Tag Archives: tofu

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake with Tofu Green Tea Frosting (also for non-vegans who are in urgent need of cupcakes but out of eggs)

Cupcake recipe slightly modified from: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule (Isa Chandra Moskowitz), I found the recipe online but would definitely consider buying the book.

Frosting recipe adapted from: http://cookpad.com

vegan chocolate cupcake

OH MY GOD, I’M SO STRESSED OUT. I NEED TO EAT A CAKE, LIKE, RIGHT NOW.

It was 11PM and I was at home hunching over my laptop, stumbling through never-ending to-do list for the projects that had to be wrapped up before holidays, which at this point was very quickly becoming to look less and less likely.

Everybody knows a cake is a perfectly logical solution to mitigate the possibility of nervous breakdown under such crisis, and clearly it would be even more effective with chocolate.  So, naturally, I decided to bake chocolate cupcake, although it did pose some logistical issues in this particular situation including the fact that I’m not a very good baker nor have I ever even tried to become one, as well as that I was all out of eggs.

However, neither of these was going to stop me – 2 hours later, I was in the kitchen inhaling the most moist, fluffiest and richest cupcakes I ever baked. Once again I proved to myself it is when I do something I’m totally NOT supposed to be doing that I demonstrate remarkable concentration and skills.

Or possibly, this recipe is just really, really amazing. Continue reading

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Unseasonal Goya Champloo (Sautéed Bitter Melon)

Recipe inspired by: Lucky byproduct of my complete negligence

goya champloo

Nothing says summer like goya, “bitter melon” which is one of typical ingredients used in cuisines from Okinawa, the most Southern and hottest island in Japan.

So imagine my surprise when I finally stepped out to the yard to check up on my vegetables this past weekend after a particularly busy month, and found a bunch of shiny bitter melons hanging behind the thick, green vines in a plot (where they self-seeded themselves from the previous year) that I haven’t even watered after summer squashes were all gone.

Amazed, both by my own obliviousness and the resilience of the plant, I decided to pay unseasonal respect to these survivors that they deserve with probably the most well-known Okinawa dish. After all, I feel strange affinity towards this relatively unknown vegetable – Seriously tough, seriously Asian and, seriously and unforgivingly, bitter. It’s basically like all the old people in my family (and I suppose I’m on my way to get there – Mean, crazy cat lady who never takes sick days. Wait. I kind of AM there already).  Continue reading

Mushroom Ma Po Tofu

Recipe slightly modified from: http://www.eatingwell.com

mushroom ma po tofu

Sometimes I wonder just how many vegetarian conversions mushrooms have been responsible for. People may decide to omit meat from their diet for ethical or health reasons  – But I know a friend who one day completely stopped eating meat, and what convinced him (yes, it was a guy, too) that he could live without meat for the rest of his life was mushroom cannelloni he ate that day.

I don’t plan to become a herbivore any time soon, but if any dish was to makes me seriously question whether I ever need to eat meat again or not, this would be it.  Continue reading

Rather Desperate Goma Dofu (Sesame Tofu)

Recipe adapted from: Collective wisdom of Japanese home cooks on http://www.cookpad.com

rather desperate goma dofu

Where exactly did March go?  It has been all blur with late nights and working weekends, and the next thing I knew was that I needed to do my tax. Except that I do recall acknowledging that I now reached the new low as I was swallowing a left-over bagel from company breakfast for lunch. At 4PM.

So when one of my co-workers asked me if I knew a good Japanese restaurant to take her out-of-town friends to, I realized I haven’t been to any of the places I was recommending for a while. However, the thought of fancy Japanese restaurants hit me with a sudden craving:

Goma dofu. Must. Eat. Goma dofu.

Rich, nutty and delicately sweet, goma dofu (sesame tofu) is actually not tofu in a sense that it is not “bean curd”. It is sesame crushed into a paste, mixed with water and thickened by kuzu starch, then molded to look like tofu. Intense sesame flavor and creamy texture always leave me wanting more, but I never attempted to make it myself since the authentic production method – still strictly followed at zen temples where it was originated – sounds incredibly labor intensive. And obviously, now is not a good time for serious culinary experiments.

But this is a kind of emergency, I thought. If it is basically made of sesame paste and starch that thickens it – Wouldn’t my pantry staples like tahini and corn starch do? Continue reading

Noodle Salad with Fried Tofu and Spinach

Recipe very slightly adapted from: Simple Vegetarian Pleasure (By Jeanne Lemlin)

fried tofu and spinach noodle salad

Where I grew up, we had a local tofu shop around the corner from my elementary school. Every morning when I walked to the school along with other students, we could see steam coming out of their kitchen window and smell cooked soy beans as they make fresh tofu from scratch. They would close when the daily batch was sold out since that’s all they had, and if you didn’t make it there by 4:30 or 5, you would most likely have to head to a super market to buy packaged stuff – So all the housewives in the area built the stop in their daily routine, including my mother. Their daughter, Fumie, was my sister’s classmate and tofu in my household always had a prefix of “Fumie’s dad’s” whenever it is served, often in miso soup or as is with simple toppings of soy sauce and grated ginger. The shop had been around for a long time in neighborhood, I figured, because Fumie’s dad was my aunt’s classmate, whom everybody in my dad’s siblings lovingly referred to as “the son of the tofu shop”.

Perhaps it is because of this sentimental and intimate relationship I had with tofu that I tend to get agitated when I hear somebody say they don’t like tofu. And usually I take it upon myself to attempt converting them without being asked to. I know. You’re welcome.  Continue reading