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Miso and honey, tofu and frying

November 27, 2010

EDIT: The miso-honey-sesame thing is also really amazing as a dip for raw snow peas and carrot sticks…healthy and delicious! You don’t need to use a lot of dip either.

I realise I’ve done plenty of miso-soba noodle recipes before, and I realise that they can only get so exciting, but this is what happens when your holidays are cut short by unexpected work and the first thing that comes to mind is something that you know will not fail you. Despite such mundane prospects I thought I’d mix things up a little – it was time for me to finally try a sweet-ish miso variation, inspired by a delicious fried eggplant dish I had at Maru.

The gist is that you boil some noodles, and while that’s doing its thing you stir fry some veges/tofu/whatever you want really. Drain the noodles once done, swirl through the miso mixture (divulged below – super simple), and stir the vegetables etc in. I sprinkled over some chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds, but you don’t have to at all. Sounds far too healthy, and for how healthy it is, it is far too tasty.

Another major triumph I had was shallow frying tofu without it sticking to the pan, something I previously never managed. It turns out that the whole “patting them dry” thing really does do wonders, although I was far too lazy to sit the tofu between paper towels for an hour, and just lightly pressed them between two sheets of flour bag paper. Yes, I re-use the lining of my flour bags, and what an excellent use for them – serves my laziness and unwillingness to buy paper towels perfectly. I think they leave less fibres behind as well, but maybe that’s my subconscious trying to egg on my laziness. Also, waiting for the (plentiful amount of) oil to heat up properly also helps, as does salting the tofu lightly before adding them to the hot oil. I then use the oil to stir fry my veges (don’t add these to the pan if the tofu is still cooking). If it sounds like a hippie dish, so be it :P I will be a perfectly happy, healthy hippie [EDIT: LIES! I am only really healthy at the moment, and barely that]. I’d still like you to tell me if I have sesame seeds stuck in my teeth though.

Miso, honey and sesame noodles

serves 2

  • 1 bundle of soba noodles (about 90-100g)
  • 2 generous handfuls of vegetables that taste good stir fried (I used snow peas from the garden and carrots cut into matchsticks)
  • salt and pepper to taste

miso honey and sesame, mix together:

  • about 2 Tbs miso paste
  • about 1 1/2 Tbs honey or golden syrup
  • about 1 tsp sesame oil

salt and pepper tofu

  • 1 block tofu (enough for two, you decide how much), cut into square slices about 1cm thick. Place on re-used flour bag paper or parchment or paper towels or a clean tea towel, cover with another piece and pat gently to dry the surface of the tofu.
  • about 1/4 c cooking oil, or enough to cover the pan – keep in mind the tofu must cook on a single layer, and not be too crowded
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • optional: fresh chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds

Bring half a saucepan of water to a rolling boil for the noodles. Meanwhile, heat up some oil on medium heat (enough to generously coat the entire bottom of a frying pan large enough to fit your slices of tofu in a single layer). Sprinkle tofu slices with salt and pepper and place them salted side down into the oil. Fry until the undersides are golden (I like mine only lightly golden), then flip and resume frying until second underside is golden. Remove from pan with a slotted spatula onto more dry paper/paper towels/clean tea towel.

Place noodles into boiling water and reduce heat to medium. Add veges to the pan using the oil left over from frying the tofu, a tiny splash of water if using quite dry veges (ie, not very juice veges), and let cook still over medium heat for a minute or two. Uncover, stir, recover and let cook another minute or two. Noodles will be done about now so drain them, then stir through the miso mix, then the vegetables and lastly the tofu (be gentle as it will still be a bit delicate). Serve topped with a sprinkling of spring onions and toasted sesame.

PS. The lovely Laura at Hungry and Frozen has a miso-honey roast vegetable recipe which also looks fantastic! It even uses tofu. Great minds think alike :D Hot damn that tart looks good too!

PPS. Have done a bit of baking, none of it really worth blogging about though. Feeling totally uninspired and generally pretty bollocks, as I hinted at the beginning of this post. I’m not even sure I can bake myself out of this rut either…been on a sugar binge recently and I’m too poor to afford cheese or nuts or anything for savoury snacks that I actually want to eat. Any suggestions  for diluting general meh-ness (food related or otherwise) would be most heartily welcome.

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