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Recipe: Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Looking for a vegetarian entree or appetizer that’s full of spice and loaded with nutrition? Look no further. This recipe for Silken Tofu with Kimchi is delicious and takes about 15 minutes to make.

Kimchi is a Korean dish that’s a spicy blend of spicy peppers, cabbage and other Asian vegetables. I used storebought kimchi I got from our local Asian market, but feel free to make your own. Here’s a recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 block silken tofu
  • 1 cup kimchi, minced
  • 6 tsp soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
  • 4 tsp chili oil
  • 1 TBSP sesame seeds
  • Silken Tofu with Kimchi

    Silken Tofu with Kimchi makes a great entree or appetizer

  • Chopped scallions, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Boil a pot of water and add tofu and simmer until the tofu is warmed through. This should take about 5 or 6 minutes.
  2. Drain the tofu.
  3. Divide the tofu evenly between 2 bowls (or 4 if making as an appetizer). Drizzle each portion with half of soy sauce and half of chili oil. Divide kimchi evenly atop both bowls of tofu.
  4. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, then serve.
Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Silken Tofu with Kimchi serves 2 to 4

I was surprised at just how much flavor is in this dish given the limited amount of ingredients and easiness to prepare it. The only problem is that I was left wanting more.

While this can be served as an entree or an appetizer, it’s probably better as an appetizer as the portions are small. I chose to eat mine as an entree as I had a tennis match to play an hour later so I wanted something light. This Silken Tofu with Kimchi definitely fit the bill.

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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Appetizers, Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Wasabi Salmon with Baby Bok Choy, Purple Cabbage and Oyster Mushrooms

Wasabi Salmon with Bok Choy, Purple Cabbage and Oyster Mushrooms

Wasabi Salmon with Bok Choy, Purple Cabbage and Oyster Mushrooms

Salmon is one of my favorite fishes. For this recipe, I wanted to make something healthy and this recipe definitely fits that bill.

I highly recommend using wild-caught Pacific salmon. Beware of Atlantic salmon — it’s most likely farmed-raised.

Ingredients:

  • 2 8-oz. skinless salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. wasabi paste (or sauce)
  • 2 1-inch pieces of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • Bok Choy, Purple Cabbage and Oyster Mushrooms

    Bok Choy, Purple Cabbage and Oyster Mushrooms

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 lb. baby bok choy
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup oyster mushrooms, stemmed
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (plus more for greasing baking pan)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F and heat a large baking sheet for 15 minutes.
  2. Wasabi Mayo

    Wasabi Mayo

  3. In a small bowl, mix mayo and wasabi paste then stir in half of ginger and half of garlic. Set aside.
  4. Season salmon with salt and pepper.
  5. Place bok choy, purple cabbage and oyster mushrooms in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add remaining ginger and garlic. Toss to coat then season with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove baking sheet from oven. Spread vegetables across one side and arrange salmon on the other.
  7. Roast, stirring vegetables occasionally, until salmon is cooked through — roughly 12 to 15 minutes.</li.
  8. Divide vegetables among plates, making a bed for the salmon fillets. Serve with wasabi mayo.

This is a healthy dish that’s full of flavor from ginger, garlic and wasabi. Salmon is very versatile so feel free to experiment with other vegetables and/or mushrooms.

However, I want to stress again just how important it is to by wild-caught salmon versus the farmed stuff. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Review: o ya (Boston)

Foie Gras with Balsamic Chocolate Kabayaki, Caludio Corallo Raisin Cocoa Pulp

Foie Gras with Balsamic Chocolate Kabayaki

Pardon my French, but I can sum up o ya in two words: Holy Shit!

I’ve always enjoyed a good meal and Asian happens to be a favorite cuisine of mine and o ya just took my appreciation to an entirely new level. I’m not sure I’ll be able to eat Asian for months…maybe year. That’s how out of this world my experience at o ya was. The dishes are beyond inventive, handled with a precision most engineers would envy and bursting with flavors most restaurants can’t match in years, yet along a single night.

The menu is a little overwhelming, but I firmly believe you can’t make a wrong decision. I won’t pretend to remember the order of the items we ate so I’ll take them one by one.

First, I’ll cover the salmon dishes we had. The Scottish Salmon Belly with cilantro, ginger and hot sesame oil drizzle was the perfect blend of the fattiness you expect from tuna, but it was bolstered by the fresh cilantro and ginger and given just the right amount of kick from the hot sesame oil. The Scottish Salmon with spicy sesame ponzu, yuzu kosho and scallion oil was another fine piece of fish might all the more richer from the elements working harmoniously together.

Kanpachi Baby Hamachi

Kanpachi Baby Hamachi

The Hamachi at o ya is fantastic. We had the Hamachi with spicy banana pepper mousse which is as delicious as it sounds. The mousse does just enough to heighten the fishiness of the Hamachi while letting the fish carry most of the weight in the dish. We also had the Hamachi with viet mignonett, thai basil and shallot. This Hamachi has a much higher Asian-tasting profile. The third Hamachi was the Kanpachi Baby Hamachi with Jalapeno Sauce, Sesame, Apple and Myoga. Not only was it a picturesque dish, it was equally delicious and had just the right balance of heat and coolness. If you asked me to pick between the three, I would have a very difficult time, but I might lean slightly toward the Kanpachi Baby Hamachi.

