Simple Tofu Dish with Mori-Nu Silken Tofu

I was super excited when I first 'discovered' these Tetra Pac packaged Mori-Nu silken tofu. Masako got me these lovely tofu packets from Germany. I have not seen silken tofu in such packaging before i.e. in Tetra Pac form. The tofu which I normally purchase from the Asian grocers here are in plastic casing, with easy to tear off plastic seal.

I am curious about the tofu and did some online search. To my surprise, the manufacturer, Morinaga Nutritional Foods Inc. is actually an America based company who produced and distributed Mori-Nu tofu using the quality KAPI’s in-house developed soybeans. These packaged silken tofu was first introduced in USA in 1985 and later expanded to Europe in year 2003.

The selling point of the Mori-Nu silken tofu is its ingenious packaging.  The airtight and shelf-stable box allows the tofu to be stored longer without refrigeration. The freshness and texture of the tofu is well preserved, although no preservatives is added.

For these who are residing in EU, you may purchase the Mori-Nu silken tofu from Amazon.uk. Check out the link here

Morinaga Nutritional Foods Inc.
  
Mori-Nu Silken Tofu

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu
Check out the texture of the tofu out from the tetra-pac. It looks indifferent from the normal silky tofu. Taste wise, as good as the normal silky tofu. Love it.
 
Mori-Nu Silken Tofu

Sharing in the post is the simple recipe to make healthy tofu dish.


Ingredients
1 packet of Mori-Nu silken tofu
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
some chopped scallions
some fried onion


Directions
1. Steam the tofu in a steamer for 5-7 minutes.
2. Drain the liquid collected during the steaming process.
3. Pour in the sauce - oyster sauce, light soy sauce and sesame oil.
4. Garnish the tofu with chopped scallions and fried onion.

Broccoli Sesame Chicken



It was love at first sight when I first saw Ryen shared this dish in his vlog. Simple reason - these three are my favourite ingredients. As an amateur cook, Ryen recommended the viewers to check out the full recipe from Epicurious website http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/quick-sesame-chicken-with-broccoli

So I did and had attempted the dish as well. First bite, BOOM ... love at first sight turns to complete love. The sauce which is made of honey, soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha, garlic, ginger and sesame oil is the soul to this stir fry dish. The measurement stated in the recipe is for reference and of course you may feel free to adjust the taste according to your own preference.


I enjoy the dish very much and had made it many times with little twists. Every time it is getting better and better. Here are some cooking tips I would like to share:-

  • Be generous with sesame seeds as they adds the extra aroma and nutty flavor to the dish.
  • Never skip the step to boil or steam the broccoli before hand. There are 2 possibilities of adding uncooked broccoli to the pan together with the sauce and chicken - (a) broccoli may under cook or (b) chicken pieces will turn dry and hard due to over stir fry in the wok or pan
  • Instead of adding the minced garlic directly into the sauce, you can stir fry them with the cooked chicken pieces first. Once the garlic aroma is released, you can then pour in the sauce. This helps to create extra umami taste to the dish.
This quick and simple to make broccoli sesame chicken dish may beat the one served at your Chinese take-away joints. A well worth trying recipe!

Mentaiko Onigiri aka Flavored Rice Balls


Outdoor picnic has always been my favorite pastime in the summer. Sandwiches and cakes are some of the common snacks to be enjoyed during the picnics. Much inspired by the hanami  picnics in Japan, I made these mentaiko onigiri as my picnic snack.
(Hanami refers to sakura viewing, a traditional custom in Japan to enjoy the transient beauty of sakura)

These flavored rice balls are so simple to make. Basically you just need two main ingredients - cooked rice and kelp & mentaiko seasoning. No extra seasoning i.e. salt or soy sauce is required as the hydrated mentaiko (pollock roe) is salty in taste. You can adjust the saltiness of the rice balls according to your preference - more kelp & mentaiko seasoning for saltier version.

