How to Use Deep Fried Tofu

A perfect quick meal or snack!

Versatile Deep Fried tofu can either be store-bought in packets, or made at home.

Deep Fried Tofu is available from any Asian or Chinese Grocery, where it might be called Tofu Puffs, or Fried Tofu Squares. As the name suggests, it is a tofu that has been deep fried. It is quite firm in texture and therefore is easy to slice and dice, to include in wet dishes, or simply serve as it is. It is definitely a delicious way of using tofu.

An alternative is to deep fry your own tofu. The texture and taste is quite different to store-bought deep fried tofu, and is worth the effort involved. See below for instructions on how to deep fry your own tofu.

All of our Tofu recipes are here. You might like to browse our Asian recipes too, our Chinese recipes are here and our tempting Snacks here. Or simply explore our easy Mid Summer dishes.

You might also like to try tofu dishes without deep frying. Try Two Marvellous Tofu Recipes (Tofu Napoleons, and Tri Coloured Stuffed Tofu), Marinated Tofu with Sweet Peach Salsa, Cucumber and Tofu Salad, Tofu, Herb and Sesame Salad, and a dipping broth for tofu.

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Oven Dried Tomatoes with Sumac

These are quite easy to make. It just takes time – a very slow oven and a few hours.

I have a love of two things – Farmer’s Markets and making pickles, preserves, pastes, purees and dried things. I love to turn fresh ingredients that will preserve them in some way. This recipe is perfect for perfect little cherry or grape tomatoes. It oven dries them in a very slow oven to make a great intensely flavoured snack, or ingredient for pasta sauces and salads.

The first time I made these little beauties, my Office Assistant and friend ate the whole batch! They are very more-ish.

You might also like to try Haloumi Pizza with Semi Dried Tomatoes, Tomato Tarte Tartin, and Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate. You can browse all of our oven dried tomato recipes here and here. Or have a look at our Tomato Recipes here and here.

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How to Make Vegetable Stocks

Healthy tasty stocks make all the difference to your soup.

Many people ask me about vegetable stocks, saying it is hard to make a truly good and tasty veggie stock.

I tell them that I believe it is actually easier to make vegetable stocks because we are not working with one dominating flavour. We work with a combination of flavours, and the joy is that we can fine tune that combination to suit the mood, the day, the recipe. People are so attuned to adding meat when we want a certain, gutsy flavour that they don’t spend time thinking about how to get gutsy flavour without meat. Here are some of my tricks that I would like to share with you.

This article gives you guidelines. You can find a specific recipe for a great vegetable stock here.

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How to Cook Rice Rolls | Vegetarian Banh Cuon

How to eat Vegetarian Banh Cuon – Rice Rolls – Chinese and Vietnamese.

One of the typically Asian things that I love is their rice rolls. But it can be confusing – how are these lovely rice rolls used?

Rice rolls are very common in Vietnam (Banh Cuon) and in Thailand (Goi tiew lohd).  It is a light dish, and is generally eaten for breakfast everywhere in Vietnam, or as a snack in Thailand. In our house, this dish is a wonderful summery lunch.

In Vietnamese Bánh means pastry and Cuốn means rolled, so as far as indicating its origin or how to use them, the name is quite enigmatic. The rice sheet is extremely thin and delicate. It is made by steaming a slightly fermented rice batter on a cloth that is stretched over a pot of boiling water.

You might also like What to Do with Deep Fried Tofu, Thai Eggplant with Sesame and Soy, Black Pepper Tofu, Asian Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame, Chinese Scallion and Orange Zest Pancakes, and Spicy Crunchy Herby Salad with Asian Dressing.

You may like to browse our other SE Asian recipes, and our other Mid Summer recipes.

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Broad Bean and Butter Bean Puree with Horseradish | A Mash, Spread or Dip

The secret to great tasting broad beans is double peeling

It is easy to develop an aversion to Broad Beans. Prolific bearers and easy to grow, they are an easy choice for home gardeners and country kitchen gardens. Yet the poor bean is often misunderstood. Instead of being treated tenderly, cooks mistakenly overcooked them to a green-grey mush with a strong taste only masked by other strong tasting ingredients. Unaware that each individual bean has its own skin that needs to be peeled, they were being boiled until that outer skin reached a level of tenderness – and that mean that the inner bean was overcooked.

