Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tofu Dressing with Vegetables: Shira-ae

Today I will introduce my favorite side dish using tofu called Shira-ae. Shira-ae is to eat seasonable vegetables with tofu dressing. Shira (shiro) means white, the tofu’s color, and “ae”  (ah-eh) means dress, so white-dress makes sense. You can add shimeji or shitake mushrooms, konjac, and fish cake, such as imitation crab meat for more flavor.

To make the tofu dressing we need to extract the water from the tofu. To do this we wrap the tofu in paper or cloth towel and stack some weight on it for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Another technique to remove water from the tofu is to put the tofu in water and heat until the water boils. We then remove the tofu from the boiling water and put in a colander to drain for about 20 to 30 minutes. Both techniques take about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

In the dressing, we use sesame paste. You can find sesame paste at Asian or Japanese market, but I usually buy Tahini at local supermarket.

Light color soy sauce is also used in the dressing. This is not low sodium soy sauce. This soy sauce is used in lighter colored dishes. You could use regular soy sauce instead but it will look darker.

Tofu Dressing with Vegetables: Shira-ae

·      5oz of baby spinach
·      1 carrot
·      ½ lb of tofu (light silken or soft)
·      1 tablespoon of sesame paste
·      1 tablespoon of brown sugar
·      1 tablespoon of light color soy sauce
·      200ml of water
·      1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1.     Put tofu in a pot, cover it with water, and heat it up. Once it starts boiling, take the tofu out of the pot and place it into a colander to drain for about 20 to 30 minutes.

2.     Pat with a paper towel to remove as much water as possible.

3.     Julian the carrot.

4.     Cook the carrots in hot water until tender, take them out and put into a colander to cool.

5.     Cook bay spinach in hot water then place into a bowl of ice water. Drain and squeeze well.

6.      Mix hot water and soy sauce for the seasoning. Soak drained carrots and baby spinach in the seasoning.

7.     Mash the drained tofu in a bowl. Add sesame paste, brown sugar, and light color soy sauce, then mix well until smooth.

8.     Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the carrots and spinach. Mix the carrots and spinach with tofu dressing.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Matcha Latte

Matcha is stone ground green tea powder used for the Japanese tea ceremony. High quality ceremony grade Matcha is made from the new leaves at the top of the trees. The tea growers follow some special preparations and processes to produce the best leaves before harvesting. To keep the brilliant Matcha color, ceremonial quality tea uses only these new growth leaves which have an abundance of the healthy components of the tea leaves. Since the tea leaves are actually consumed when drinking it, Matcha tea is much stronger than regular “brewed” green tea and benefits are much greater too. Some of the benefits include beautiful skin, prevention of hypertension, dieting, and aid to our digestive system.

To start your Matcha craze it is best to begin with a simple Matcha latte at home. You will need Matcha tea, a bamboo whisk, a bowl or a cup for tea (I use a café au lait bowl), hot water, and warm milk. A lot of people like to make their Matcha with almond milk. Almond milk’s flavor does fit well with Matcha and it also is a healthy choice but I still prefer regular milk.

*Before using your bamboo whisk, soak it in water for a while if possible. It will work better.

If you are interested in my homemade granola from the pictures, check out the recipe Addictive “Addictive "Fruit & Coconut Honey Granola". This is one of my popular recipes.

Matcha Latte

·      1 teaspoon of Matcha
·      80ml of hot water
·      80ml of milk

1.     Warm up milk and froth it.

2.     Sift Matcha into a warm tea bowl.

3.     Add a little hot water from the 80ml (maybe 1tbs) pour gently into the tea bowl from the side. Whisk until smooth.

4.     Pour the remainder of the 80ml of hot water and whisk back and forth until foamy.

5.     Gently add the frothed milk into the Matcha tea and serve.

6.     You can sprinkle a little Matcha on the top if you desire.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teriyaki Chicken Pita Pocket Sandwich

Easy sandwich using my base Teriyaki Chicken recipe:Terrific Teriyaki Chicken. This makes a great breakfast, lunch or snack. Prepare a large batch of Teriyaki Chicken ahead of time, and use it for sandwiches during the week. I like making cooked chicken based sandwiches for the kids lunch box. I use pita pocket because it helps avoid the chicken and sauce from dropping out the open end of the sandwich. I recommend adding some Japanese mayo. It's very yummy.

Teriyaki Chicken Pita Pocket Sandwich

·      Teriyaki Chicken (Recipe: Terrific Teriyaki Chicken)
·      1 Pita bread
·      some salad mix or lettuce
·      some sliced red onion
·      1 or 2 slices of tomato
·      Japanese mayo

1.     Make Teriyaki chicken. Follow recipe from Terrific Teriyaki Chicken.

2.     Cut the pita pocket in half and warm it up in the oven or toaster. (1 to 2 minutes under the broiler.)

3.     Soak the red onion slices in water for about 5 minutes then drain well and pat dry.
4.     Add tomato slices, salad mix (lettuce), red onion slices, and teriyaki chicken in the pita pocket.

5.     Top with mayo if you like.