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Gabriel Lewis

Japanese Cooking at Home

190 posts in this topic

Do you make it with soft or firm tofu? And do you use one of the mixes you can buy in the supermarket, or do you make yours from scratch?

I prefer firm tofu in mine but I know many people who prefer the softer type. It is just personal preference. There is nothing wrong with the packs if you are only cooking for two and pressed for time. If you want to try it at home I highly recommend Ah Leung's ma po dofu, the pictorial can be found here. (Here is the list of all of his pictorials, many of these can be made with ingredients easily found in Japan)

If you do try a package one, I recommend any of the Cook-Do ones. This is my favorite. The package says it is good for 3 to 4 people but I find this serves about 2.... :hmmm:


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Do you make it with soft or firm tofu? And do you use one of the mixes you can buy in the supermarket, or do you make yours from scratch?

Personally, I like to make it with firm momen dofu (= tofu). Check out the China... Forum, and you will find a thread on mapo tofu, where some say they like to use soft tofu. So, that's really depends on your preferences.

I used to use a premade mix (Marumiya's) for decades, but now I prefer to make it from scratch. Again, check out the China... Forum, you will find a nice thread on making mapo tofu.

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I prefer firm, too, although soft tofu will disintegrate more easily and may be less "intrusive" for the purposes of convincing your husband to eat tofu. We usually make ours from scratch.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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I tried the tofu Smallworld used for her salad. This tofu is new to me and new to our neighborhood Japanese market, Nijiya. The only difference between her package and the one I purchased was the writing. The one being offered here in Mountain View CA shows the kanji Otoko.

I was very surprised at how they packaged the tofu inside. It was wrapped neatly in paper and as soon as I sliced into it I knew it was going to be very creamy. Not only creamy, but very, very rich and pleasantly sweet. It wasn't quite kinugoshi/silken, but not quite regular/momen either because the texture was too smooth for momen. I really like it, but I did find it very filling - much more so than regular tofu. Not sure how they make this, but I can tell from the taste that they used very, very rich soy milk.

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I tried the tofu Smallworld used for her salad.  This tofu is new to me and new to our neighborhood Japanese market, Nijiya.  The only difference between her package and the one I purchased was the writing.  The one being offered here in Mountain View CA shows the kanji Otoko. 

I was very surprised at how they packaged the tofu inside.  It was wrapped neatly in paper and as soon as I sliced into it I knew it was going to be very creamy.  Not only creamy, but very, very rich and pleasantly sweet.  It wasn't quite kinugoshi/silken, but not quite regular/momen either because the texture was too smooth for momen.  I really like it, but I did find it very filling - much more so than regular tofu.  Not sure how they make this, but I can tell from the taste that they used very, very rich soy milk.

John and I talked about our experiences with Otokomae tofu in the tofu thread.

Their tofu has become so popular. I can find some of their products even in my small city. But, they are so expensive that have bought one only once.

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I tried the tofu Smallworld used for her salad.  This tofu is new to me and new to our neighborhood Japanese market, Nijiya.  The only difference between her package and the one I purchased was the writing.  The one being offered here in Mountain View CA shows the kanji Otoko. 

I was very surprised at how they packaged the tofu inside.  It was wrapped neatly in paper and as soon as I sliced into it I knew it was going to be very creamy.  Not only creamy, but very, very rich and pleasantly sweet.  It wasn't quite kinugoshi/silken, but not quite regular/momen either because the texture was too smooth for momen.  I really like it, but I did find it very filling - much more so than regular tofu.  Not sure how they make this, but I can tell from the taste that they used very, very rich soy milk.

John and I talked about our experiences with Otokomae tofu in the tofu thread.

Their tofu has become so popular. I can find some of their products even in my small city. But, they are so expensive that have bought one only once.

Although the texture is very creamy I haven't quite made up my mind whether I like this tofu over others. It is sweet to my taste (maybe too sweet for my taste) and the mouthfeel is crazy as it seem somewhat similar to panna cotta.

I threw away the package, but I wonder if they add anything to their tofu other than what's standard. Having said this it's very possible I may end up liking this tofu over others.

