Posts tagged japanese menu
Food for Thought: Chinese and Japanese Cuisine
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Here’s a great expert from an article about Chinese and Japanese food culture in the United States:

Chinese food has been part of American food culture for as long as most of us can remember, thanks to the pioneering emigrants who opened early Chinese restaurants. The chop suey and chow mein our grandparents associated with Chinese food, however, were created to please the American customer. Real Chinese food ranges from the elegant simplicity of Cantonese cuisine to the fiery flavors of Sichuan fare, and there are no canned sprouts involved. The tofu of China is of the very firm, porous style, sturdy enough to stir-fry. Fermented black beans, which are actually black soy beans, supply a wonderfully funky flavor that goes well with a little sesame oil and chile. Toasted sesame  and hot sesame oils are both meant to be used as flavoring agents, not cooking oils. Seafood and vegetable dishes are often flavored with a drizzle of nutty sesame oil to give them a meaty quality, so try doing the same with your own seafood and vegetable creations. Sesame paste is used in sauces and dressings, and when I can't find the Chinese variety (made from toasted sesame seeds), I substitute tahini (made from untoasted sesame seeds), to make Chinese style noodle sauces and dressings. Try stirring some with soy sauce, sugar and vinegar and drizzling over salad or a stir fry just before serving. Dried vegetables, like dried mushrooms or cabbage, are important flavors in the Chinese kitchen, and I use dried mushrooms to add heartiness to vegetable stocks and stir fries.

Japanese food has become synonymous with sushi and tempura, but those popular dishes are just the beginning. Slow simmered stews, grilled skewers of meats and vegetables, savory pancakes and endless noodles are just a few more. The Japanese gave us silken style tofu, the slippery soft kind that is usually floated in the miso soup I love. Miso is just one of the many fermented and pickled foods developed centuries ago as a way to preserve food that endures today and enhances the flavor of so many Japanese dishes. Tamari, shoyu, rice wine and rice vinegar are other fermented, deep aged flavors. Use tamari and shoyu for salt in darker colored dishes, and substitute rice vinegar—with its wonderful tang—for white or red vinegar in dressings.  Most of us might never have tried seaweed if not for sushi or miso soup, but sea vegetables are a way of life in Japan. I like to crumble nori over salads, add soaked arame to soups, or add a piece of kombu to simmering beans, which is said to make them more digestible, and certainly adds minerals.

Both China and Japan are known for their use of very fresh ingredients, whether it's dispatching freshly caught fish right into the pan, or frequent shopping trips to pick up the freshest produce. As a chef and eater, I appreciate this practice, as well as their convention of stretching a small piece of meat by stir-frying it with lots of vegetables and accompanying it with rice and noodles for a satisfying and filling meal.

Recipes to Try at Home: Fried Tofu
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This is a new dish that I didn’t know I needed in my life: Japanese Style Fried Tofu or otherwise known as Agedashi Tofu.

Windchimes Chinese has a version of this that only made me crave this style of tofu more so I found a recipe to try out!

AGEDASHI TOFU (DEEP-FRIED TOFU IN TSUYU BROTH)

Make this traditional Japanese tofu dish at home in just 25 minutes!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes

  • Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • Total Time: 25 minutes

  • Yield: 4 people 1x

  • Category: Side

  • Method: Deep fryig

  • Cuisine: Japanese

SCALE 1X2X3X

INGREDIENTS

  • Two 12-ounce box silken tofu (drained)

  • potato starch or cornstarch (for dusting)

  • oil (for frying)

  • 1 cup dashi stock

  • 2 tablespoons mirin

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

TOPPINGS:

  • ginger (peeled and grated)

  • green onion or chives (finely chopped)

  • shiso leaves (chopped) optional

  • myoga (chopped) optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Drain the tofu and then wrap it in paper towels and place in a strainer for 30 minutes to remove excess moisture. Cut the tofu into four pieces, dry again with paper towels, then coat with the potato starch.

  2. Heat the oil to a suitable temperature for deep-frying (around 340 degrees). Carefully put the tofu pieces in to fry and when they turn golden, remove and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

  3. In a small pan heat up the dashi stock, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Bring to the boil, ensuring that the sugar has dissolved.

  4. Divide the tofu among four bowls. Pour a little of the hot broth into each bowl and garnish with the grated daikon, a dab of grated ginger, shiso, myoga, and green onion to taste.

NOTES

This Agedashi Tofu recipe is meant to be enjoyed immediately. The broth can be saved for later, but once the tofu is fried it will not keep in the fridge.

Also if you are more a visual learner here’s a video breaking down how to make this delicious dish too!

If you are like me you get overwhelmed quickly by the cooking process and end up just ordering the dish from Windchimes!