Hearty Tofu Dish (Tofu An-kake)

Posted May 11th, 2010 in Ume's Interests No Comments »

Tofu has been one of my favorite food since I was little.  I remember my 10th birthday, my grandma was asking me

“ume, what do you want to eat today?”

then I answered “tofu miso soup!  I want to pour it over steamed rice!”

Everyone was shocked and laughed, as they were expecting to hear some food that kids normally like, such as sushi or ebi-fry (prawn katsu).

“Tofu miso soup is so easy and cheap to make.  Don’t you want something special today?” My mum said.  But the tofu miso soup was what I wanted to eat that day 😀

I make tofu dish quite often here in Perth too.  The simple one is miso soup.  It’s easy to make and very hearty.  In summer I make tofu salad and hiya-yakko (chilled silken tofu eaten with some condiments and soy sauce/ponzu sauce) very often.  Low in calories, high in protein, and it contains some nutritious stuff such as isoflavone : which can act as estrogens in the body and have protective functions.  Good for women!

Yesterday I had a craving for the warm tofu dish that I ate at a sushi bar back in Japan.  This sushi bar is owned by my friend’s mother, and she knows me very well since I was a baby 🙂  At the sushi bar, they have different menus everyday.  All the menus are decided depending on what items they got from the fish market on each morning.  Other than sushi, they also serve some izakaya type of menu.

She served me this warm hearty tofu dish with ginger-sauce.  I loved it!  The crunchy texture of diced carrots and broccoli matched with silky tofu.  I think some people wouldn’t like this as its taste is little bold, but I don’t mind eating this everyday.  A nice supper dish.

< recipe > serves 4

  • 600g silken tofu
  • 100g broccoli florets (about 6 pieces)
  • 1 carrot, small
  • 100g chicken mince
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs sake
  • 5 g ginger
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tsp corn flour + water
  1. Dice carrot into small pieces.  Chop ginger.  Cut broccoli florets into pieces.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat sesame oil and stir-fry chicken mince.  Add ginger, carrot and broccoli and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add water and sake, and bring to the gentle boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Season with salt (and 1 tsp of soy sauce if needed), and bring to the boil again.  Pour the corn flour + water mixture, stirring, and keep the gentle simmer until the soup thickens.

By the way, I read an article about tofu sold in Perth.  The person who wrote the article (Japanese) used to live in Perth with his wife, and the wife started to have a heavy allergy reaction each time she eats tofu here.  It never happened to her back in Japan, he wrote.  I don’t know what is the reason: maybe the tofu here is made in different way from what they do in Japan, or there is some additional ingredient in the tofu she ate…  but what they assumed is that there may be genetically modified soybeans used in the tofu.

Most of soybean products sold in Japan, including miso paste, abura-age, natto and soy milk, state “genetically modified soybeans are not used in this products” on their packages.  I’m not sure if it is all true (I hope so) as 85% of soybean products around the world seem to be actually using genetically modified soybeans.  Anyway, thinking that the tofu I eat here may contain genetically modified beans makes me feel not good, but I have no problem with the tofu in Perth so far and I will probably continue eating them as usual.

Leave a Comment