Yes, the secret to broad beans is that they need to be double peeled. First the fury pod is removed, and then, after blanching, the skin of each bean can be easily slipped off. Young beans are preferable to their older counterparts as their flavour is gentler.

What a difference a peel makes! You might like to read more about broad beans.

Are you perhaps after Broad Bean recipes? Try Fava Bean Puree with Dill, Broad Beans with Fresh PecorinoTawa Broad Beans, and 13 Treasure Happiness Soup.

Or are you looking for Dips and Spreads? Try Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Spicy Moroccan Carrot Dip, Thick Yoghurt Tahina Dip, Avocado Mash, and a Quicky Hummus.

You might like to browse all of our Broad Bean recipes and our recipes for Dips. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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How To Cook Rice | The Absorption Method

How to perfect this common method of cooking rice.

Remember really gluggy rice? Yes, those were the days. Certainly in Australia, our parents and grandparents mostly did not know how to cook rice. Well-cooked rice makes a meal, and poorly cooked rice spoils it. It took me a long time to be able to cook rice consistently well. Like my mother, I would put rice into buckets of boiling water, cook it rapidly, strain it when done and then hope for the best. Sound familiar?

These days, rice cookers take any guess work out of the process, and they are great. But I still like the meditative art of the stovetop method when I have the time. It is not hard at all. At one time someone I worked with taught me this foolproof method – once you have mastered it you will never have gluggy rice again.

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Tomato Paella | Vegetarian Paella

A Spanish hit

Maybe it is the soccer world cup being held in Europe that is turning my tastes that way. Maybe I am on a tomato and rice kick. Maybe RED is my colour of the moment. Whatever the cause, I found myself looking for a paella the other night.

There is a history to paella in my life. I first came across it at Carclew Arts Centre in North Adelaide years ago when my daughter was involved in some summer classes there. Carclew had an open day of food, performances and exhibitions. One food stall was cooking an amazing open pan rice dish – the wait was 15 minutes until it was ready to serve – and the taste of it was so fantastic it took me by surprise. Continue reading “Tomato Paella | Vegetarian Paella”

Tomato Rasam | South Indian Spicy Tomato Broth

Who can go past tomato rasam?

Yesterday I had made some Garam Masala and the house was full of wonderful aromas. As I worked at my desk I became hungrier and hungrier. What to do? I needed something wonderfully spicy.

After peeking in the fridge to see what was left after a hectic week, the solution was a wonderful, spicy tomato rasam.

One of the easiest way to describe Rasam is that it is a very thin, sometimes watery, spiced dish where lentils are used for flavour but are not obvious. Rasam is often confused with Sambar. Sambar is a thicker dish based on lentils. Traditionally both dishes are spiced differently. You can read more about the difference between Sambar and Rasam here.

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Golden Saffron Spice Tea

I first came across this beautiful tea in a small shop in a village in South India.

There are certain “C” words that I love when in the kitchen. It is especially true when it comes to spices. My favourite and indispensable spices all being with C — Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Coriander seed, Cumin.

If you have these in your pantry, you have some of the Indian cooking Essentials. For example, Garam Masala uses them as a strong, warming basis.

But did you know that you can also make a very special infused tea from these same spices?

You might also like to try Phanta (Basil) Tea, Ayurvedic Teas, or Herbal Teas. Try Saffron Rice with Dates and Almonds also.

Or browse all of our Teas. Our Indian dishes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Spring Recipes.

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How to Make Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a wonderfully warm and versatile mix of spices used in a range of Indian dishes.

Make your own Garam Masala

If you are even the smallest bit familiar with Indian food, you will have heard of Garam Masala. It is a wonderfully warm and versatile mix of spices used in a range of Indian dishes. Not necessarily spicy hot, it consists of spices that warm and nourish the body, such as cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

Garam Masala is particularly loved in the North of India where the winters are cold. It is not a prescriptive mix – it is open to interpretation with each region of India creating distinct blends with flavours characteristic of the region. A teaspoon of Garam Masala gives a North Indian character to any dish – try it with Basmati rice, or sprinkle it over cooked dishes.

Occasionally Garam Masala spices are used whole. Try a rice dish in which you grind only the nutmeg and add the other spices into the rice water as it boils.

Are you looking for spice blends? Try Sundakkai Podi, Rasam Powder, Sambar Powder, Malaysian Curry Powder and Sri Lankan Thuna Paha.

Browse our other Spice Mix recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes. If you are looking for information on spices, our spice articles are here.

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