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When I was in Tokyo I had the most amazing menchi katsu at a katsu place. Anyone have a recipe? I have made tonkastu but never the minced pork cake version. Thanks in advance!

I actually prefer menchi katsu to other kinds, I rarely make them as they are really cheap to buy in the supermarkets here. Here is some more information and a recipe. The recipe (with step by step photos) is on the second page. My favorite version of menchi katsu is actually half ground pork and half shredded cabbage, it is really wonderful.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Like Kristin, I make it a point NOT to make korokke and menchi katsu at home.

I like menchi katsu, particularly those with a lot of cabbage in them.

Here is a recipe IN JAPANESE, but you can view a video by clicking PLAY, on the right near the bottom. The recipe is basically the same as that linked to by Kristin, and calls for cabbage cut into 1-cm squares.

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Speaking of korokke I made a korokke that turned out particularly well recently. I sautéed minced cabbage in butter and then added some apple juice and cooked it until it became soft and the liquid was almost evaporated. Then I let it cool and formed small patties of the cabbage mixture and froze them. After they were frozen I covered them in mashed potatoes mixed with some milk and fried them like regular korokke. My friend dubbed them とろけるキャベツコロッケ melting cabbage korokke. I have since used the same freezing technique to make other unique korokke. Maybe I should put this in the urawaza thread.

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Last night I bought a big pack of boneless pork loin chops (1" thick) at Costco, and as I was prepping some for the freezer, I decided that I wanted shogayaki tonight. I found an easy looking recipe on about.com (3 tbsp shoyu, 2 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp sake, 3 tbsp freshly grated ginger to 1 lb of pork).

The kids ate it all before I had a chance to take a picture... I guess they liked it. :laugh:


Cheryl

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Last night's dinner was sanshoku don 三色丼, sanshoku means three color. The topics can vary but you need to have 3 different colors. I made it with salmon flakes, nanohana (broccoli rabe) and iritamago (slightly sweetened scrambled eggs).

gallery_6134_5519_583997.jpg


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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That looks delicious. The bowl really brings out the colours! Very spring-like.

I received Elizabeth Andoh's "Washoku" for Christmas, and I've been cooking my way through it. I've made Hiroyuki's nikomi hamburg recipe before, but the sauce requires ketchup, which I usually don't keep on hand. In Washoku, there's a recipe that only calls for soy sauce and sake, so I tried that. It was a hit, and I made my hamburgers a bit smaller than she calls for so I'd have some meatballs for the next day's bento. It came out perfectly, and I was quite proud of myself!

gallery_41378_5233_157278.jpg

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I bought one pack of ama ebi (sweet shrimp) heads for 50 yen today, and put them in miso soup for supper tonight. A photo of the heads can be found here.

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Do you make it with soft or firm tofu? And do you use one of the mixes you can buy in the supermarket, or do you make yours from scratch?

Personally, I like to make it with firm momen dofu (= tofu). Check out the China... Forum, and you will find a thread on mapo tofu, where some say they like to use soft tofu. So, that's really depends on your preferences.

I used to use a premade mix (Marumiya's) for decades, but now I prefer to make it from scratch. Again, check out the China... Forum, you will find a nice thread on making mapo tofu.

Umh, according to my mom, Japanese brand tofu seems to be softer than the Chinese brands.

Maybe that's why?


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Do you make it with soft or firm tofu? And do you use one of the mixes you can buy in the supermarket, or do you make yours from scratch?

Personally, I like to make it with firm momen dofu (= tofu). Check out the China... Forum, and you will find a thread on mapo tofu, where some say they like to use soft tofu. So, that's really depends on your preferences.

I used to use a premade mix (Marumiya's) for decades, but now I prefer to make it from scratch. Again, check out the China... Forum, you will find a nice thread on making mapo tofu.

Umh, according to my mom, Japanese brand tofu seems to be softer than the Chinese brands.

Maybe that's why?

Hm...... Anyone??

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Do you make it with soft or firm tofu? And do you use one of the mixes you can buy in the supermarket, or do you make yours from scratch?

