This week, I jumped to it and proposed an Asian theme to Cathy. Like I explained in last weeks Dining with the Bloggers, my kitchen cupboards are filled to the point of bursting with stuff that I buy on a whim - so in there is (also) lot of Asian stuff. I actually enjoy Asian food a lot, but usually only eat it when I'm out - Boyfriend is not so enthusiastic about it, so I really shouldn't torture him, should I?
There are so many Asian bloggers out there - Santos has very conveniently done a little list here, that I only discovered when Cathy pointed me there, and after having searched high and low in all sorts of blogger archives! So much for being and organized dinner planner, but what the heck! I actually thought it would be quite easy to find something I'd like to do, even though I did have some criterias to be meet - I just have to restrict myself, I don't know why! Anyways -I always fall for anything sweet - Rachel's Fuwa Fuwa Soy Milk Cakey sounded like something I'd like. This is - well, maybe not a real problem, considering, but still - I'm just more prone to make a cake, than something savory! Is it my sweet tooth?
So savory it should be, just to make it hard, and preferably something that would use up some of the funny stuff in the cupboard.
And there it was. In Chika of She Who Eats' archive, I found this one: Otsu na Soba. The recipe is actually one that Chika got from Heidi at 101 cookbooks, but I figured I found it through Chika, so I could consider it Asian. The ingredients are indeed Asian: Buckwheat noodles (had those) in a dressing with lots of ginger (had to buy), lemon, cayenne, rice vinegar (on the shelf) sesame oil (on the shelf too) soy sauce (of course), then mixed with coriander/cilantro, cucumber and scallion/spring onion - it even said it'd be great for lunch and with me going back to school, how could it fit any better?! I could cook, and be feed for TWO meals!
But wait. It also had tofu. TOFU?? I know, I know, I claim to be a vegetarian - but I've never actually cooked the stuff myself. And ahem - these are the results:
So you see - there's a reason I've never cooked tofu before. Ahem. Any tips, hints or good ideas are very welcome! I still have three blocks left I need to use...
But as for the salad - it was nothing short of DIVINE! Just that sort of punchy spice I like - I'm not one for throat-burning spicy, but I like a little. It was even very easy and took no time at all to do. On Chika's suggestion, I used less soy sauce and also a quarter teaspoon less cayenne, just because I'm so inclined. I didn't add any of the extra vegetables Chika did, mostly because well, I couldn't come by the exact same here anyways, so I thought I might as well leave well enough alone. It's not a bad idea though, and I might try it sometime soon. Both Chika and Heidi said they have leftover dressing - I might be a dressing hound, but there was only a little left in my jar.
Oh, and as for the leftovers for lunch next day - YUM! I packed the sesame seeds to sprinkle on top separate, and had no tofu in the lunch batch - it was still darn good! The dressing mellows a little, but still hits the spot. This is a definite keeper!
Cathy's been doing soy milk from scratch as one of her things this week - and I might have to follow in her footsteps soon...