Archive for ‘Tofu’

August 3, 2012

Frozen Tofu Steak

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Tofu is one of basic ingredients for Japanese cooking.

There are two different types of tofu, the “Firm” tofu and the “Silky” tofu.They taste the same, except they have different texture, also it is used for different cooking.



I grew up with the silky tofu, and that’s what was in my miso soup as I grew up. I make Agedashi-tofu (Deep fried tofu) using the silky type and tofu steak too.

The firm tofu is used when I need to drain the water and use it as paste. My Shira-Ae (Tofu dressing), tofu muffins and tofu creams (for cakes) are made from firm tofu.


When you buy tofu, sometimes you might not use it all up. Once the package is opened, tofu does not last very long so here is a secret to save it from being wasted: freeze them!


Once frozen, tofu changes texture. The negative is it becomes a bit “tougher” but look at the positive side, once frozen and thawed tofu absorbs more sauce. Here is a recipe to use thawed tofu, and it’s simple and yummy.

Frozen Tofu Steak (to be served as an appetizer or as a main)


-120g Firm Tofu  (per person)

-5cm*10cm Kombu Kelp(per tofu)

-1/2 cup water

-2 teaspoon Black Sesame

-1/2 teaspoon Soy sauce



Step 1.Freeze tofu overnight, defrost half frozen and cut 2cm thick.

Step 2.Place Konbu in pan and rest tofu on top. Cover Tofu with water, bring to boil. Lower heat, add soysauce. Cover with black sesame and cook until soup disappears.


So simple, yet you will see the different texture of the tofu and enjoy all the soup it has absorbed. If you are not vegan, you can even sprinkle some bonito flakes on top! Best eaten while it’s hot!

May 24, 2012

SHIRA-AE (Vegetables with Tofu Dressing)

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


It’s been a while since I last wrote in my blog, sorry had a half marathon to run, as well as Sushi Art classes! Now everything is done, I can go back to happy blogging again!


With my 5 Day Dinner Challenge, I chose SHIRA-AE recipe first to share. This is simple yet can be arranged with different “left over” veggies, so I think it is a handy thing to know.


I made 2 different types of SHIRA-AE on Day 5.

Although it looks a bit hidden, it is behind that red bowl!

One was with carrot and crown daisy, another one was with celery.



Here is how to make the dressing.


For carrots, crown daisy or other cooked vegetables.

-80g vegetables (carrots, crown daisy, spinach, mushroom, capsicum, whatever that’s left is OK)

-150g Firm Tofu

-1 Tablespoon Roasted sesame

-1 Tablespoon Organic raw sugar

-1/2 Tablespoon Soy sauce


Step 1: Heat tofu in the microwave on high for 2 min, drain excess water and let it cool.

Step 2: Cut the vegetables into small pieces and stir fry with a little bit of sesame oil, until they are just cooked. Do not over cook.

Step 3: Grind sesame, add tofu, sugar and soy sauce, mix and mash the tofu to make a paste. (I usually do all of this in my SURI-BACHI); Add vegetables and mix. Serve warm or cold.



For celery or other fresh vegetables.

-80g vegetables (celery, capsicum, carrots)

-150g Firm Tofu

-1 teaspoon Miso

-1/2 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive oil

-Salt and Pepper to taste


Step 1: Heat tofu in the microwave on high for 2 min, drain excess water and let it cool.

Step 2: Cut the vegetables into small pieces and sprinkle a little bit of salt. Absorb excess water with kitchen paper.

Step 3: Mash the tofu to make a paste (I usually do all of this in my SURI-BACHI); Add olive oil, salt, pepper and vegetables. Serve cold.


In this recipe, I sometimes add chopped black olive or dry tomatoes to give it an extra flavor. Surprisingly, it matches red wine, serve it with a cracker and it will make an excellent dip!





May 17, 2012

5 Day Dinner Challenge : Day 6

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


It may be wrong to have Day 6 in a “5 Day Dinner Challenge”, but I had a lot of left over still in my fridge, so I made myself a Vegetarian/Vegan dinner tonight! (Hide is having dinner out, so I was only cooking for Yumi and myself)

20120517-202242.jpg The menu for tonight is

-Crown Daisy pasta (Vegan)

-Tofu steak with eggplants(Vegan)

-Steam vegetable with soy-cheese (Yumi’s favorite!)  (Vegan)


Very simple, done in less than 30min, so easy to clean, and Yumi went to bed right after 7:00pm! Isn’t she an angel? Now I can update the recipes for 5 Day Challenge!

Hope you enjoy reading,,,, and cooking it!

May 16, 2012

5 Day Dinner Challenge : Day 5

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

It’s the last day of my 5 day challenge, and I have made yet another different set of meal tonight.


