Sunday, January 24, 2010

dinner party for 11, japanese-style

Andy, our dear Andy, returned to NYC yesterday from Pittsburgh, at least for the next few months. We decided to throw him a welcome-home dinner, cooked with guest Dan's veganism in mind. Andy, the poor boy, arrived a couple hours later than expected but that was okay, most of the guests arrived late too (and those who made the mistake of arriving on time were promptly put to work in the broiling kitchen).

Menu: Stir-fried bok choy, baked teriyaki tofu, braised squash, miso soup, sticky rice

Stir-Fried Bok Choy:
(as modified from Mark Bitman)
3 tablespoons oil (we used olive oil)
3 tablespoons miced garlic
3 tablespoons peeled & minced ginger
1 cup chopped scallions
4 pounds bok choy, cut into 1-inch sections
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth, white wine, or water)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt & pepper to taste
minced chives for garnish
toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat fro 3-4 minutes. Add the oil and, almost immediately, the garlic, ginger and scallions. Cook, stirring, for about a minute, then add the bok choy and turn heat up to high.

Cook, stirring almost constantly, for 3 minutes (this actually took closer to 5-10 minutes because we had so much bok choy), then add broth. Cook, stirring, until almost all broth evaporates and the bok choy is tender. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and turn off heat. Season with salt & pepper, garnish, and serve.

Teriyaki Baked Tofu:
(as modified from Delicious Living, thanks to Andrea!)
1 cup soy sauce
2 pounds extra-firm tofu
1 cup nutritional yeast

Teriyaki sauce:
4 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4-8 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover broiling rack or baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drain and blot dry tofu, then cut horizontally into 3rds, then lengthwise into 6ths, making 18 strips from each pound. Lay strips on aluminum foil, not touching each other, coat in soy sauce, sprinkle generously with nutritional yeast, and bake for about 45 minutes.

Mix teriyaki ingredients and spoon over cooked tofu strips. Broil strips for 5-10 minutes until well browned (check frequently). Serve warm.

Braised Squash:
3 lbs. pumpkin, butternut, kabocha, or other squash
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar, honey, maple syrup or other sweetener
2 tablespoons mirin, sake, or white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in large baking dish or casserole or dutch oven. Toss to coat, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, stir. If squash seems dry add more liquid, recover in foil, return to oven. If it seems watery, return to oven uncovered. Continue to bake until squash is tender, about 15-30 more minutes. Stir, serve warm.

Miso Soup:
2 4-6 inch strips dried dashi kombu seaweed
6 tablespoons miso paste
a couple scallions
1 package firm silken tofu
3 tablespoons dried wakame seaweed

Soak kombu in 2 liters water, room temperature, for 6-8 hours, then discard seaweed. (This broth is a form of dashi, and can be used for lots of different Japanese dishes.)

Dissolve 5 tablespoons miso paste in small amount of dashi, then add to soup pot. Heat over medium-low heat. Add chopped scallions (whites only), diced tofu, and dried wakame. Serve warm, garnished with chopped scallion greens.

Given Andy's late arrival, we ended up keeping everything but the soup warming in the oven until it was time to eat. Then served with sticky rice. I think everyone liked this meal, given that (to my dismay) we've got no leftovers.


Saxtor said...

Don't forget the Japanese braised squash!

*Pumpkin or other squash (appx 3 lbs), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
*1/4c water
*2tbs soy sauce
*2tbs brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or other sweetener
*2tbs sake, white wine, or mirin


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine all ingredients into 2-inch deep baking dish or casserole. Toss to mix, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and uncover. Stir pumpkin. If the mixture seems dry, add a little more liquid, re-cover and return to oven. If it seems watery, return uncovered to oven. Continue to bake until pumpkin is tender, another 15-30 minutes.

Emma said...

Have corrected this oversight!