16.Jan.2012 Waste not, want not with Japanese recipes
Using leftovers the Japanese way
When a New Year begins there’s a lot of talk of belt tightening after the inevitable blow out of festive spending. Post-Christmas leftovers are a delight not only because the food tastes great but also the stress of more grocery shopping excursions and bills is curbed while we munch our way through cold cuts, yesterday’s dressed vegies and other bits and bobs that have piled up in the fridge. Sometimes I think I enjoy the meals cobbled together with leftovers in the days following Christmas rather than the main event. Perhaps it appeals to my ‘waste not, want not’ mentality which is central to many Japanese recipes.
There are lots of examples of Japanese recipes that follow this way of thinking. For example, when making a dashi for a miso soup, you can keep the bonito flakes to use again and make a weaker version. Or, when cooking a dish using soba noodles, in Japan they keep the water the soba is simmered in and serve it as a kind of tea or broth because it is packed full of nutrients and has a lovely mild flavour. Many Japanese recipes such as chicken karaage, salmon teriyaki, grilled eggplant with miso and seaweed salad can be served cold in bento boxes the next day. Even most Japanese green tea can be brewed at least twice!
With this mind today’s post is a kind of Mexican meets Japanese recipe which is perfect if you have some avocado in the house – but not quite enough to make a guacamole and some leftover silken tofu. Combined they make a luscious mash which is great with fried or grilled chicken or seafood.
Contemporary Japanese recipe: Tofu and Avocado mash
- 1 ripe avocado
- Some silken tofu
- 2 tsp. mirin
- Fish sauce (optional)
- Mayonnaise (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Remove the skin and seed of the avocado and lightly mash in a bowl with a squeeze of lime. Drain the silken tofu and crumble into avocado. Mix through using a whisky. Add mirin, a drop or two of fish sauce if you feel like it, a tbsp. or two of mayonnaise if you have some at hand, salt, pepper and a little more lime juice to taste. It should be well combined without big lumps of tofu or avocado in it.