It was a Japanese night for us. Not intentionally, though. I didn't know what to cook and we definitely didn't want to have ham again for the nth time in a row (leftover from Christmas dinner, mind you!). So I looked in the fridge and saw a block of tofu and a few pieces of mushroom. Easy. Stir Fry. But I saw a great recipe online that would make use of other "stuff" I had in my pantry. And by "stuff" I mean ingredients we rarely use and I only remember when I clean out the pantry. So I decided to try it.
Of course, I had to tweak it and use whatever I had (I wasn't in the mood for a quick run to the grocery store). I am pleased to say that it turned out great. No - it was awesome! The combination of flavors went very well together. In fact, when we ran out of fried tofu, hubby got some rice and mixed the sauce with it.
On a humorous note, I used powdered dashi mix, and I had to guess the ratio of water to powder mix because the instructions were in Japanese! There was a note on the front of the box that said "directions on the back panel," but lo and behold - they were written in Japanese. Hahaha. It did say 2 teaspoons (or whatever) of powder mix, but how much water? I had to go by taste.
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As with the edamame, it was also by chance that I saw a bag of them in the freezer. Well, what could go well with a block of soy but... more soy! But seriously, if you haven't had edamame, you are missing out! They taste so good - like peanuts, only better. They are also chockful of nutrients.
So there you go. Our Japanese dinner. And as Kevin Brauch would say, "Konbanwa!"
What you need:
1 block of tofu
6 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dashi mix
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1/8 cup of shaved carrots
2 tablespoons Vidalia onion, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Canola oil for deep frying
What to do:
Drain tofu and wrap in several layers of paper towel to absorb extra water. Set aside.
In a small saucier over medium-high heat, combine water, dashi mix, mirin and soy sauce. Bring to a soft boil, then add carrots, onions and sliced mushrooms. When it starts boiling again, pour in the cornstarch-water mixture and stir. Lower heat to a simmer and continue cooking for about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the drained tofu into 1 inch cubes and deep fry in hot oil until lightly browned. Place fried tofu in a serving platter and generously drizzle with mushroom sauce.
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. Firm tofu works best in this dish.
2. Original recipe called for katakuriko (potato starch). I used corn starch.
3. Hubby suggested adding more veggies like baby corn and water chestnuts for texture.
4. I used shaved carrots because I didn't feel like cutting it very thin with a knife.
Happy New Year!