Japanese people generally don’t like vinegar. Actually, if you go around the local supermarket, you’ll see sushi vinegar (which is quite sweet); normal vinegar; and imported balsamic, rice wine, et cetera kinds of vinegar. However, the normal vinegar available at least in my area, has about, I guess, 25% the sourness and acidity of vinegars we have in my country. So when I cooked it for myself, I ended up using a lot of it to achieve the sourness I craved for. ^_~ However, this recipe is the one I cooked for my husband to taste so I used less vinegar.
He said it was fine, but I say it's perfection!
Tips and tricks
Freeze-thawing the tofu will render it quite tough resulting in a somewhat meaty texture. I do this especially when I’m attacked by my THS (Tofu Hoarding Syndrome) and buy too much tofu that we cannot consume until they expire. One day before the tofu expires, I remove it from the package, throw away the excess water, put it in a clean food container or plastic then squeeze it into the freezer and it will be okay until the following week. ^_~ I then transfer it to the fridge the night before I use it—the following morning, it becomes completely thawed and ready for cooking.
I usually make a lot of tofu sisig on weekends then pack them in food bags and freeze them. From my experience, they were perfectly okay after two weeks. I guess it can last longer than that but my self-restriction can last only up to that. ^_^; However, I'd suggest packing them in small parts so that you won't have to thaw and contaminate the whole thing when you want to eat just a few spoonfuls.
My husband loves my cheesecake. And my cheesecake is my favorite. Probably because I can make it a bit more lemony than the ones available here. Honestly, I'm not yet fully satisfied with the texture of my cheesecake (because I want it a little more fluffy) but my husband finds it perfect so I guess you'll also be fine with this recipe, especially if you are more into the texture of unbaked, moist cheesecake. :)
You'll also notice in this recipe that I used margarine instead of butter. I would have preferred to use normal cooking oil (like I did when I was once just craving for my lemony cheesecake and it went out fine). But since I cooked this to give as a present, although I know it's not really healthy, I used margarine because butter is also... well, financially unhealthy. :P
Ever since my first cheesecake passed my husband's standard, it has become our habit to give it to his co-workers whenever we're invited to their homes. However, I never had the motivation to standardize it or even just write a recipe because for me, baking, especially cheesecake, is like a calming ritual. I just feel the ingredients and play with it, usually while on an Indian sit or something, on our freshly-vacuumed floor.
Then last week, we decided to make mothers' day and fathers' day cakes to bring to his hometown. And my husband said sweetly, "Won't you make a recipe of your cheesecake so that I can also make it when I want to?" So came the birth of this recipe. :)
As for the preferred cookie base, in this recipe, I used 150 g fruit granola and a pack of 100 g cigarette cookie. I've also used cornflakes + cigarette cookie as base and the traditional 100% crushed graham crackers before. Even ground muesli + instant oats + sugar and Oreo cookies for the chocolate cheesecake I made once. I hope to make vegan cheesecake (tofu-cake doesn't sound so enticing) and use ground cashew and some other things for the base and cashew again and tofu for the cheesecake part. But that will have to wait, especially now that my kitchen adventures will be decreased since I just got a job again!
I'd love to try using yogurt instead of cream but I usually don't have yogurt in stock because it expires much faster compared to cream... But I'll surely try that next time. ;)
Don't dare over-mixing the cheesecake mixture once the eggs are incorporated or else your cheesecake will crack when baked.
If you want to make chocolate cheesecake, be careful with the lemon! I'd suggest putting a few more drops of vanilla oil instead, and just half to a tablespoon of lemon or else you'll have no choice but to smile at a sour chocolate cheesecake... mmm...
Neither my husband nor I have ever tasted the original Mexican tacos. And I'm not sure if this is my second or third time to cook tacos, nevertheless, it's a recipe I am very proud to declare as a "must-try!"
