Happy New Year 2009!
I have long given up on writing New Year’s resolutions after I realize they were beginning to sound the same year after year. I do aspire to make changes in my life and I think of new things to add to my list all the time (why wait once a year?). One that I have been thinking about a lot and trying to be better about is staying in touch with friends. Having lived in many different places and now recently moved back to Southeast Asia, I have friends in many a time zones and far-flung locations. I am trying hard to be better about staying in touch. This blog was created as one way to do that too. Most of my friends know me as someone who likes to cook. What I really *love* to do, is cook for them. So, in lieu of being there with my friends and family and making them meals, I send them instead these recipes (with love!). But in addition to this project, I do want to be better and make sure I write to my pals or call them; at least once in a while (it is a little harder with the 14-16 hours time difference!). I do miss the good old letter writing days. When was the last time you wrote a letter, not an email, but a real pen and paper letter? That might too ambitious but I would like to be better about sending postcards to my buddies (something I enjoy doing especially when I am traveling). So I guess this is one of my on-going resolutions: stay better in touch with good friends.
A friend, L, asked that I send her simple recipes that she can try at home. Another friend, M, always laughs when I tell her a dish is really simple to make but then list the 20 “exotic” ingredients that go into it (I guess it is really simple to make *if* you have all the spices on hand and they are not so exotic to you:)). Here is a favorite recipe of mine (it is not Malaysian but a Japanese dish) that is super yummy, and fast to make, and (this one for M) uses only five simple ingredients. Here is my dish for this week: Agedashi Tofu.
1 block silk tofu
2-3 Tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch
1/4 cup tsuyu (from Japanese section at the grocery store, it looks like soy sauce)
2 Tbs green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp grated ginger
Drain tofu package and gently slide tofu onto several layers of paper towel (I usually place the paper towel on top of a clean kitchen towel). Place another layer of paper towel on top of tofu square. Now place a chopping board on top of the tofu parcel and something heavy on the chopping board (I usually put two cans of beans). Leave for 15-20 minutes. This is to press water out of the tofu.
Cut the tofu into eight pieces. Sprinkle half the flour into a shallow dish, gently place the tofu into the flour and sprinkle the other half of the flour on top of the tofu pieces. Dredge tofu in flour. Heat oil in a skillet (about half inch). When the oil is hot, put in the pieces of tofu and fry on all sides on medium heat, until just barely golden. Remove from the oil and put on a paper-towel-lined plate. Heat the tsuyu with the grated ginger (I usually just zap in microwave). Tranfer the tofu into a pretty bowl, top with tsuyu sauce and green onions. Done!