A few years ago I made Tonkatsu without ever having tasted it. A neighbor friend, who happened to conveniently stop by mostly at dinner time, was over the night I made it. He had traveled to Japan and told me it tasted just like the authentic dish he had when he was there. This, of course, made me feel great! Since then, I’ve been wanting to create a tofu version and have added some delicious fresh vegetables.
Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
- 1 15 oz. block extra firm tofu (I use organic sprouted tofu from Trader Joe’s)
- salt and black pepper
- about 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (I use a Ian’s gluten free from Whole Foods)
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1 egg plus 2 tbsp water
- rice bran oil for frying
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire
- 2 tbsp sake
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
How to make it
- Drain tofu from liquid. Wrap in paper towel and then a dish towel. Place on a cutting board or flat dish. Place something on top that is light enough that it won’t break the tender tofu, just enough to press out some of the moisture.
- Meanwhile, combine flour and cornstarch in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine beaten egg with water. Place panko crumbs into a third bowl.
- Heat oil in a small-medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Test if oil is heated by throwing some panko crumbs in. If it sizzles, it’s ready.
- Take pressed tofu and cut in half and then into four slices, then cut on diagonal to make triangles or down the middle for rectangular pieces.
- Season tofu with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge in flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, and then into the panko.
- Add the breaded tofu into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, as overcrowding will drop down the temperature. Cook about 2-3 pieces at a time until golden brown, about 4-6 minutes. Place on paper towel lined plate. Season with salt while hot.
Rice and Vegetables
- Soak and rinse sticky rice and cook according to package instructions or in your rice cooker.
- Slice radishes (any variety would work), cube seedless cucumbers. Shred napa/savoy/or regular green cabbage. Prepare cherry tomatoes and Asian microgreens (Mizuna, broccoli sprouts, etc). Cut fried tofu into slices.
- To serve, place a scoop of sticky rice on plate. Place a bed of cabbage beside the rice. Arrange tofu over it. Drizzle sauce over top. Add fresh vegetables and enjoy! This dish also goes nicely with pickled vegetables, recipe coming soon.
I know some of you are probably thinking, “soup?! really?!” considering it is late May. But here in my fine hometown of Detroit, MI it is currently 46F and pouring. What better time to warm up with this hearty soup that pleases vegetarians and meat-eaters alike?
Time: 15 min prep, 1hr 15min cook Serves: 8-10
- 1 1/4 cups pearl barley
- 3 bay leaves
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 large)
- 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 pound cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large portabella mushrooms, cut into chunks
- 1 tbsp brown rice Miso paste, dissolved in a bit of warm water
- black pepper
- chopped parsley, chopped – for garnish
- Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids and Sriracha, to serve
How to make it
- Put barley in a 5 quart pot with bay leaves and a generous amount of sea salt. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until grains are soft and open.
- Heat half the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic, and continue cooking for a couple more minutes. Stir in the thyme and rosemary. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for a few minutes then add to the pot of barley and cooking liquid.
- Next, heat the remaining olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. (If you don’t have a large enough skillet, you can cook them in a couple of batches). Sauté, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Lower heat to medium and cook until softened and starting to brown.
- Transfer to pot. Add 2-3 cups of water, and miso paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add kale and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with Bragg’s and Sriracha.
I look forward to the spring for so many reasons, and Michigan asparagus is one of them! It’s fresh, subtly sweet, and oh so delicious. The simplicity of this luscious soup lets it shine through and really be the star. May be served hot or chilled.
Time: 45 minutes Serves: 6
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds asparagus, tough ends removed – cut into 2-inch pieces, tips reserved
- 2 cups peeled & cubed potatoes
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
How to make it
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 5 qt stock pot. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Then, add asparagus (not the tips!). Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Place asparagus tips on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and set aside
- Once potatoes are tender, use an immersion blender to puree or standing blender in batches. Return to pot and add cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with roasted asparagus tips.
A protein-rich “veggie burger”. You can certainly put this on your favorite bun but we enjoyed it just like this with sliced cucumber.
Time: 30 minutes Serves: 6
- 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked according to package instructions and cooled completely
- 1 medium carrot, cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 cups Great Northern beans (I used 1/2 cup dry, soaked overnight & cooked until tender, this also equals one 15oz can, drained)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I made fresh with gluten free bread), divided
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp cumin
- sea salt and black pepper – to taste
- Vegetable or olive oil for cooking
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp each fresh dill and chives, roughly chopped
- sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
How to make it
- Place carrots, beans, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S-blade”. Process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add cooked quinoa, 1/4 cups bread crumbs and remaining ingredients. Mix to incorporate. Divide into 6 portions and form into patties.
- Place remaining bread crumbs into a shallow dish and coat patties. Chill patties in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Combine all ingredients and mix to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Light, refreshing and healthy. This salad is great addition to any meal.
Time: 10 minutes Serves: 2
- 2-3 small Persian or Japanese cucumbers
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
How to make it
- Slice the cucumbers lengthwise using a vegetable peeler, or widthwise into very thin coins.
- Combine vinegar, sugar, and oil in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Mix well to incorporate.
- Add cucumbers and sesame seeds and toss well.
One of the farmers I buy produce from grows lovely baby bok choy. This is a great way to enjoy it!
Time: 15 minutes Serves: 2
- 3 heads baby bok choy, well cleaned between leaves @ root, cut in half length-wise
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
- dash freshly ground black pepper
How to make it
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Oil lightly.
- Combine soy, Sriracha, sesame oil and black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Place bok choy cut side up on a plate. Brush with soy mixture, reserving half for other side.
- Place bok choy cut side down onto grill. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Brush with remaining soy mixture and turn. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.