Today's staff lunch focused on healthy ingredients.
We enjoyed a tasty menu of vegetarian mapo tofu, clam with soy milk miso soup, side of daikon pickles, sweet mini tomatoes and renkon-hasami.
The daikon pickles were prepared using our Hario pickler and the lotus root sandwiches were leftover from a recent Tortoise potluck.
Please find Akiko's delicious recipes below and enjoy these meals in your kitchen!
Vegetarian Mapo Tofu
- Shiitake - 2
- Hoshi Shiitake (dry) - 6
- Carrot – 1 stick
- White onion – 1/2
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Ginger – 1 thumb size knob
- Green onion – ½ a green onion that you cut starting the white end
- Canned boiled soybean – 1 can (around 4 oz)
- Oyster sauce – 2 tablespoons
- Tobanjan – 1 teaspoon (add more for extra spice)
- Sake – 2 tablespoon
- Mirin – 1 tablespoon
- Miso – 2 tablespoon
- Water – 1 ½ cup
- Sesame oil – 1 tablespoon
- Tofu (soft) – 2 packs
We recommend boiled soybean in cans like this - which can be found at your local Japanese grocery store:
- The tofu in this dish tastes best if excess moisture is removed first. Prepare the soft tofu either the day before or the day of - by removing any extra water
- Drying tofu option #1: Take out the tofu from the pack the day before and wrap it in a paper towel and place it on a plate. Place another plate on top of the tofu to sandwich the tofu in-between, pressing out any moisture overnight. Remove from paper towel when you are ready to use.
- Drying tofu option #2: Take out the tofu from the pack the day of and place it on a plate with a paper towel underneath and put into a microwave. Microwave tofu for 30 – 40 seconds, then wrap the tofu in another paper towel and press out any excess moisture. You can also just use a paper towel to press out any excess moisture without putting the tofu in the microwave if you prefer. The microwave helps release the moisture out quicker
- Put the dry shiitake in a bowl of water for approximately 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, squeeze the shiitake by hand to drop out any excess water and pat the shiitake dry with a paper towel
- Mince the garlic, ginger, shiitake, hoshi shiitake, carrot, white onion, green onion, canned soy bean into small pieces
- Pour 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a pot and add the tobanjan. Warm up over medium heat. The tobanjan will add spice to the oil
- Add green onion, garlic, ginger to the oil for enhanced fragrance. Cook all together for 2 minutes, then add the shiitake to the pot. Also add soybean, carrot, white onion – then cook together until the heat goes through all the ingredients
- Mix 1 ½ cups of water with the oyster sauce, miso, sake and mirin. If you want your mapo tofu to be spicier, add more tobanjan to the mixture.
- Add this mixture to the pot with all the minced ingredients
- While the pot is getting ready to boil, take the relatively dry tofu out and place into a bowl. Using your hands, crush and squeeze the tofu into rough chunks
- When the liquid starts to boil, add the chunks of tofu
- Once the tofu is in the pot and the heat has made it relatively warm, the dish is done and ready to eat!
Clam with Soy Milk Miso Soup
- Clam – 2 packs
- Carrot – 1 stick
- Gobo – ¼ of a stick
- Kabocha – 150 g
- Unsweetened soy milk – 8 oz (we recommend Meiji Tofu soymilk)
- Water – 2 ¼ cup
- Sake – 1.5 tablespoon
- Mirin – 1.5 tablespoon
- Miso – 2 tablespoon (any miso type is fine)
- Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
- White onion – ½ of an onion
We recommend the soymilk from Meiji Tofu for this dish:
- Fill a medium size bowl with tap water, add 2 tablespoons of salt, then drop in the clams. Let the clams sit in the salt water for 30 minutes. This process will force the clams to release sand out of their shells, cleaning them out. Remove the clams after 30 minutes, wash and drain them in a strainer
- Wash and thinly slice the vegetables: Carrot, gobo (burdock root), kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), white onion
- Put oil in a pot, over medium heat
- Add the clams after the oil has warmed up
- Add the sliced vegetables to the pot and coat them in the oil, cook until heat has passed through the vegetables
- Add the 2 ¼ cups of water to the pot
- Cook all the ingrediets in the pot until the clams open their shells
- Add mirin and sake, and let all the ingredients cook together for around 5 minutes
- Add miso paste to the broth by stirring in the miso so that it melts all the way
- Add soy milk and stir to avoid clumping
- Once the soy milk is added, the dish is ready to serve and enjoy right away!
Yuzu Daikon Pickles:
- Daikon – 1/8 (150 g)
- Salt ½ teaspoon
- Yuzu – ½ a yuzu
- Konbu – 1 inch strip
- Pickling mixture: soy sauce (1/2 tablespoon), sake (1/2 tablespoon), mirin (1/2 tablespoon)
* Yuzu can be found in most markets during the fall and winter season. They may be found year round at a local Asian grocery store. If you can't find yuzu near you, this dish can be enjoyed with lemons.
- Cut the daikon into approximately 2 inch shoe string strips, rub with salt, place in the glass jar and microwave it for 30 seconds
- Squeeze the juice out of the yuzu and keep for later. Peel the rind off and slice the rind into thin strips
- Squeeze the moisture out of the daikon before placing back in the glass jar
- Add the yuzu juice, rind, konbu and pickling mixture with the daikon in the jar. Place the glass weight on top of the daikon pieces and pickle for 2-3 hours