The menu for Day 5 was:
-2 Different “SHIRAE”, vegetable in tofu dressing ( Vegan)
-Pan fried eggplants (Vegan)
-Steamed vegetable (Vegan)
-Miso soup with Chinese cabbage
-Rice with millets

I still have plenty of veggies in my fridge, so I’ll make some more dishes, but in the mean time, I will start introducing my recipes!

May 13, 2012

5 Day Dinner Challenge : Day 3

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

It’s the 3rd day of my cooking challenge, and I’ve added 1 item, tofu! Yes, that was necessary to cook tonight’s dinner. Can you tell where it is used?


The menu for tonight is:

-Home made fish cake with edamame

-Carrot and Celery “Kinpira”(Vegan)

-Chickpea in Miso and Mayo sauce(Vegetarian, not vegan because I used mayonnaise)

-Broccoli in sesame dressing(Vegan)

-Celery rice(Vegan)

-Tofu miso soup(Can be made vegan but I used bonito flakes today, so this is only vegetarian)

Very basic Japanese dinner, yet really easy to cook.  Full of proteins, vitamins and mineral!

Believe it or not, Yumi ate 2 bowl of rice today. It must have been yummy!

May 11, 2012

5 day Dinner Challenge: Day 1

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.
I often hear my friends saying “I don’t know what to cook for dinner”. I often tell them, “I don’t know when to stop cooking!”. Whenever I have a time to spare, I find myself in the kitchen, exploring new tastes and challenging how to make things easier and tastier.


From today, I’ve given myself a challenge to cook only with things that I have in the fridge and pantry. Although I will give myself an excuse at the beginning, “I will buy fresh fish/meat whenever I need it”.

So, for 5 days, I will share what I really cook at home, and the answer of what I used to cook these dishes will be revealed after day 5! Hopefully, if I succeed, I will share the recipes too!


In the meantime, please enjoy our daily dinner photos! (^-^)/




March 7, 2012

Chickepea and Potato Croquette

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Croquette is a very popular food in Japan, I think. It is sold at deli corner in a supermarket and as a teenager, I used to sometimes buy it form a butcher on my way home from school, and eat it like kids here eat chips. Oh, maybe it’s similar to fish and chips, in a way that its fried and considered a handy snack. Although my mum did serve croquette as a dinner…


Anyways, it’s nice and filling and you can use a lot of leftover veggies in it, so it’s good 🙂


Today, I made one using leftover chickpea remains from chickpea tofu.

The result looks like this!

Ingredients (to make 12 size croquettes: an adult would eat 3-4 of them)

-3 potatoes

-2 cup chickpea remains (can be omitted)

-1 small onion, chopped

-1/4 zucchini chopped

-1 clove garlic, chopped

-1 teaspoon cumin seed (if using powder, add directly into the mashed potatoes)

-salt, pepper, soy sauce

-plain flour, bread crumbs


To make

Step 1: Steam or Boil potatoes and mash them in a large bowl; in a frying pan, heat olive oil and stir fry cumin seed for 2 min, add onion and cook 2min, add zucchini and chickpea remains


Step 2: Mix in the cooked vegetables into potatoes (if using cumin powder, add now), add salt and soy sauce to season


Step 3: Form flat rounds and rest in fridge for at least 30min; before serving, cover with flour, dip in water, cover with breadcrumbs and deep fry on 180-190 degrees for 5min or until golden


NOTE: The key to success is resting the croquette in the fridge before frying. Since everything is already precooked, you don’t have to fry it for a long time, just until the crust get crisp.


I dip my croquette in water before the breadcrumbs. Some people use egg, but by using water, I can serve it to my vegan friends, and also,  you will get thinner crust making it more crispy.

You can freeze this after Step2 or even after putting on the crumbs. Frozen croquettes require more technique to fry them, set the temperature a bit lower to 170-180 C, and put them in while frozen! Don’t fry many at a time, only so that it cover 1/3 of the surface of the oil. When it is thawed before frying, it may burst to BE REALLY CAREFUL!


It’s all seasoned so you can eat it as is, or squeeze some lemon to add more flavor. I put melting cheese in half of it, so it was like a treasure hunt at dinner. My 17 month daughter loved it too, asking for more after eating 2!



March 7, 2012

Chickpea Tofu

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artisit / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

I stopped eating meat about 6 years ago, about the time when I started cooking organics. Now, I do eat meat when it is served, and I do cook meat for my husband, but I prefer to eat vegetables and beans. In that sense, I am not a strict vegan nor vegetarian, but someone who loves to eat veggies and is on a search for a nice veggie dish.

This is something different, but I find it really nice to eat on a hot summer day.

It is tofu made from chickpeas!!


