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TGS Lunch - Akiko's Mixed Corn Rice, Tofu Steaks and Summer Vegetable Miso Soup

Continuing our Staff Lunch series this summer, we have Akiko's 'Mixed Corn Rice', 'Tofu Steak with Onion Dressing', and 'Summer Vegetable Miso Soup'.

Recipes for all 3 refreshing summer recipes can be found down below!

Tofu Steak Recipe: 

  • Tofu (2 packs) – soft or firm – your preference
  • Onion – 1
  • Dashi – 3.5 tablespoons
  • Millet sugar – 4 tablespoons
  • Sake – 4 tablespoons
  • Mirin – 4 tablespoons
  • Shoyu – 4 tablespoons
  • Salt – pinch
  • Potato starch – enough to generously coat the tofu
  • Sesame oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Canola oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Green onion – sliced thin for garnish
  • Paper towel for absorbing excess water from tofu
  1. Open the packs of tofu and remove from water. Use paper towels to dry the excess water from the tofu.
  2. Slice around 6-8 pieces from 1 pack of tofu. Size of the pieces may vary, but we recommend 1 inch thickness with 3-4 inches in length for a good steak size.
  3. Grate the onion and ginger with a grater, gather the grated fiber into a bowl.
  4. Add dashi into the bowl, then add sake, shoyu, mirin, sugar, and salt. Mix.
  5. Grab a baking pan and cover the pan with potato starch. Gently place the sliced tofu in the potato starch and coat generously all over.  
  6. In a non-stick pan, pour both oils over medium heat.
  7. When the oil gets hot (but not burning), gently place the sliced tofu in the oil.
  8. Once the tofu begins to brown on the bottom, flip the tofu over gently with a spatula – careful to not break the tofu.
  9. Brown the other side of the tofu for the same amount of time.
  10. Once it is browned on both sides, pour in the sauce. You’ll see the sauce thicken inside the pan as it mixes with the potato starch (approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute).  When you see that the sauce is thickening, flip the tofu so the sauce has a chance to adhere to both sides.
  11. When the sauce continues to thicken and adhere sides of the tofu, turn off the heat and remove the tofu steaks from the pan. Place on a plate and garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

 

Summer Vegetable Miso Soup Recipe:

  • Japanese pumpkin – you can purchase in half slices, but you only need half of the half slice for the dish
  • Japanese eggplant – 3
  • Mini cherry tomato – 30 mini tomatoes - sweeter the better
  • White miso – 1 tablespoon
  • Red miso – 1 tablespoon
  • Regular miso – 2 tablespoon
  • Konbu – cut a 4 inch slice from a single piece of konbu
  • Katsuboshi that is made specifically for dashi making
  • Water – 3 1/3 cups
  1. Wash eggplant and mini tomatoes in strainer
  2. Cut the ends off the eggplant, then cut the eggplant in half down the middle. Cut the sliced eggplant into smaller 1/2 inch half-circle slices.
  3. Cut the half-slice of pumpkin in half to make it a quarter piece. Peel the hard green skin off the pumpkin with a knife, or if it’s too hard to peel, can simply cut the skin off the pumpkin.
  4. Cut the skin-less pumpkin into smaller half-inch slices – similar to the size of the eggplant
  5. Pour the water into the miso donabe. Add the slice of konbu to the water and let it sit in the water for 10 minutes.  The konbu will expand in the water and spread out the flavor.
  6. Now place the miso donabe over a gas stove and turn on the heat to medium high. Put the pumpkin slices into the water. 
  7. Right before the water boils, pull out the konbu. This is to avoid any bitterness that may seep out of the konbu once the water starts to boils.
  8. When the water begins to boil, add the eggplant slices and 1 teabag packed with katsuboshi. Let the eggplant and katsuoboshi cook for 1 minute, then add in the mini tomato.  Turn the heat down to low and let the tomatoes cook for 1 more minute. The soup should be simmering - not a boil.
  9. Scoop all three miso varieties into a miso strainer, then put the strainer into the soup and melt the miso into the soup by rubbing and mixing the 3 miso pastes through the strainer
  10. Once the miso is completed melted into the soup - the miso soup is ready to eat!

 

Mixed Corn Rice Recipe:

  • White rice – 2.5 cups (U.S. cup)
  • Yellow Corn – 2 ears of corn
  • Water – 3 cups (U.S. cup) of mountain spring water
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar – tiny pinch
  1. Wash the rice in a strainer until the water that drips out is clear or close to clear
  2. Keep the rice in the strainer and drain any excess water for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Place the washed rice in a medium size bowl and add the 3 cups of mountain spring water so that the rice is completely immersed. Set aside this immersed rice for at least 20 minutes.  This process of drying and immersing the rice in water enhances the overall flavor of the rice and improves its texture.
  4. Peel the skin off both ears of corn and wash.
  5. Cut the ends of the corn off, then cut the corn cob in half .
  6. The hold the half cut corn cob vertically and slice the sides of the corn. You can slice in a square shape – one slice down 4 sides.
  7. Take the rice that was sitting in water and drain again. Put the rice into the donabe.  Then pour the water in the donabe to slightly cover the rice. Next, put in the corn kernels on top of the rice.
  8. Sprinkle the 1 teaspoon of salt over the corn, rice and water.
  9. Sprinkle a tiny punch of sugar
  10. The rice will cook in around 14 minutes, but time may vary. Watch the hole on the top of the lid to know if it’s cooking.  When you see steam coming out of the hole, the rice is almost done.  Let the rice cook for 2 minutes after the first puff of steam out of the hole.  After those 2 minutes, turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 20 minutes.
  11. After the rice has rested, take off both lids, and churn the rice from the bottom and mix the rice and corn together.