Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Quick Fix #1 -- Tofu Moyashi Itame

Simple food is really the greatest. There’s nothing that irritates me more than a cookbook full of recipes with a list of ingrients and instructions as long as an obi. So I figure I ought to share some of my favorite quick recipes.

I dare not wax poetic or grab a soap-box but you don’t need a lot to make something wonderful. I think that’s why I find Japanese home cooking & Italian home cooking to be so wonderful. ---Simplicity!!

I just had to post this ultra-simple-cheap-healthy recipe, and really, for all of us in Japan, this couldn’t be a friendlier meal. This has become a staple lunch at my house.

They call moyashi, “poor man’s veggie”. But you couldn’t possibly get a more nutrition packed food. (I shall not rant!) Suffice it to say, if I had only 200Y to feed my family on a day, Moyashi would be the daily veggie offering. So here it goes. Credit goes to “Harumi’s Home Cooking” cook book. This recipe is easy enough to make on the fly after a few tries. Here’s how it goes:

3 tbsp of goma oil & 2 of cooking oil
5 packs of momen-dofu (cotton type, you know, the kind that no one seems to like)
2 packs of moyashi
2 heads of chingensai (optional but, worth it!!)
4 blocks of bullion crushed or 2 tbsp of consume (gosh, I hope ambie doesn’t read this)
Salt, pepper & shoyu (to taste)
3 Tbsp shiro goma
Now for the disclaimer about the moyashi. Generally Japanese “top & tail” the moyashi. I’ll admit that it’s mostly cosmetic, but then again the actual sprout of bean has very little nutritional value in it. (most of it is in the stem) So, that being said, if I have the time (sometimes when I’m doing school w/ the kids in the morning). I’ll admit it’s neurotic but I love it.

To prepare the chingensai. Separate the white, thick stem from the leafy green. And cut the stem into 3-4 strips.

Open the tofu & drain it in a sieve. (if you wrap it in kitchen paper it helps keep it together) this is an IMPORTANT STEP: Drain for at LEAST 30 min. to get rid of excess liquid.

Put the goma oil in the pan & put the heat on HIGH. Didja hear that? HIGH!! Then break up the tofu with your hands (aren’t we so rustic) & fry it till it’s sizzling & golden. This will take about 15 min or so. You only have to stir it every once in awhile to get it to “unstuck” to the pan. (if you are using Teflon)
Move the tofu to a bowl, & put 2 tbsp of oil in the pan (lower heat to medium) & put in the chingensai stems & moyashi. Fry for about 1 min. Now drain out any liquid in the tofu & throw the tofu back in. Here's my "handy-dandy-bullion-crushing-instrument-of-science".

Add bullion powder/salt/pepper/shoyu (be liberal, my friends) add leaves of chingensai & fry a minute or two more &, Voila! Top w/ crushed white goma….or not!

Friends, you can’t get much healthier than this. Approximately 1/2 of my children are crazy about this.

Minor important note: Be careful not to try this with silky tofu (kinugoshi-tofu) or you’ll end up w/ a big mess when you fry it. Unless you dig that “soupy-over-cooked-mushy-tofu” look. Ewww!!


Junior said...

I'm not so into tofu unless its in a protein shake or with sushi, but if i was this is exactly how I would make it.

babylove said...

Ha, that's the first time I've heard of something that you DIDN'T like. I almost thought you were impervious. Someone showed me to mix it with hamburger meat to make burgers, it stretches it & makes it more tender but doesn't change the flavor AT ALL!! Can't beat that!

Junior said...

Yes, don't like tofu cooked, I especially hate mabo dofu.
Tofu burgers are great. I have only had the non beef kind and they're really good。

Ambie said...

Oh Al you're so busted!