Wakame maze gohan Mentaiko konbu

Ingredients
A bowl of warm cooked rice
kelp & mentaiko seasoning (intake according to preference)
seaweed (optional)

Directions
1. Sprinkles kelp & mentaiko seasoning and seaweed on the warm rice. Mix well.
2. Wet your hands with some water. Scoop some rice onto your hand and shape the rice into ball shape or triangle shape.

I highly recommend the kelp & mentaiko seasoning by Hagoromo. The mentaiko are a bit spicy in taste, which added another layer of flavor to the plain rice. The seasoning can be purchased from Amazon. Just look for Wakame maze gohan Mentaiko konbu 30gx10.

Here is my little picnic's bento with onigiri, chicken nuggets and fried tempura shrimps. Let's picnic!

 Onigiri
 

Baked Chicken Balls


Even since the breaking news of horse meat meatball scandal 3 years ago, I stopped buying any forms of frozen meatballs. I reckon it is 'safer' and healthier to make my own meatballs at home. The ingredients for meatballs can be very basic: minced meat plus some basic seasonings. Nevertheless you can always 'add-on' and 'size-up' for the elaborate version by adding your favorite ingredients to the chicken paste.

I like greens, hence I added some finely chopped scallion, chili and diced carrot to the chicken paste. The greens have indeed added some extra crunch and natural sweetness to the meatballs. Not to mention, the colors are very appealing too. To hold the chicken paste better, it is always a good idea to add in an egg and some flour to the meat mixture. This will help to prevent the meatballs from falling apart in the cooking process. Also, the meatballs will be firmer in texture too.

I usually pan fried my meatballs, but for this time round, I attempted to bake them instead. They turned out perfectly and tasted as good as the fried version. I first fill the baking tray with a thin layer of cooking oil. This is follow by arranging the meatballs on the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes under 175c. Turn the meatballs and bake for another 5-8 minutes until the whole meatballs turn golden brown.

Ingredients
350g chicken mince (or minced pork)
1 stalk of scallion (finely chopped)
1 medium size carrot (diced)
1 chili (finely chopped)
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 egg
salt & pepper to taste
cooking oil

Directions
1. In a big mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together except for the all purpose flour.
2. Stir the mixture in clockwise direction (stir in one direction only) till it turned to paste form. You may stop the stir process once the meat paste turn slightly gluey.
3. Now, add in the all purpose flour and mix well.
4. Use both your palms to shape the meat paste into ball size.
5. Place the meatballs on the baking tray with a thin layer of cooking oil and bake for 15 minutes under 175c.
6. Turn the meatballs and bake for another 5-8 minutes until the whole meatballs turn golden brown.

You can enjoy the baked meatballs as it is or with some dipping sauce. I prefer to enjoy mine with the Thai sweet chili sauce. Usually I will make a few batches extra which I store in the freezer for later use. I use them for my favorite sweet-sour meatball dish. Check out the recipe Here.

Bakehouse Chicken & Bacon Pie

Bakehouse Chicken & Bacon Pie

I am totally aware that ready made food is packed with sodium and preservatives, and it is best to cut down the intake if possible. However, I can be easily tempted to secretly stock-up on a few packets in my freezer especially when there are new items on the shelve.

Ya, check out this Bakehouse Chicken & Bacon Pie from Green Isle. They look absolutely tempting from the packaging itself. In this post, let's review how the pies tasted. 

Green Isle

There are 2 pies in a box. The unbaked frozen pies are flat and pale in look. The pie rose and doubled the size after baking in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 175c.

Overall, the pies tasted pretty good especially the puff. I like the baked fluffy crust and not overly buttery in taste. The cream sauce chicken and bacon filling is slightly creamier than I expected but can be overcome with some chili sauce. Unlike what is shown on the packaging photo, the pie is packed with chunky chicken and bacon pieces. It is not the case in reality. 70% of the filling is cream sauce and chicken and bacon pieces just submerge underneath. To me, it is more like having chicken and bacon cream soup. So guys, images can be deceiving.

Chicken & Bacon Pie

A pie is not entirely filling, so I have other side dishes i.e. pan fried potatoes and sweet corn to pair with the dish.

Not a bad try and I do recommend it to those who love pies as the pastry puff scores.

Bakehouse Chicken & Bacon Pie

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