Monday, April 9, 2007

Tofu Poke

This is a very simple and delicious recipe.. In addition to these qualities, it is healthy (vegan), looks great and is affordable..

This is from Tasty and Meatless Recipes.


1 block tofu, firm
1 red onion, diced
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup ogo seaweed

Remove the tofu from its container and drain the water. Cut into bite sized cubes and place in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss lightly so as not to smash the tofu cubes. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour until all the flavors blend.

Serves 4

Note: I am not sure how this will turn out but I am going to try this to finish up the leftover tofu..

OK.. Here is my version..

Take one block (about a pound) of Extra Firm Tofu.. Remove all the water and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.... Keep the cubes in a medium (glass) bowl.. Now grate a med. size carrot, finely chop 1/8th of a small purple cabbage, 1 sprig of cilantro, 1 green onion, 1 small shallot, if desired 1/5th of a red/green bell pepper.... Toss all these ingredients on top of tofu cubes..
Prepare the dressing.. Mix ~3 teaspoons of sesame oil, ~1 teaspoon vinegar, ~2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, pinch of salt, 1 clove garlic (finely chopped).. Beat these ingredients with a fork to blend well... Taste the sauce and adjust it accordingly.... drizzle the sauce over the tofu/veggies mixture.. Then roast 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds and 3 dried red chillies on stove (without oil).. Crush the chillies.. Sprinkle these two ingredients on top of everything.. Now toss gently to mix every thing well... Add some (oven) roasted peanuts (slightly crushed) for extra crunchy flavor.

The combination of things should look pretty and tasty... If they don't use your judgement to add some more ingredients, to balance the taste/looks...

Thai Pan Fried Fish


200g/ 6 oz fish (ie Tilapia) per person (fillets or steaks)

juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp Thai fish sauce

1 tsp sugar or honey

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 small red chillies, seeded and chopped

1 stalk of lemon grass, shredded

3 lime leaves, shredded

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and shredded

2 tbsp groundnut oil

soy sauce

rice wine


Mix the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chopped chillies, lemon grass, lime leaves and ginger. Warm the oil in a shallow pan. When it sizzles add the spice mixture and the fish. Cook for 1 - 2 mins until the fish is golden then turn and cook on the other side. Remove the fish from the pan, Add three shakes of soy sauce and four shakes of rice wine. Bubble for a minute then pour over the fish. Serve hot with rice and greens.

Variations: Mix spice paste in a mortar or blender, spread it on the fish and grill. Or marinate fish in spice paste + soy for 5-10 minutes, then fry in 1-2 tbsp oil till golden. Cook the marinade separately in 1 tbsp oil, adding a handful of mushrooms. Pour over the fish and serve.

Note: Instead of frying I baked the fish with all the spices for half an hour (with foil).

Sunday, April 8, 2007


I tasted this dessert called tiramisu back in 2003, in Baltimore, prepared by a Johns Hopkins student. Since then I wanted to make this myself.. and yesterday, this dream came to fruition.... Though extremely delicious, but still the biggest problem with this dish is that it requires many uncommon ingredients, like mascarpone cheese and lady fingers etc., secondly it is expensive (and may cost the same as store bought one) and it takes long to prepare (if you follow all the instructions in the recipes!!).

It took me a while to collect all the ingredients, because I could not find everything in one place.. But nevertheless, after going through the whole process and reading at least 20-30 tiramisu recipes (out of hundreds), I realized that it is best to keep it simple and make it for a bunch of friends, because I am sure it usually turns out tasting good and secondly you don't feel bad spending all that money on these expensive ingredients...

Here is the recipe I used from the Food Network (with some modifications)

Chocolate Tiramisu

6 ounces container mascarpone cheese (I used 8 oz because that is the standard size)

2/3 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

Chocolate Zabaglione, recipe follows

2 1/2 cups espresso coffee, warmed (I used 1/2 cup and cold)

24 crisp ladyfinger cookies (recommended: Savoiardi) (I could not get crispy ones, so I decided to use the regular)

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for garnish (I did not use)

Dark chocolate shavings, for garnish (I did not use)


Place the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer (I don't have one, so I used a hand whisk), beat the cream and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Then fold in the chilled Chocolate Zabaglione. Cover and refrigerate (I did not refrigerate as I did not want to waste more time).


Whisk the warmed espresso and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in another medium bowl until blended. Line a 9 1/4 by 5 by 2 3/4-inch metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to extend over the sides. Working with 1 cookie at a time, dip 8 cookies into the espresso, and arrange in a single layer side by side over the bottom of the prepared pan.

Spoon 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies to cover. Repeat dipping 8 of the cookies in the espresso and layering the cookies and remaining mascarpone mixture 2 more times. Dip the remaining 8 cookies in the espresso and arrange side by side atop the tiramisu. Press lightly to compact slightly (the last layer will extend above the pan sides). Cover the tiramisu with plastic and refrigerate at least 6 hours.

Unwrap the plastic from atop the tiramisu. Invert the tiramisu onto a platter. Remove the plastic. Sift the cocoa over the tiramisu, and with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, make dark chocolate shavings and sprinkle over top.


(I ignored this part from ***. Instead, I lined a glass loaf pan (9.5" x 5 ") with 12 lady fingers and sprinked coffee and 2 caps of whiskey on top and spread half of the above cheese mixture and repeated the process once again).... Place the loaf pan in the fridge and chill at least 6 hours or overnight!!

Chocolate Zabaglione:

2 tablespoons whipping cream, or heavy cream

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

4 large egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup dry Marsala (I did not have marsala, so I used 1/4th cup milk)

Pinch salt (I did not used salt)


Add cream and chocolate to a heavy small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the chocolate chips are melted and smooth. Set aside and keep warm.

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, Marsala (milk), and salt in a large glass bowl until blended. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, but do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Whisk the egg mixture over the simmering water until it is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Using a large rubber spatula, fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate to chill completely (I did not chill and still it worked out well).

Few more lessons:

It is not necessary to use mascorpone cheese, instead you can use just cream cheese or a mixture of cream cheese and ricotta..

Secondly, most Tiramisu requires rum or Marsala... It is not necessary to have these alcohol as they do not do anything to the taste... So, instead you can use apple/grape juice.. I had whiskey, so I used it on top of the lady fingers rather than in the zaboglone..

Thirdly, I wasted a long time in finding the lady fingers.. Don't even try to make them (I don't think they are worth it, if you are short of time)!! If you want you can make a sponge cake instead and it can easily serve the same purpose!!

For a wealth of recipes and information on this dessert visit: