Tag Archives: soy sauce

Eggplant Musubi

3 Sep

I can’t believe I had forgotten to share this recipe with you…

Hawaii is the number 1 consumer of SPAM in the United States…  Apparently, Hawaiians love their potted meat.  I have to admit, back in the days when I was growing up I looooved when my grandma made for us Spam sandwiches with mayo on criollo bread.  That was a treat we only ate while on vacations.

Now…  my tastes have changed.  And while I wanted to bring a traditional and authentic take of a Hawaiian Luau to my Yogi friends, I also wanted to make it accessible to everyone.  Some of us have access to good vegetarian “hams”, but I figured that eggplant is something most of you will be able to get and will not cringe when you read it on a recipe.  The teriyaki marinade is what will bring it all together in true Hawaiian musubi fashion.

This recipe is a tad long…  but there are just 3 main steps – 1. cook the rice, 2. cook the eggplant, 3. assemble the musubi.  So don’t be overwhelmed by it all.    I used two small plastic containers of the same size that can fit one inside the other to form my musubi.  There are musubi contraptions, but I could not find one for the life of me in Puerto Rico.   Once you get the hang of it… it will be a breeze.

Recipe from KarmaFree Cooking

EGGPLANT MUSUBI

2 cups short grain brown rice

3 cups water

1/3 cup plain unseasoned rice vinegar

3 tbs brown sugar

½ tsp salt

2 small eggplants, peeled and sliced thinly

1  cup soy sauce

1 cup brown sugar

4 cloves garlic, grated

1-inch piece of ginger, grated

About ¼ cup of Black Sesame Gomasio as seasoning

2 nori sheets, cut into thin strips

Olive Oil

  1. First, cook the rice…  I use a rice cooker, but you can do it on the stove top if you prefer.  The idea is to cook the rice thoroughly but that it’s a tad sticky.  Not fluffy for sure.  Although by using short grain rice you get that consistency inherently.
  2. Cook the rice without oil, just a light sprinkling of salt.  In a measuring cup mix together the rice vinegar, the 3 tbs of brown sugar and salt.  Set aside.  After the rice is cooked, transfer to a plastic or wooden bowl to cool completely.  While rice is still hot, drizzle the vinegar/brown sugar mixture over the rice to season.   Set aside for the rice to cool completely.
  3. Secondly, we season the eggplant…  Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice eggplant in thin, ¼ inch slices.  In a large flat container mix together the marinade for the eggplant – soy sauce, brown sugar, grated garlic and ginger.  Mix together well to make sure the sugar dissolves well in the soy sauce.  Add the eggplant slices to the marinade, making sure all sides of eggplant are coated with the marinade.  Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet or griddle and pan-fry the marinated eggplant slices until caramelized, about 2 minutes on each side.  As you cook the eggplant slices, set aside on a baking sheet.
  5. So now…  we assemble the musubi.  Moisten your hands with water.  It will help with the rice not sticking as much to your fingers while you’re assembling.  Take about 2 tbs or rice into the bottom of the plastic container.  Sprinkle lightly some black sesame gomasio as seasoning over the rice.  Place a piece of eggplant over the rice.  Fold the eggplant slice if it’s necessary to fit into the small plastic container.  With the secong plastic container press the eggplant/rice tower to form a compact package.  Using a sharp knife separate the rice/eggplant for the edges and flip over and tap on a cutting board for the rice/eggplant to release from the container.
  6. Wrap with a thin strip of nori.  The nori sheets come scored in strips, we cut each of those strips in half, to make them yiled more strips for sheet.

Musubi tastes best the same day it is made.  Never refrigerate because the cold makes the rice hardens and it’s not very nice to eat.

As you can see, the recipe has a few steps, but it’s not very difficult to make.  And when you get the hang of making the musubi, it becomes kinda like an assembly line.   I want to thank Jesús Omar for being my musubi assistant the day we had to make 50+ musubis for the Hawaiian Vegetarian Festival.  The crowd was surprised they were eating “vegetarian sushi”  for the first time.

Next time, I will definitely try to make this with what they call “sham spam”…  my version, of course.  Stay tuned.

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Romantic Mains to Impress

10 Feb

Even though I am not currently dating someone special… I still like to cook something nice, even if it’s just for myself.

