My sis and I did a supermarket sweep at a Japanese food shop (Atari-ya in Norbiton) the other week, so my cupboards are jam packed full with everything I need. Although Japanese cooking does need special ingredients, there's not that many of them. So, once you've got the basics you're away.
This recipe makes two veggie tofu bags and two egg tofu bags. They can also be made with minced pork - replace the beans and mushrooms with 100g minced pork.
Ingredients (makes 4 tofu bags - plenty for a starter for 2 people):
2 deep fried tofu pockets (See pic - these are found in the freezer section of Japanese stores)
Half a tin of beans, well drained and blended in a food processor. (I used mixed beans, we used borlotti at the class)
Small handful dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and finely chopped
Half a small carrot, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cornflour
Pinch of salt
Small handful of green beans (to serve)
You also need toothpicks, to secure the pockets.
250 ml dashi stock (Buy dashi powder from Asian shops and mix with water according to instructions)
1 tbsp sake
1 dessert spoon sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
**you may want to alter the amounts of these ingredients to personal taste**
Cook the tofu bags in a pan of boiling water for 1 minute and drain well. Cut the bags in half, so you end up with four pockets, being careful not to tear them.
Mix all the ingredients for the cooking liquid in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
In a small bowl, mix the beans, mushrooms, carrot, spring onions, ginger and corn flour with your hands. Divide into two and fill two of the tofu bags with the mixture. Secure each bag at the top with a toothpick.
Fill each of the remaining two bags with an egg (this should be whole - i.e. not beaten) and secure with a toothpick.
Quickly place all the bags in the cooking liquid, trying to keep them upright. Cover with a foil lid, to avoid parcels drying out. Liquid should be gently simmering. Cook for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, cook the green beans.
Once the tofu bags are cooked, remove them from the liquid and take out the toothpick. Cut each in half and place one veg and one egg bag in a bowl. Add the remaining cooking liquid and garnish with green beans.
|Frozen deep-fried tofu bags, straight from the freezer|
|Veggie ingredients ready for mixing (all very finely chopped)|
|Tofu bags ready for cooking|
|Egg tofu bag after cooking. Cut in half for serving.|