A highlight of the night was the Shiso Tempura with Grilled Lobster featuring charred tomato and ponzu aioli. It just so happened that we saw this dish being prepared while we were being seated and knew we had to order it immediately. I should point out that I don’t like tomatoes. That said, the charred effect of the tomato blended perfectly with the fried shiso leaf and fresh lobster. I would have no problem ordering this multiple times and scarfing it down just as quickly as I did on my first try.

Shiso Tempura with Grilled Lobster

Shiso Tempura with Grilled Lobster

Another one of my favorites (though calling a dish at o ya a favorite is kind of pointless since they are all phenomenal) was the Fried Kumamoto Oyster with yuzu kosho aioli and squid ink bubbles. The fried oyster was so light and mixed really well with the saltiness/brine of the squid ink bubbles. Served as a sort of deconstructed sushi (with seaweed-wrapped rice), this “sushi” was one of the best rolls I’ve ever had. I could have eaten a dozen.

Taking a break from seafood, we ordered the Chopped Tea Brined Chicken Thighs with cucumber, avocado, carrot and ponzu vinaigrette. Honestly, this kind of reminded me of a vermicelli bowl minus the noodles. The chicken thighs were brined to perfection and the coolness of the cucumber and carrot mixed with the creaminess of the avocado pushed this dish over the top. Out of all the dishes I had, this is the dish I would feel the most comfortable recreating. I could only hope to do it half the justice the chefs at o ya did.

One of the lightest dishes of the night was the Grilled Chanterell and Shiitake Mushroom Sashimi with rosemary garlic oil, sesame froth and soy. Honestly, this dish got a little lost in the midst of all the exceptional dishes we had. While there wasn’t a single thing wrong with it, it just didn’t leave the same impression the other dishes throughout the night left.

Fried Kumamoto Oyster

Fried Kumamoto Oyster

Another non-seafood dish was the Tamago Omelette “Roll” with dashi sauce, burgundy truffle, robiola cheese and chives. If this is o ya’s idea of an omelette, I’m coming back for breakfast. The egg was so airy and light it literally melted in my mouth. Add in the other elements and you have a egg “roll” that surpasses anything I’ve ever had with egg in it.

Back to seafood, the Shrimp Tempura with bacon truffle emulsion and scallion ginger oil was another standout. While it was a tad bit salty, the bacon truffle emulsion was the star of the dish. It complemented the whole shrimp nicely. The shrimp itself was the perfect amount of crunch. The shell and meat were cooked so well that the shell was like a crispy chip.

Two more outstanding seafood dishes were the Suzuki Sea Bass and the Shima Aji and Santa Barbara Sea Urchin. The Suzuki Sea Bass was served with spicy cucumber vinaigrette, avocado and cilantro. The richness of the sea bass partnered perfectly with the other elements to create a fatty/crunchy combo. The Shima Aji and Santa Barbar Sea Urchin was out of this world. Served with a ceviche vinaigrette and cilantro, the fattiness of the urchin was like a nice gelee pairing with the cilantro to create a blissful piece of sashimi.

Foie Gras Gyoza

Foie Gras Gyoza

I’ve purposely been saving the foie gras dishes until near the end. What o ya does with foie gras should be illegal (and no, not from the PETA standpoint). Example number one is the Foie Gras Gyoza with kyoto sansho and pink peppercorns. These are hands down the best dumplings I’ve had in my entire life. No joke. I could have eaten three orders myself. As a suggestion from the waiter, we ordered Foie Gras with balsamic chocolate kabayaki, claudio carallo raisin cocoa pulp and sip of aged sake as our last course before dessert. Foie gras and chocolate?!? Let me tell you, it works in perfect harmony. It’s rich, it’s chocolately, it’s creamy. If a chocolatier caught wind of this idea, they would be smart to capitalize on it immediately.

Tres Leches Boston Creme Pie

Tres Leches Boston Creme Pie

We ordered all four of the available desserts: Tres Leches Boston Creme Pie, Affumagato with Coconut and Espresso, Chocolate Gelato with Salted Caramel, and Soy Milk Blanc Mange. I was a little underwhelming by the desserts. The Affumagato was overpowered by the espresso so the coconut was lost while the Soy Milk Blanc Mange tasted like a Thai tea custard. Not bad, just not great. The Tres Leches Boston Creme Pie and Chocolate Gelato with Salted Caramel were both good, but these desserts don’t live up to the expectations set by the food.

I highly recommend ordering sake to accompany all the aforementioned dishes. O ya has a great sake selection that runs the gamut from small breweries to larger breweries. Each sake we ordered had a different flavor complex, but all worked well with the food.

If you come to Boston, eat at o ya. It’s that simple. While it may spoil you and how you taste Japanese food, it’s a dining experience you won’t soon forget. It was heaven in Boston. I woke up thinking it was a dream. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

O ya is located at 9 East Street. The hours vary so visit o ya’s website for full details.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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