Friday, August 29, 2008

Sauteed tofu with mushrooms

This dish is perfect with jasmine rice or brown rice. However, it is very salty! If you are sensitive to salt, reduce the salted beans to 1 tablespoon.

- 1/2 packet of hard tofu, cubed, boiled for 3 minutes, drained well in colander
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger (or garlic)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoon salted black beans or fermented soybeans
- 1/3 cup water mix with 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or equivalent sweetener
- 1 tablespoon light low-salt soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced chili pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 8 shiitake dried mushrooms, soaked to soften, diced (or baby bellas)
- 1 tomato, 1 small cucumber, sliced

1. In a hot pan, add canola oil, ginger, pepper, stir well until brown, add mushrooms, stir well until brown, add soy sauce, blackbean, tofu stir quickly until all mixed
2- Add flour mixture, sesame oil, stir quickly, removed from stove
3- Transfer to a plate, arrange tomato and cucumber around the plate

Monday, August 11, 2008

Spaghetti with marinara sauce

Makes 3 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
5 baby portabellas (or button mushrooms), sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
1 can of whole tomatoes (992g), crust with your hand
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or equivalent sweetener)
5 basil leaves
3 parsley stems, chopped

Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat (heating olive oil on high heat makes it toxic.) Add oregano, mushrooms. Sauté about 1 minute. Add pepper, sauté about 1 more minute. Add sugar, salt, tomatoes, then basil. Turn heat to low and simmer until thick, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Steamed banana cake (banh chuoi hap)

This receipe is from I used plantains instead of apple bananas, I didn't use food color or beet juice but the color came out pretty good. There are so many ways to make banana cake, this way looked very appealing, the cake part tasted very good, but for the next time I will cook the coconut milk sauce separately and pour it over the cake when it is served. It was fun to make the coconut milk from scratch.

800g very riped apple bananas (I used 3 small plantains), peeled, soaked in salt water 30 minutes (I skipped this step), sliced
2 cups thick coconut milk: meat of 1 coconut, grind in food processor with 2 cups water, strain out the coconut (save to make thin coconut milk), save the thick coconut milk for the top
3 cups thin coconut milk: use the strained coconut above mix with 3 cups water, strain out the coconut, save the thin coconut milk for the cake
200 g rice flour
250 g sugar (I used 1 cup maple syrup)
red food color or beet juice (optional)

salt, oil
vanilla (optional)

Banana mixture:
Mix bananas with 150g sugar (or 1/2 cup maple syrup), 2 cups thin coconut milk, 3 pinches of salt. Simmer banana mixture until thick, banana will turn pink in color

Flour mixture:
Mix 150g flour with the rest of thin coconut milk, 50 g sugar (or 1/4 cup maple syrup), food color, vanilla (optional)

Thick coconut milk mixture:
Mix thick coconut milk with 50g sugar (or 1/4 cup maple syrup), 50g flour, 3 pinches of salt

Grease 10-inch pan with oil, add 1 layer of banana, 1 layer of flour until until no more banana and flour (I just mixed banana and flour together at once)
Steam for about 45-60 minutes or until cake is almost set

Pour thick coconut mixture on top, steam for about 15 minutes or until set
Cool completely before it is served, can be served cold.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Vegetarian rice noodle soup (hủ tiếu chay)

Hủ tiếu chay is one of my favorites. I came from My Tho, Vietnam, famous town for rice noodles. My family's business then was making rice noodles. Most of my relatives on my father's side still make rice noodles for a living.

This is a quick way to make this soup. I used one pot to boil the noodles, and another to make the soup. You can use almost any kind of vegetable such as carrots, cauliflower, summer squash, spinach. This dish is not the same as the famous Pho.

Makes one large bowl:

1 tsp minced ginger
3 branches of broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
2 baby bella, mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
3/4 large bowl of water

In a small pot with high heat, add oil, add ginger, stir fry until fragrant for 1 minute
Add mushrooms, stir fry until brown for 2 minutes. Then add pepper and broccoli, continuing to stir-fry for 2
minutes. Season with sweetener, salt and soy sauce. Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 3 minutes.

Bring water to a rapid boil. Stir in rice noodles and bring back to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until noodles are soft.

Transfer the noodles to a large bowl, pour the soup over them. Serve immediately with bean sprouts, lettuce, Chinese celery (or parley or cilantro)along with sliced hot pepper, lime wedge.