October 31, 2012

Tofu steak with fresh tomato salad

I like tofu quite a bit. Often I cook it for dinner. And sometimes when I am too lazy to make paneer, I replace it with tofu. Therefore, this idea of fresh fried tofu with a vibrant tomato salad had caught my attention. This time I had bought the tofu from the recently opened Chinese store. And wow, it was better than all the tofu I had bought before from the local grocery. Soft, smooth, fresh and silky, this time the tofu was like it should be, like what I had in some Korean restaurant once. A vibrant tomato salad accompanied it. I am not a big fan or salads with a strong vinegar dressing. The balsamic vinegar that just gives a tartness blended well with the salty flavors of soy sauce, and at the same time complimented the sweet-sour flavors of the plump cherry tomatoes. Something simple, easy, and fresh, this dish was!

You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE

(Serves 2)

1 cake cotton tofu (400g)
Salt and pepper
1tbsp olive oil
20 cherry tomatoes
1 bunch parsley
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tbsp soy sauce
3tbsp olive oil


1.      Wash the cherry tomatoes in cold water and quarter them.
2.      Rinse parsley with cold water and finely chop.
3.      Mix the tomatoes, parsley, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and olive oil. Give a toss and set aside in the fridge.
4.      Extract water from the tofu using a kitchen paper. Cut the tofu in half. Immediately before frying, wipe the tofu with kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper.
5.      Heat olive oil in a pan. Fry tofu until both sides are golden brown.
6.      Arrange tofu on plate, and pour over the tomato salad.

October 30, 2012

Tuna with mustard miso sauce

The love for fish and the book on Japanese cuisine I borrowed from a friend got me all excited about cooking something with raw fish. The tuna fish with miso mustard sauce sounded perfect combination of raw tuna and traditional miso. It was going to be my first use of miso; and like always, I was excited about cooking and tasting something new. I tried to follow the original recipe with modifications that were required because the lack of certain ingredients and to adjust to my tastes. The result was some interesting flavors. I found the miso a bit too strong for this particular dish, but have plans to experiment more.

You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE

(Serves 2)

100g very fresh tuna
100g lamb’s lettuce (corn salad)
1.5tbsp miso
1tbsp sugar
3tbsp mirin
1sp mustard powder
1.5tbsp vinegar


1.      Place miso and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add mirin gradually with continuous stirring.
2.      Put the mixture over heat stir unit the sauce obtains luster. Let it cool.
3.      Mix the vinegar and mustard powder. Add this to the cooled miso sauce to complete the miso-mustard sauce.
4.      Cut the fresh tuna into ½ inch cube and cool it in the fridge.
5.      Clean and blanch the greens. Drain and let it cool in the fridge.
6.      Remove any excess water from the tuna using a kitchen towel. Mix the tuna, lamb’s lettuce, and the mustard-miso sauce. Give everything a toss before serving.

October 26, 2012

Coca cola chicken wings

Sometimes the Facebook status updates can give interesting ideas. I read about coca cola chicken for the first time when she updated about how she was enjoying those. A quick search on the internet revealed it to be chicken marinated in coca cola and other Chinese sauces and then pan-fired, while the coca cola is reduced to a glaze. It sounded like an interesting idea and I decided to try it. I got some chicken wings. And even though the skin adds to the ‘unhealthy-ness’ of the dish, it adds to the taste. I kept it simple. Coca cola, soy sauces, rice wine, that was all for the marinade. The coca cola when reduced caramelized into this nice sweetish glaze for the succulent chicken wings. It was one of those foods when I love to not only use my fingers to eat but also actually get messy while doing so!

You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE
(Serves 2)

6 chicken wings
200ml coca cola
1tbsp dark soy sauce
1tbsp light soy sauce
1sp of Chinese rice wine
1tbsp sesame oil
1sp Chinese five spices
1sp chili flakes
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)


1.      Clean and pat dry the chicken wings.
2.      Marinate the chicken wings in coca cola, soy sauce, sesame oil, five spice and chili flakes, for 30 minutes.
3.      Grease a pan and fry the chicken wings to get a nice golden sear, around 3 minutes each side.
4.      Add the marinade liquid and bring to boil. Simmer the wings on low heat for around 10 minutes covered; and then around 10 minutes uncovered until the liquid is reduced to a glaze.
5.      Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper (optional) and serve hot.

Hing tamatar murgh (Chicken with asafetida and tomato)

A couple of Sundays, I cooked this chicken for my weekly lunch box. However, for Sunday lunch, it was only a very mild and light preparation of different pumpkins and root vegetables. Blaž got to taste the chicken, and later at the lunch commented, ‘All the good food goes and I just have to eat vegetables’! :) He requested that I cook it again soon, and I obliged to the request and cooked it last Sunday. I had created this recipe on a whim. The usual onion, garlic, tomatoes, aromatics were first on list of ingredients. However, while taking the tomatoes out I remembered about the homemade tomato sauce and decided to use that instead. The sweet-sour taste and the interesting blend of flavors in the tomato sauce was the backbone of this dish and carried it to another level. Complimenting and harmonizing the flavors together was a background hint of asafetida. We both have loved this chicken so much that now I must make my homemade tomato sauce again to be able to prepare this new favorite chicken again!

You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE

(Serves 3)

400g chicken
1 onion
4-5 garlic cloves
1sp coriander powder
1/2sp cumin powder
1/2sp turmeric powder
1 tad asafetida powder (a few asafetida granules)
Salt, sugar, oil
Dry spices:
2 dry red chilies
2-4 cloves
2 black cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
5-6 black pepper


1.      Gently roast the dry spices. Grind the spices and the asafetida granules into a fine powder.
2.      Finely chop the onion and grate the garlic.
3.      Heat oil in a wok. Add the onion and fry until soft and golden.
4.      Add the garlic and fry until it leaves aroma.
5.      Add the chicken pieces. Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric powder. Stir well and cook on moderate heat for around 10 minutes.
6.      Add the ground dry spices and tomato sauce. Add salt and a pinch of sugar. Mix well.
7.      Cook until the chicken is done and leaves oil on sides.
8.      Serve with long grain rice.

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