The first and only tacos I've ever eaten from the moment I was born til a week ago was that cooked by a vegetarian friend probably 8 years ago. But that moment of gastronomic experience lives in me until now. She used ground textured soy protein then, but I used frozen-and-thawed tofu-- a very accessible ingredient for a wonderful ground-beefy effect.
2. Put a nonstick pan over medium high heat then pour oil as soon as it gets hot.
3. When the oil is hot, toss in the tofu bits and season with black pepper, ajinomoto,
cumin, chili powder and soy sauce. Mix well and stir-fry until some tofu bits are
quite brown and crunchy.
4. Toss in the tomatoes. I used canned tomatoes because fresh tomatoes here are quite
expensive. But if you're using canned tomatoes too, you should scoop out the tomato
chunks using a fork to minimize wetting the ground tofu taco filling or else you'll
end up with soggy tacos.
5. Add sugar and mix well for 2-3 minutes. Turn off fire.
Tips and tricks
The way my husband and I enjoy eating this is, first, having a bite on the taco, munch it a little followed by a bite on the paprika strips-- this way, the paprika gives a burst of refreshing sweetness to the whole taco! I tried biting the paprika simultaneously with the rest of the taco and the effect was different-- the paprika just blended in very subtly, almost unrecognizable, to the strong cumin and soy sauce flavor.
This is what's currently trending in my kitchen.
One night, my mother-in-law cooked it for dinner and ever since then my husband has been asking me to cook the same dish for him. I've cooked this probably 5 times the past 5 or 6 weeks. But each time I matched it with different sauces. Once with a simple white sauce, then with quick pesTomato sauce, then with gli spaghetti alla primavera sauce, and recycled lettuce-bell pepper salad turned into tomato red spaghetti sauce. My husband is not a fan of white sauces but all versions were successful. But I'd recommend basil pesto or pesTomato sauce-- basil really put wonders to simply delicious meal.
Takikomi gohan is a Japanese dish whose main ingredient is rice. It is cooked and seasoned with various ingredients, but in this recipe, we'll simply use carrot, aburaage, shiitake mushroom and our usual seasonings. Trivia-- gohan means cooked rice.
I remember when I cooked this recipe, I intended it for my husband's bento. After lunch the following day, my husband sent me a text message (which he doesn't usually do), to say that the takikomi gohan was very delicious! ^____________^ yeey!
Okay then, let's get started!
A classic Japanese food!
You can't go wrong with the taste but be careful of overeating because it's a solid pool of oil!
Tips and tricks
If you don't have tempura flour, you can use cornstarch and flour mixture. But it burns faster so you will have to cook the vegetables in lowest fire or else the outside will end up cooked or burnt and the inside really hard and inedible, especially in case of pumpkin.
Flour-cornstarch mixture and a little ajinomoto can make a delicious tempura but I've never made crunchy tempura out of this. They look crunchy while cooking but they end up oily (or worst, soggy) a few minutes after removing from oil.
So, if you discover any good tip and tricks to a successful tempura even without using tempura flour, please share it with us! ^_^
This dish won over my husband's taste buds because:
I call this Christmas Pasta because of the basil-green pasta and red sauce-- quite resembles the common Christmas floral arrangement ingredient, poinsettia. Side it with this homemade fast-food style hash brown, you and your diners will surely feel festive any time of the year!
Okonomiyaki, also called "Japanese pizza", literally means "stir-fried (yaki) choice or preference (okonomi)". So, be creative and mix up your matching favorite veggies!
Bibimbap, is a Korean word which literally means "mixed rice". So, don't be frustrated if you don't have the ingredients I used-- just be creative and top your rice with differently seasoned vegetables and tofu, even all of your favorites!
My husband was never a fan of Japanese curry. But I'm sure, like me, you will also be lovestruck once you taste this vegetarian Japanese curry!
Cook a lot for sharing and don't be greedy!
A vegetarian for 12 years and a kitchen warrior since I moved in to Japan, my favorite battle has been winning over my husband's interestingly complicated taste buds.