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Archive for the ‘Asian food’ Category

Like everybody else, I feel like eating a little lighter. It is the beginning of the year and the start of all our healthy promises.

But right now, I have to eat “soft” food since I just had a tooth removed. Yikes… But It is what it is. It had to be done…

Tofu hasn’t really been my thing but my friend Lisa has been introducing me to different kinds of Tofu and I must say, it can actually be really good. Lisa get’s sticky rice from a Korean place we go to sometimes, and to that she eats super soft Tofu. In the beginning, it looked really bad to me and a little plain, but she is right, it does taste pretty good. I tasted it the first time when she had dunked a big chunk of it into my Udon noodle soup. She is faster that the eye sometimes… I survived and now I actually buy tofu on my own. That is a big step for me. But I feel good about being good, if you understand what I mean. While being out with my husband the other day, I actually ordered crispy Tofu at my favorite noodle place. NO NOODLES!! Wow, what a victory that was.

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Tofu & Eggplant in a Miso broth.

serves 2-3.

One eggplant, cubed into aprx. 1″ pieces. (If you use Japanese eggplant, take a bout 3-4 since they are so small).

2-3 scallions. Cut on the diagonal, into small pieces.

1 fresh hot pepper. Any kind (Optional. You could also use a little dried red pepper flakes).

1/2 -1 box of soft Tofu (or the Tofu of your choice). Cut into 3/4″-1″ pieces.

2 c. water.

2-4 tbsp. Miso paste. Any color.

A splash of oil for frying the eggplant.

You can add any herbs or spices of your choice. It happens that I add a splash of soy sauce or tempura sauce.

Directions;

Heat up the oil in a medium low heat pan. Fry the eggplant until it is starting to get a little soft. Add the miso paste and water. Taste as you go, and add as much of the Miso as your taste buds require. I usually would take about 3 tbsp. for a pot of Tofu & eggplant. Add the Tofu. Let heat through slightly, don’t let it cook. Sprinkle over the chopped scallions and hot pepper.

This is perfect with any kind of meat as well. 

Soft, fast and easy… Not forgetting that it is also healthy.

Enjoy!!!

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After a food filled holiday I always feel a need to make simple and easy food.

When my sister turned 40 she had an open house with an Italian buffet’ with lot’s of antipasti (cold cuts, olives and things). My mom was cooking, cutting and plating up a storm. This is not my favorite food at all. In the Italian kitchen, I prefer the pastas not the antipasti. The funny thing from that birthday buffet’, is that my mom made this one marinated pork tenderloin that stayed in my memory for a very long time . It was served cold and disappeared like butter in sunshine…  It took a long time until I finally tried to copy it from my taste memory. After trying it a couple of times it finally tasted as if my mom had made it. I hope you will like this way of marinating meat and that you will try to do this with chicken or something else as well.

I now have my own version of this dish. Pork tenderloin is my “go to” food. I always keep a few in my freezer. But in all honesty it really is so that I always can make my sister’s birthday marinated Pork Tenderloin. I make 2 loins at a time and just let it keep marinating in the fridge, it just gets better and better. Yes, it has happened that I have taken an extra trip to the fridge to grab a slice or two just because…

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Citrus & Soy marinated Pork Tenderloin.

1-2 pork tenderloin.

1/2 lemon.

1/2 lime.

1/2 orange (optional).

1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium preferably.

1-3 tbsp. Mirin. (Sweet. Tastes as rice wine).

1 tsp. hot sauce (optional).

1-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar. (optional).

The zest from the 1/2 lime & lemon.

1/4 cup cilantro (chopped into large pieces).

Directions:

Sear the meat in a frying pan. Make sure you brown it all around. Put the frying pan into a 400 degree oven so that the meat can get evenly cooked.  I prefer it to me medium well. It will have a light firm feeling if you poke it with a finger. (It will take about 35-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°).

Take out the meat. Let cool.

Zest the lemon, orange & lime. Put all ingredients into a zip-lock bag. When the pork tenderloin has cooled down, add it to the zip-lock. Note, put the meat in whole, not cut.

Put into the fridge. It must marinate at least over night.

Cut the meat in very thin slices. Make sure that you have brushed off any cilantro pieces.You can serve this pork with anything.

I like to use a mix of red & white quinoa, rice or couscous. Adding it to a salad works well too. Since I prefer to eat it cold, I usually just cut up cucumbers and add some zest and a little of the marinade.

I hope you will enjoy this as much as I do.

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Some people go to the Japanese restaurants for the sushi, I go for the Beef Negimaki.

It is quite easy to make yourself. The trick is just to cut the beef super thin. Put the beef in the freezer for a couple of hours just enough for it to “firm up”.

Beef Negimaki.

Serves 4.

1 lb. of beef. Tenderloin, strip loin, flank steak or any other more tender cut of beef. Thinly sliced into 1/8″ slices (or thinner if possible.)

About 10-14 scallions. Trimmed and cleaned.

1 cup of Teriyaki sauce (or 1/2 c. of Mirin or Sake, 1/2 c. of low sodium soy sauce, 2-3 tbsp. of honey or brown sugar.)

1-2 tbsp. grated ginger (optional)

1 onion, cut into slices.

Directions.

Put the beef into the freezer. It will take about 2-3 hours depending on thickness of meat, for it to become firm not frozen, so plan ahead.

Cut the beef into very thin slices, 1/8″ or thinner. If you have a hard time cutting them thin, use a meat pounder. Put beef slices between glad wrap and pound them into desired thickness. If you would like a shortcut, go to a Korean market. They sell super thin slices of half-frozen meats for their Korean BBQ’s. The slices are a little smaller, just use a little more of them to form the rectangles.

Marinate the beef in the teriyaki sauce. (If you need to make the teriyaki, add the soy sauce, Mirin and honey/ brown sugar into sauce pan. Boil down for about 5-10 minutes. The ginger is optional.) Let the beef marinate for about 1/2 hour.

Blanche the scallions in boiling water for about 45 seconds, just to get the “raw” edge off them. Chock them in ice water and then dry them well.

Remove the beef from the marinate. Keep the sauce.

Making the wraps; Dry the beef slices. Arrange them by overlapping each other, creating little rectangular squares big enough to wrap around the scallions.

Lay scallions on one length side. Wrap the meat tightly around the scallions. Secure with tooth picks or if you rather tie a little kitchen string around the wrap, that is ok too. 

Fry in an oiled pan, turning so that they are evenly browned on all sides, or put onto baking sheets and bake under the broiler for about 5 minutes. 

Fry the onions in a separate pan. 

When beef wraps are done, take off the toothpicks or threads. Cut into equal bite sizes and place them standing up on a plate. Add the onions. Pour over the rest of the teriyaky sauce. 

Serve with some rice and edamame.

Enjoy.

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