Personally, I like to make it with firm momen dofu (= tofu). Check out the China... Forum, and you will find a thread on mapo tofu, where some say they like to use soft tofu. So, that's really depends on your preferences.

I used to use a premade mix (Marumiya's) for decades, but now I prefer to make it from scratch. Again, check out the China... Forum, you will find a nice thread on making mapo tofu.

Umh, according to my mom, Japanese brand tofu seems to be softer than the Chinese brands.

Maybe that's why?

Hm...... Anyone??

I can only go on the differences I've found in London. Tofu packaged by Japanese companies (not necessarily in Japan - an example is the Mori-nu/Morinaga brand) and sold in tetra-brik containers is indeed very soft, smooth and silky, even the 'firm' kind.

When I buy fresh tofu in liquid from the refrigerator from Chinese, Japanese and Korean stores in London, the texture is different. More 'fibrous' somehow, or perhaps better explained as being more 'al dente'.

I don't necessarily prefer one to the other - the qualities of each lend themselves better to different cooking styles. I don't like frying so much with the 'Japanese' tetra-brik style of tofu, then again I prefer the texture of it raw to the 'Chinese style' fresh tofu.

I end up buying more of the 'frim' tetra-brik styles. They last a while so are convenient, also my fridge is tiny and this tofu doesn't need to be stored in it. I can easily change the texture and make it firmer (and better for frying with) by wrapping and draining it with a weight on top. By pressing and draining for several hours (rather than just one or two) I can get it to approximate 'Chinese' tofu. I can't get 'Chinese' tofu to approximate 'Japanese' tofu.

I can't compare 'Chinese' tofu with that sold in China, but the tetra-brik kind of tofu is very similar to store bought and freshly made tofu I've eaten in Japan.

However, as what I have been calling 'Chinese' tofu is available from Japanese supermarkets in London, I would be surprised if this kind wasn't available in Japan also.

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I used to work in a Chinese grocery when I was a student - Chinese tofu was firmer than any Japanese-style tofu I've eaten.

But as Hiroyuki says, people in Japan do use either silk or cotton tofu for ma-po dofu, and some drain or parboil cotton tofu to make it even firmer - defintely a matter of personal taste.

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Anyone have any recipes for converting tofu haters?

Mapo tofu.

Well, I finally got around to making mapo-dofu this weekend. Unfortunately, the board was down, so I couldn't use the recipe linked to upthread, so I just googled it, and found a simple recipe. (Which I then proceeded to freestyle on. Mainly I just use recipes as guidelines :biggrin: )

I used firm tofu, which I further drained in my pickle press for 30 minutes, and used sanrensho instead of sichuan peppercorns and gochujang in place of chili paste, since that's what I had on hand. Verdict? My husband loved it so much, I got a thumbs up text message when he got it in his lunch thermos the next day, along with a "better than chili!"

It's going into the rotation. Incidentally, can anyone tell me if toubanjan differs from gochujang substantially? My fridge is so small, I hate to add another little bottle in there.

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At least as they are made in Japan...

Kochujang: Rice-based miso, chilis, heaps of sugar or rice barley malt. Mildly hot.

Toubanjan: Bean-based miso, chillis. Hot.

I think the toubanjan is more versatile (I put it in chilli, curries, and hot soups too), because you can add miso and sugar/honey if wanted, but kochujang is so very useful for lunch making that I have no difficulty in keeping both in my fridge.

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Really? There's rice in gochujang? I guess that's what I get for never bothering to read the ingredients. I always use the Korean-made stuff in the red tub, I have to go read the label now......

What do you use your gochujang for in lunches, I'm intrigued?

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Korean made - that could be different - it will have some type of miso in it, but I don't know if it will definitely be rice miso. Probably less sweet. I have been meaning to try a Korean brand if I spot one.

Kochujang in lunch boxes...usually as a variation of flavoring stir-fried things in miso, sometimes a tiny, tiny bit plus some grated onion in beaten eggs for omelet...sometimes instead of soy sauce in sesame dressing for spinach.

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Japanese food is rarely hot, but Japanese people these days enjoy quite a few hot dishes and condiments from other cultures...similar situation to European food, probably.

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