That’s what you want here. Stir in the cinnamon.
Serve the panna cotta chilled, with warm apples. It would have looked nice to sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top, or if you have a mint leaf…
The cookbook test recipe this time was Sweet and Sour Tomato Onion Sauce, and I chose to make an alternate suggested by Jadin with tuna rather than beef steaks. A very nice recipe, and to serve it a second time (we ate most of the sauce), I reheated it with some steamed eggplant. After testing a few of her recipes, I’m looking forward to this book coming out (in 2009); they have been easy, delicious and open to innovations.
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