Ginger Mirin Tofu (v)

I know I know, new year new food and all that? This isn’t that healthy cos it’s deep fried but oh my, it’s delicious and the perfect antidote to all the rich Christmas food. Well it is for us anyway!

For 4 portions you need
1 pack firm tofu
2-3 tbsp cornflour
60ml light soya sauce
60ml mirin
2cm piece of ginger, finely grated
oil for deep frying

Cut the tofu into bite sized cubes and toss to coat in the cornflour. As it cooks, this gives a delicious light crispy coating to the tofu.

Heat the oil until hot and then fry the coated tofu in batches until crispy and light brown.

Place the soya sauce, mirin and ginger in a bowl. Drain the cooked tofu straight into the bowl and allow it to cool slightly and soak up the flavour. Serve with wilted garlic greens and plain rice for a nutritious meal you can feel smug about all day.

Aubergines with Mirin, Soya Sauce and Noodles

Just for Sarah 😉

OK, this is basically my Japanese aubergine recipe served with noodles. But it was very nice and worth making. It’s excellent hot or cold and makes a lovely lunchbox for work.

For 2 servings you need:
1 aubergine, cut into 0.5cm thick slices

vegetable oil for deep frying
salt if salting the aubergines
2 bundles Clearspring soba noodles

1 tbsp Clearspring organic shoyu soya sauce
1 tbsp Clearspring Tamari soya sauce
2 tbsp Clearspring mirin
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 tbsp Clearspring toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

If you want to salt the aubergine (advisable if it’s old and a bit squishy) then lay the slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Weight and leave overnight. Rinse off the salt and press dry.

Mix the sauce ingredients together and place in a shallow tub or bowl. Cook the noodles and refresh under cold water.

Heat the oil and deep fry the aubergine slices till golden brown and soft. Drain briefly then add to the sauce whilst still hot. Mix with the noodles and scoff.

Hazlenut Tofu with Japanese Broth and Sticky Rice (v)

This was lush. Really lovely and stupidly healthy too. I am a culinary genius. Just, please, don’t try making this whilst intoxicated like I did. Muchos ouchos.

For 2-3 people you need:
1 packet hazlenut tofu (available from the rather marvellous 8th day in Manchester) cut into thin 1″ square slices
1 leek, finely sliced
2 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1 packet pok choi, shredded
1/2 packet snow peas, cut in half
4 florets of cauliflower, cut into slices the same size as the tofu
1 cup sherry
1/2 cup soya sauce
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1″ piece ginger, grated
about 1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup sushi rice

Begin by cooking the rice – place in a pan with 1.5 cups boiling water. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins. Turn off the heat and allow to steam cook.

Meanwhile place the sherry and soya sauce into a pan. Add the garlic, ginger, leeks, carrots and tofu and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the water to taste to make sure the broth isn’t too overpowering with the soya sauce etc. Once the rice has finished cooking add the remaining veggies and heat through briefly. Serve with the rice and feel disgustingly healthy.

Tempura (v)

I have never ever made tempura before. I was under the (mistaken) impression that it was difficult. How wrong I was. It’s easy peasy and tastes delicious. Pass the batter!

This is based on the delectable Ottolenghi’s recipe…

For 4-6 people you need:
About 1.5 kg of different vegetables (I used onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, cauli, courgettes)
80g cornflour plus a little extra
80g self raising flour
200ml sparkling water
2 tsp oil
pinch salt
oil for frying

Chop the veggies in to bite sized pieces, taking care to make sure the harder ones are sliced quite thinly.

Mix the flours with the oil, salt and water. Mix lightly. Toss the vegetables in a little extra cornflour and then dip them, one at a time, in the batter. Heat some oil for frying in a large wok. Drop the batter coated veggies in one at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan or the temperature will drop and everything will go soggy. Turn in the oil to ensure even cooking and then drain. Serve with soya sauce and sweet chilli sauce for dipping.

Japanese Aubergines (v)

This is based on a fantastic dish at Yo Sushi. So fantastic in fact that I ate three of the dishes of them last time I went… It’s zingy, fresh and delicious.

For 1-2 portions (depending on greed…) you need:
1 aubergine, cut into 0.5cm slices
1/8 cup sunflower oil
4 tbsp soya sauce
3 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, crushed

Brush the slices of aubergine with the oil on both sides and sprinkle with a little salt. Roast in a hot oven for about 15-20 mins till tender and slightly browned. Turn over halfway through.

Meanwhile mix the dressing in a bowl. Once the aubergines are cooked places them in the dressing and allow to cool for the flavours to develop. Utterly unctiously fabulous.