Trying to eat a more healthy diet and reduce meat, I’ve been working on tasty vegetarian dishes that satisfies my desire for complex savouriness. This really hits the spot!
454g Medium firm tofu
one large bunch rapini
1 Tablespoon wheat flour (rounded)
1 Tablespoon corn starch (rounded)
half teaspoon of salt
2-go brown rice, cook as per directions (Jpnse measure, rice cooker cup 1-go = 180cc)
For the Miso Sauce
one knob of ginger
2 cloves garlic
two tablespoons pure sesame oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar (or rice vinegar as desired)
2 Tablespoons mirin
2 Tablespoon miso (generous)
add sugar if desired, to taste
4 Tablespoons water (add more for milder, looser sauce)
canola oil for frying tofu, large cast iron frying pan
- Steam rice as per usual directions. When there are 40 minutes rice-cooking time remaining start the next step.
- Cut block of tofu lengthwise in half (so that you have two long rectangles). Cut each block into ½ inch slices. You should end up with about 14 pieces altogether. Take baking dish and place cookie rack on top. Place slices of tofu atop the rack. Place a cutting board on top of the tofu slices. The light weight will help press out the water from the tofu. Set aside.
- Peel and mince garlic.
- Grate ginger.
- Set large pot of water to boil.
- Wash rapini. Drain in sieve. Cut into 1.5 inch pieces, stem & leaves altogether. Set aside.
- On a plate place flour, corn starch and salt. Mix together. (You will dredge tofu in this flour.)
Make the Miso Sauce
- In medium-sized cast iron frying on medium heat, add two tablespoons of sesame oil.
- Add garlic to oil, turn heat to medium low, stirring until fragrant (do not burn). Add ginger. Add mirin, letting everything simmer. Add vinegar. Then miso. Add water to blend in well, to desired consistency. Add sugar at the end if desired. Set aside. Turn off heat, reheat before pouring over rice bowl.
Cook the Tofu While Boiling Rapini
- Dredge tofu pieces in flour mixture.
- Pour canola oil into large frying pan so there’s 1 mm lining the bottom.
- Heat to medium-high until chopsticks tips placed in oil sizzles. Adjust heat as needed.
- Cook in two batches, frying tofu on both sides until golden. Drain on cookie rack.
- Meanwhile, while frying tofu, boil rapini until a little before-desired tenderness is reached, then drain in sieve, tossing once or twice. Don’t run cold water through greens so they can stay warm.
Prepare the Rest
- Cut avocado into cubes/chunks.
- Stir cooked rice. Spoon into large bowls.
- Add rapini, cover half of rice. Arrange 3-4 pieces of tofu beside rapini.
- Nestle avocado beside tofu.
- Drizzle sauce over everything.
- Dash of shichimi.
Serves 3-4 people
Note: This recipe is very flexible and you can substitute almost anything (except the sauce). For people in a hurry you can skip home-frying tofu and get the pre-fried kind from the store. Just heat them in frying pan. Not as tasty and more greasy… but will still be okay. Non-vegetarians can add chicken, or shrimp, or pork (miso goes very well with pork). My mum can’t eat rapini/dark greens. For her I’d julienne Japanese cucumbers, and flash-boil a batch of bean sprouts. The miso sauce would also make an excellent salad dressing or dipping sauce. Experiment! ^__^)/