Quick Dip: Onion Tofu


It’s now dip season. As I am not a hot dip person, dip season is only when it is warm. This is a quickie – only two ingredients. All you need to do is blend them together using the tool of your choice whether it is a whisk, blender, food processor or immersion blender (my tool of choice).  In the picture you can see my onion consome (オニオンコンソメ onion consome) of choice, Knorr – I love their chicken and beef stock cubes as well.

Quick Onion Tofu Dip

1 small block soft tofu
1 packet onion consome soup

Blend and serve. You may need to add a bit of water to get your desired consistency.

Mushroom and zucchini pizza

Pizza veggies

Mushroom and zucchini pizzaThese are great both as picnic and party food. If you follow me (Kirsten Adachi) on snapdish you will know that for a few months I was doing pizza Fridays. After a while I didn’t feel like it so I stopped. I think I need to source better cheese before I continue. Oh, and pepperoni. During Golden Week (first week of May) we went to my hubby’s aunt’s house and I decided to make these babies as part of a mishmash dinner. We had such a random assortment of food that night. I love how easy these are and good they taste.

Mushroom and zucchini pizzas

Mushroom and Zucchini Pizzas

1 small zucchini
1 package white or brown mushrooms
spaghetti sauce (~1/2 cup)
shredded gouda cheese
salt and pepper, to taste (freshly ground is best)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the zucchini into 5mm thick rounds. Remove the mushroom stems. Don’t throw the mushroom stems away, use them in a stir fry or soup. Lightly oil a baking pan or use parchment paper (oobun peepaa- オーブンペーパー). Place the zucchini slices and the mushroom tops (stem side up) on the parchment paper. Spoon sauce onto the veggies so you get similar coverage as you would with a pizza. Top with cheese, salt and pepper. Bake until the cheese is golden brown. It took about fifteen minutes in the oven I was using.

Coconut Chicken Strips and Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Cups

coconut Chicken strips and quinoa cups

This is the best picture I could manage the night I made these. The chicken strips reflect way too much light. I guess I should have been patient enough to brown them under the broiler. After the success of the tofu version of these I made, I couldn’t wait long enough. I came accross both of these recipes via pinterest and they immediately went to the top of my do make list. You can find the chicken strip recipe here on Budget Bytes. And the quinoa cups here on Iowa Girl Eats. Both of these recipes you don’t actually have to follow as they are flexible. Just look for inspiration and go with what you feel like.

Changes to the chicken strips:

  • added coconut milk powder to the coating mix instead of coating them in coconut milk
  • baked them at 170C for 25 minutes instead of frying

Changes to the quinoa cups

  • used steamed broccoli and shredded gouda (cheap supermarket stuff) as the addins
  • used a bit less quinoa so only used two eggs, no egg whites

 Where to find shredded coconut: in the cake baking section of your supermarket (very small bag for about 130 yen).

Where to find coconut milk powder: in the Asian food section of your supermarket near the Thai curry mix or an import shop. The spice maker S&B now makes small (about 30g) bags as addins for curry and they are located in the curry section.

Where to find quinoa: sometimes you can find small bags in import shops, health food stores, online at Rakuten, Amazon, etc. – it is called キヌア kinua in Japanese.

Where to find Thai Sweet Chili Sauce: the below pic is the only brand I’ve ever seen. It used to have English on it as well but the last bottle I bought doesn’t. It is in the Asian food section of supermarkets and should be readily available as it is used for spring roll dipping sauce.

coconut tofu fries

Coconut Tofu Fries

I saw a great looking coconut chicken with chili dipping sauce recipe on Budget Bytes and I knew I had to make them. I will make the chicken version in the future but I played around with tofu first. I had some coconut milk powder leftover from a curry a while ago and decided to use that as my coconut flavoring since I didn’t have any coconut. These have a hint of coconut flavor and taste great with sweet chili sauce.

Baked Coconut Tofu Fries

Inspired by this recipe

1 large block firm tofu
1 tablespoon coconut powder
1 egg
1 cup panko (Japenese bread crumbs)
salt and pepper to taste
Thai sweet chili sauce (for dipping)

Drain the tofu, wrap in a clean cloth and put something heavy on top to drain the water. Let sit for a couple of hours. When the tofu is drained, preheat the oven to 180 C. Cut the tofu into large fries – about steak fry size. Don’t cut them too thin or they will break. Put the panko, salt, pepper and coconut powder in a ziploc bag, seal and give it a shake. Put the egg in a bowl with a bottom wide enough to be able to coat the fries with ease and give it a quick whisk. Dip the fries in egg, give them a shake in the panko mixture and put them on an oiled or non-stick baking surface. Bake for 30 minutes. They should have started to brown. I took mine out early because I was hungry but you can go darker than the picture.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Niku aspara

Niku Aspara

One of my favorite things to order at yakitori (chicken grilled on a skewer) places and izakayas (a kind of pub?) is nikuaspara (asparagus rolled in thinly sliced pork/beef and grilled). I can’t get enough. I have always made it with pork at home but beef was relatively reasonable this week so I decided to give it a shot. Since I don’t usually eat beef I wanted something comfortable and to me that means Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce – I use it on steak every time I eat it.  This ended up tasting a lot different from what you would usually get in Japan. The taste was simple and very familiar to me and I really enjoyed it.

Asparagus Rolled in Beef

5 asparagus spears
5 large pieces of shaved beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon cooking sake
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and sake in a small bowl and sprinkle over the meat. Let marinate for about 15-20 minutes. Trim the asparagus and parboil it for a couple of minutes, until the color becomes richer. Wrap one piece of meat around each asparagus spear. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you are in Japan, grill in the fish grill of your stove. If you are outside of Japan, broil. In the fish grill it took ten minutes for the meat to get a little crunchy. Cook until your desired level of browness on the outside. Serve hot.