After all, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate LOVE and there are many ways to express and celebrate love – love towards your parents, love towards your kids, love towards your siblings, love towards your pets, love towards your partner, love towards your neighbors, your family in general, your co-workers, your friends and most of all, LOVE TOWARDS YOURSELF.  Because, if you don’t love yourself, how do you expect others to love you too???

Here are a few ideas I have cooked in the past to impress a few loved ones…  hope you choose to make one to impress YOURSELF!!!

Cheese, Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

My Plate

Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes over Pasta

Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes - 3 tom

Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms

My Maggiano's Mushrooms

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Bake

??????????

Asparagus Tart

ASparagus Tart - Before 2 KFC

Korean Seasoned Tofu

Sesame Sauce

Chame’s Spinach Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese

Chame's Salad

Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Almond Praline

pear-w-blue-cheese-2-comp

Easy Veggie and Cashew Stir Fry

27 Jan

I wasn’t going to blog about this… but my friends over Facebook were so excited about the photo and the recipe, that I said “what the heck…”.  If those people who love food loved this recipe, possible you guys will also love it too.

This was something I just put together yesterday for lunch. Nothing planned in advance, unless you count that I started making the rice in my rice cooker since 10:30AM. I always get hungry and never consider making rice because whole grain rice takes about 1 hour to make, and by that time, I would be famished.

I have mentioned to you my love for adding cashews in stir-frys before… and the beauty for making it at home is that you can add as many cashews as you want!!!! Chinese restaurants are always skimping on the cashews even when they charge you extra for them every time.

The secret here… use whatever you have in your fridge… I would have added some bean sprouts, but I didn’t have any. Some spinach would have worked great too instead of the lettuce. I actually used lettuce because I was out of spinach. So work with what you have… the end product will still be delicious!!!

Easy Veggie and Cashew Stir Fry

½ onion – sliced
½ green bell pepper – sliced
6-7 white button mushrooms – quartered
1 small carrot – shredded or peeled into slices with a vegetable peeler
4 romaine lettuce leaves – sliced
½ cup roasted and salted cashews – but this measure is optional. You can add as much cashews as you want…
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup of water
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbs agave nectar
Olive oil
Salt to taste
  1. In a large skillet, drizzle some olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers. Season with a bit of salt to allow the moisture to drain out of them a bit. Sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften a bit.
  2. Add the carrots and the mushrooms. Mix it all together and continue to cook over medium heat. Add the lettuce or spinach and toss to wilt into the mixture.
  3. Add the cashews to soften a bit and mix together with the flavors of the veggies.
  4. In a separate measuring cup measure the soy sauce, water and mix together with the cornstarch. Add the sauce to the pan and mix it all well.
  5. Drizzle a few turns of the pan of agave nectar and mix it all together. Turn the stove off. The heat in the stove and the pan will thicken the sauce and coat every veggie and cashew.

Serve over brown rice.

This is a very satisfying lunch or dinner without feeling heavy at all.

Korean Seasoned Tofu

23 May

I am a lucky girl… I’ve been invited to travel to many places around the world – the most recent invitation, to Seoul, Korea. Or maybe not that lucky, because I didn’t get to go in the end. Long story… but maybe it was just better for me to stay put in my lovely Puerto Rico.

The cool thing… you can travel thru food. And coincidentally I found this recipe for a Korean-style Seasoned Tofu on Serious Eats. It just seemed so simple and easy I had to try it.

You see, I do not need to get on that $2,000 flight to eat great vegetarian Korean food!!!

 

KOREAN SEASONED TOFU

One package firm tofu
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs water
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
A pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tbs vegetable oil for frying the tofu
  1. Remove the tofu from its package. Cut into ½” pieces and let them drain in between paper towels.
  2. Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil and water in a small bowl. Add the green onions, garlic, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place the tofu slices onto the skillet. Use a splatter guard if you have one… because the tofu slices are only slightly drained and still have plenty of water in them, the oil will splatter A LOT when you fry these tofu slices.
  4. Cook until the tofu is slightly browned on the bottom and getting a bit crispy on the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the slices over and brown the other side.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add the soy sauce/sesame seed seasoning over the tofu. Cover the skillet and let steam for 2 to 3 minutes. I usually turn off the stove about 1 minute after covering and continue cooking with the residual heat from the stove and skillet.

Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

Serve over steamed brown rice…

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