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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with rapeseed oil

12Jun 12

Japanese style fried rice with tofu

Japanese style fried rice with tofuContinuing my love affair with Asian cuisine, the time has come to try a dish with tofu. Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks that is then used in cooking, often as a meat substitute. (Another example of an Asian recipe using tofu is this recipe for Vietnamese spring rolls.)

Tofu can be used both in savoury and sweet dishes and is low in fat, high in protein, and with a low calorie count, it is excellent for vegetarians or for those of you on a calorie-restrictive diet. I have added oyster sauce and ginger to this dish of Japanese style fried rice with tofu for that scrumptious Japanese taste that I never get tired of.

Tofu is thought to have originated in ancient China, and techniques for its production and preparation eventually spread to many other parts of Asia. Today, many different varieties, such as fresh, fried, marinated, firm or soft tofu are eaten all over East Asia, and its use has spread to the west as well, probably as a result of the rise in vegetarianism in the 20th century.

What we need:

  • 100g jasmine rice
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons of rapeseed oil
  • 125g of tofu
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped ginger
  • 4 teaspoons of Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds (optional)

How to make it:

1. Boil the rice according to the instructions on the package.
2. Wash and cut up all the vegetables into thin slices.
3. Fry the vegetables in the oil in a frying pan.
4. When the rice is ready, pour it into the frying pan, mix and let it all fry together for a few minutes.
5. Cut the tofu into squares and put it in the frying pan.
6. Add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce and the oyster sauce and mix carefully. Sprinkle over some sesame seeds if desired.

Enjoy!

Serves: 2
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

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07Apr 12

Shrimp soup with coconut milk and red curry paste

Shrimp soup with coconut milkA few years ago, I visited Bangkok while backpacking around Asia, and several times I bought shrimp soup with coconut milk and red curry paste from one of the small food stalls. I remember how delicious and cheap the soup was, and how happy it made my taste buds.

After having been in Asia, I feel a sense of “something missing” when I arrive home from school and only find rather bland food in my pantry. I recall my holiday’s exotic flavours and dishes made with a blend of spices that I wouldn´t dream of trying myself because it seems so overwhelming. I remember dishes that had that hard-to-describe tang that made my taste buds somersault with pleasure. And I sigh and think that those types of food are for holidays or restaurant visits only.

Although nowadays we are flooded with recipes of Thai dishes, often we think we don´t have time to “go exotic”, and that they just seem too difficult to make at home. Nothing could be further from the truth.

After doing some research, I found a recipe for a Thai soup that is easy to make, and which has both the delicious mildness of the coconut milk and the spicy tang of the red curry. Add to that the meaty taste of the shrimp, and your taste buds will be back in Bangkok! (If you are a chicken lover, don’t worry. This chicken in coconut milk broth will do the trick as well!)

What we need:

  • 1 squash
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
  • 1 pressed clove of garlic
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of lobster stock
  • 4 decilitres of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of red curry paste
  • 5 decilitres of chicken broth
  • 400g of shrimp
  • 1/2 decilitre of fresh thyme and some fresh coriander (as decoration)

How to make it:
1. Rinse and cut the squash and leek into strips.
2. Sizzle them in the oil in a saucepan together with the pressed garlic.
3. Cut the red onion in slices and add in the saucepan.
4. Add all the other ingredients except the shrimp.
5. Let it all simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add the shrimp.
7. Pour the soup into large bowls and place the fresh coriander on top. Serve with fresh wholemeal bread and butter.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: easy

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