Unlike the tofus sold at stores, this is silky and soft, so I recommend serving it in a bowl with some sauce. Actually you can eat this with soy sauce or with maple syrup!

Trust me they are both nice in its own way.

Making it is not difficult, just a bit messy, but if you try in and like it, I think you will repeat making it like me!!


Ingredients (makes about 6 regular muffin tin)

-1 cup Chickpea; soaked in 3 cup water overnight

-2 cup Water

-1 pinch salt

To cook

Step 1: Drain the chickpea and mix in food processor on medium to high speed for 45-60sec

Step 2: Add water and salt, mix again for  another 60sec, or until it becomes smooth.

Step 3: Squeeze the mixture over cloth into a sauce pan (THIS IS THE MESSY PART!!), do it in 5-6 batches; cook on medium heat, stirring continuously

Step 4: Pour into container and cool, when cold enough to put in fridge, let it set

You will have about 2 cups of chickpea leftover, DO NOT throw them out!

It is full of fiber, and has good use to it, I will introduce what you can do with it in the next blog.


Messy, yet tasty, this can be made a day ahead of serving, so I recommend not to make it on the day of a special event. Prepare early, and earn those smiles from your loved ones!



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February 23, 2012

Miso Dengaku (Tofu and Vegetables with Miso sauce)

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artisit / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


This is one of my favorite dish! Miso Dengaku is usually made with tofu and sweet tasting miso paste. It could also be made with eggplants, or “konnyaku(konjak)”, jelly‐like food made from the starch of devil’s tongue (devil’s tongue is a name of a flower). Miso paste can be made in different ways, personally, I like to combine Yuzu citrus, but since I can’t find Yuzu in Sydney, today I made a basic one.


Ingredients for 2 people (the photo is for 1)

-300-400g Firm Tofu (Momen)

-1 Eggplant (not the thin baby type, but choose the big fat round one!)

For Miso paste

-1 Tablespoon Miso

-1 Tablespoon Sake

-1 1/2 Organic Maple Syrup

(NOTE:Usually, this paste is made with Mirin and Sugar, but I substituted that with Maple Syrup. The result was just as nice, so I think I would stick to this recipe 🙂 )


Sesame and shallots are additional  as garnish.


To cook is easy and quick as usual!


Step 1: Cut Eggplants and tofu into squares, about 5cm  square and 2cm thick,  cook on a non stick frying pan with a little bit of oil, always on low heat.

Step 2: While the eggplant is cooking (it takes a while) , mix the sauce ingredients (miso, sake and maple syrup) in a small sauce pan and cook on low heat until it thickens. This does not take long and WILL BURN if you don’t keep your eye on it, so stay close and stir with a spatula occasionally.

Step 3: Place tofu and vegetable on plate, spread sauce and garnish if desired!


It can be served hot or cold, works as a good starter. The tofu and vegetables can be skewered with a bamboo skewer, and makes great finger food at parties or your next BBQ!

Enjoy 🙂



February 22, 2012

Sukiyaki Style Beef with Tofu and Vegetable

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

This is part of our 30min dinner, the main dish! It is Sukiyaki Style Beef with Tofu and Vegetables. Usually, when cooking Sukiyaki, you need the beef to be cut in thin slices. There is one butcher in Chatswood that sells this type of meat, but since I didn’t have the time to go there, I just cooked regular beef (blade) and made it taste like Sukiyaki. Thus the title is Sukiyaki Style and not Sukiyaki! Would love to show how to cook proper sukiyaki one day 🙂




-200-400g beef, cut into thin strips (sliced, if possible)

-300g tofu

-1/4 Chinese cabbage

-1/2 packet Bean sprouts

-1/4 Carrots

For seasoning

-2 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-2 Tablespoon Organic raw sugar

-2 Tablespoon Sake (cooking rice wine)

To make, it is simple as usual!

Step 1 : Cut all the ingredients, cook meat on frying pan with a little bit of oil


Step 2: Place the seasoning ON MEAT, then put vegetables and tofu on top of that, so it would form a layer

Step 3: Cover with lid and cook on low heat until the ingredients are cooked, check from time to time if there is enough liquid in the pan. Tofu, Chinese cabbage and bean sprouts all tend to give out water when cooked, so you don’t have to add water to this, but if you think there is not enough, you an add 1-2 Tablespoon water or Dashi (Konbu broth).


Usually, sukiyaki is served with raw egg, you dip the meat and vegetable in beaten raw egg, but I think eating egg raw is not very common here so decided not to do it tonight. When I cook the proper sukiyaki, I’ll show you how!

Once the lid is put on, you can turn your back and cook other dishes, so by the time this is cooked, your dinner should be ready! Enjoy 🙂


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