Simmered Spinach and Fried Tofu

Horenso to Atsuage no NibitashiGreens! Mr. Tess loves greens and I’ve not been cooking them lately. This home-style Japanese recipe is a fine way to prepare a hearty healthy green side dish. Ms. Shimbo suggests using mustard greens rather than the more common spinach, and it certainly provides more flavor and texture. I think rainbow colored chard would be interesting to try as well.

Tori-nabe: Chicken Hot Pot

Tori-NabeSharing a large pot of chicken and vegetables cooked in broth at the table is entertaining, fun, and soul-warming. —Hiroko Shimbo
And so it’s true. You might ask why I’d make a hot pot meal for only me! Good question. I’ve not been cooking much since Mr. Tess and Miss Tralita flew off after the holidays. After eating a (small) bag of chocolates for dinner one evening, I’m hungry for real food again. This meal may be best enjoyed with company, but it’s satisfying and warm. And being a soup of sorts, it’s good for a second and third meal.

Unohana made with Okara

okara_3419The other day, when my daughter and I went shopping for ingredients to make oden, I picked up a package of a tofu product called “okara.” It was inexpensive, and I was curious. The Japanese Kitchen makes only a short reference to making unohana with it, so I had to search a little online for a recipe.

Shira-ae: Dressed in White

Shira Ae Sesame Tofu DressingIt’s interesting to travel the world by way of dinner. Last evening included an array of dishes from eastern Europe, Greece, and Japan. And like any trip where you plan too many activities in a very short time, the experience was perhaps odd. We ate a Japanese salad with a creamy sesame-tofu dressing. I really liked the cheerful freshness of the fruit, though it’s hidden under the dressing in the pictures.

Freeze-Dried Stir-Fried Tofu

This Japanese recipe can be quickly prepared with pantry-stable items and a few vegetables. Kikurage are dried black mushrooms, sometimes called “cloud ears.” Koya-dofu is freeze dried tofu which looks like a fine textured ivory sponge. These ingredients are often added to soups because they absorb the flavors of broth. This recipe features the interesting textures which these unusual ingredients add to a stir-fry. Serve it with plain rice and a simple miso soup for a nice dinner at home.

Tofu Omelette with Colorful Vegetables

Japanese Tofu and Vegetable OmeletteIn Japan you will find egg dishes very similar to European omelettes: usu tamago yaki (thin omelette) or tamago yaki (rolled omelette) are both classic recipes.
Yoshoku dishes would include: Omuraisu is rice wrapped in a thin omelette and served with gravy or ketchup.
Kanitama-don is a crab omelette served over rice and topped with sauce.
And today’s recipe is a tofu omelette made with colorful summer vegetables.
I was pleasantly surprised that this recipe was very nice and light, and very tasty.

Crisp Tofu Cubes in Tempura Sauce

crisp tofu with garlic tsukemonoFried tofu cubes served with dipping sauce is classic Japanese food, eaten at home, in restaurants, or in bars. It can be a snack, a part of a meal, or an appetizer. Imagine: crisp on the outside, smooth inside. Below is the recipe with a basic sauce, but this time I made it with a different sauce: garlic pickled in kombu and shoyu.

Tofu Salad with Miso Dressing

Tofu Salad with asparagusThis Japanese recipe is a method of cooking tofu that transforms the lowly soybean curd into a really delicious and satisfying meal. Though tofu-detractors will probably say, “It tastes like nothing,” they could well be won over by the crisp coating, firm texture, and flavorful marinade. it’s easy to assemble a salad fresh on a second day, and it’s easy to digest. Enjoy. See another classic Japanese tofu recipe here.