Nac Mac Vegan: adventures in rabbit food

11/02/2008

Goth rice, Lotus Balls in An Sauce, Tofu steak

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 21:33

My partner expressed satisfaction with tonight’s meal, so here are the recipes, all of which are likely to end up in the cookbook.

Goth Rice

1 cup short grain brown rice
1 tbl black sesame seed
2 cups water

Add all to a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid, bring to the boil and simmer gently (with the lid on) until the water is absorbed – about 40 minutes. It will come out black. Needless to say, “goth rice” is not the Japanese name for this fairly traditional combination, but it ought to be.

Lotus Root Balls in An Sauce

About a 10cm length/200g fresh lotus root.
1 small-medium onion
1 tbl wholemeal flour
1 tsp oil for frying onion
Oil for deep frying

2 tbl kuzu
1½ cups water
2 tbl soy sauce
A big knob of ginger

Chop the onion finely and fry gently in the oil until just brown. Meanwhile, grate the lotus root really finely. Add to the pan of onion. It will be a sticky mess – do not worry. Cook briefly then remove the mixture to the bowl and allow to cool for long enough to handle. Knead the flour into the mixture to make a sticky dough. Remember to put the deep fryer on – a fairly low-medium heat is best. Divide the dough into four pieces, then four again, and make 16 small balls. Bung them in the hot oil and slowly fry them until they are a deep golden brown. This is a good moment to wash your hands and make the sauce.

Grind the kuzu finely and mix to a paste with a small amount of water. Put the rest of the water in a pan to heat up and add the soy sauce and kuzu paste. Stir lots. If it looks like it’s turning into lumps, get out a hand blender and use that to really stir it! It will thicken rather impressively. Chop the ginger finely, or grate it, and add to the sauce. Turn the heat off and transfer the balls to the sauce while you finish whatever else you are cooking. Remember to turn the frying pan off, unlike me.

Tofu Steak

A great big lump of tofu.
Sunflower oil.

Cut the tofu into two large “steaks” whichever way looks best to you. Make them 2-3 cm thick. Place them in a shallow frying pan with the hot oil and fry each side at a medium heat until golden. It will turn golden part-way up the sides, too, making it easier to tell when you need to turn it over. It will probably weld to the pan, so use a metal spatula or something when you are ready to flip over or serve, as it will come off without damage to the tofu if you are careful. The tofu should be crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle.

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27/01/2008

Black sesame smoothie

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 15:16

I had a large shopping accident at amazon.co.jp the other day, and one of the books I bought was 豆腐でおうちゃくダイエット (toufu de ouchaku daietto), which appears to translate as Lazy Diet with Tofu! It’s in the Orange Page シンパルマクロビオティック (Simple Macrobiotics) series, so I suppose it makes sense in a way. This recipe is from that book.

100g (3.5 oz.) tofu (it says “cotton”. I used firm silken)
2 tbl black sesame seeds
1 tbl rice syrup (I used maple syrup, which works surprisingly well in Japanese food)
2 tbl black sesame paste (see note)
½ cup water

Blend it all thoroughly and serve in a glass over ice. Sprinkle a few more black sesame seeds on for decoration.

Note: Japanese black sesame paste is unobtainium, at least in the UK. It’s not sweetened. You can make it by roasting a couple of tablespoons of black sesame, then grinding them. If there is not enough oil to make it into a paste, add a teaspoon or two of sesame oil. Chinese black sesame paste is available from Chinese supermarkets. This has been sweetened, so if you use it reduce the amount of syrup.

Update 15th April 2008: Arigato on Brewer Street in London sell black sesame paste in handy resealable pouches.

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