A few posts back I discussed whether the Thermomix was compatible with Japanese cuisine and became encouraged to try a few recipes out. There are indeed some promising dishes that can be whipped up in a TMX so I’m hoping to get on with those later in December once the backlog of Nom-vember posts is cleared :)
For the time being I’m happy to present one successful recipe that only needed a few adjustments. I tried Elizabeth Andoh’s recipe (from Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen) for Braised Konnyaku and Carrots dressed in a Creamy Tofu sauce.
Disciples of macrobiotic foods and cooking will be familiar with konjac (konnyaku in Japanese) but for those not quite in the know, let me tell you that it’s much better than it looks or feels, and it is extremely good for you. Konjac is low in fat and very high in fibre. It doesn’t actually have a distinctive flavour so it works well with sauces and bastes. Konnyaku is also very popular in Japanese hot pots which I blogged about in this post, Slow Cooker Oden.
Elizabeth Andoh noted in her book that the recipe for Creamy Tofu was perfect for day old tofu and gives instructions to boil it before turning it into the sauce. This isn’t necessary with tofu bought in Australia since most (if not all) tofu is pasteurised. If you happen to be in Japan and can access fresh tofu from a tofu shop, then it’s probably not pasteurised so it’s wise to boil it through as suggested.
The sauce wasn’t hard to make in the Thermomix; it was a simple matter of throwing in a portion of tofu, miso and seasoning and whipping it up on Speed 4 for about 10 seconds. The braised konnyaku on the other hand was quite tricky. I had to significantly reduce the amount of braising liquid used but increase the concentration of the stock overall so as to not thin out the seasoning. I finally got it right though and was fairly happy with the results.
A very tasty combination indeed and perfect with a bowl of steamed rice and miso soup.
- 120g silken or firm tofu
- 2 tsp white miso (if you can get sweet Saikyo miso, please use and omit sugar below)
- ½ tsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- drop of mirin
- 1 block of konnyaku (most Asian grocers will have it)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm thick sticks
- 1 sachet of dashi stock (see note below about stock)
- ⅓ cup of hot water
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- toasted white sesame seeds to garnish, if desired
- Place ingredients (first five listed) into TMX bowl and blitz on Speed 5 for 10 seconds. Scrape out and store in a sealed container in fridge (use within a week).
- Dissolve dashi powder into hot water or prepare other type of concentrated stock.
- Cut block of konnyaku into 1cm lengths and place into TMX bowl. 'Dry' sautée konnyaku on 100C, Speed Soft, Reverse for 3 minutes or until you can hear the konnyaku making a squeaky sound. This is done to remove as much moisture as possible from the konnyaku.
- Add sesame oil and carrots, and sautée for a further one minute on same setting.
- Add half stock, soy and mirin to the konnyaku and carrots and cook on same setting for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, check on how much liquid remains in the bowl. If majority has reduced, add a little more stock and continue to cook on same setting for two more minutes.
- Transfer konnyaku and carrots to a container with a lid with any remaining liquid and allow to cool covered.
- When cooled, drain any liquid and mix ½ cup of the creamy tofu sauce through the konnyaku and carrots.
- Serve in small bowls with a sprinkling of toasted white sesame seeds.
Note regarding stock: Dashi usually refers to the stock made with bonito so it’s not suitable for vegans. However, you can get hold of dashi that is kombu (seaweed) based to make this meal entirely vegan. If you cannot get hold of dashi, perhaps try one teaspoon of Thermomix Stock Concentrate in the same amount of water. The key is to ensure you use liquid stock that is highly concentrated in flavour.