Main

Main

Marinated Tofu with Miso Jam and Edo Spice

Serves 2 as a main, 6 as a starter.

Tofu is one of Japan’s most iconic foods — you can’t go far without eating it (or some soy product). This tofu dish celebrates umami spices such as shiitake & seaweed from our

Edo Spice. Inspired by a recipe in Heidi Swason’s wonderful cookbook, Near & Far.

For the tofu & marinade:

12 ounce block extra-firm tofu
¼ cup + 1 teaspoon canola oil
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons shiitake powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Pinch of salt
1 batch miso jam (recipe follows)

For garnish:

2 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle, white & green parts
Edo Spice
Zesty micro greens, such as arugula or cress

Drain the tofu, then cut it like a loaf of bread into six, ¾-inch thick slabs. Arrange the tofu in a single layer on paper or cloth tea towels, lay more towels on top & weight with a cutting board. Let stand for about 20 minutes to drain.

Meantime, make the marinade by whisking ¼ cup of the oil with the mirin, shiitake powder, ginger & a pinch of salt. It will be very spreadable but thick.

Transfer the tofu slabs to a plate or tray, arrange them in a single layer. Brush the tops with the marinade, then flip the slabs and coat the other side. Let stand for 30 minutes (or up to overnight, covered).

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat & add the remaining teaspoon of oil. When the oil shimmers, add the tofu slabs to the pan in a single layer. (Don’t crowd the pan, work in batches if your skillet doesn’t accommodate all the slices graciously.) Cook without moving the tofu around until the underside is nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Flip the tofu slabs over & cook the other side until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a serving plate.

Spread a small dollop of the miso jam on the top of each slab. Liberally sprinkle Edo Spice over the slabs, then artfully arrange a few bits of scallion and greens on top of each. Serve while the tofu is warm or at room temperature.

Miso Jam

This “jam” is savory & sweet all at once. Work quickly when making the below recipe, so as not to overcook it. (Any leftovers can be used as a sandwich spread or in salad dressings.)

1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons sake
6 tablespoons sweet white miso
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a small sauce pan, whisk the ingredients together until smooth. Set the pan over medium-low heat & stir continually until the sauce thickens enough to hold a soft peak — it will be just thick enough to “sit” on the tofu. Immediately take the pan off the heat & scoop the jam into a bowl (so that it doesn’t continue to cook from the pan’s residual heat).

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Edo Spice takes its name from old Tokyo and is inspired by shichimi togarashi, the traditional Japanese “seven-spice.”

The blend combines high, bright notes of citrus and chili, with floral and nutty middle notes, and a warm, umami bass line — with the subtle, distinctive zing of sansho pepper as its finish.

Main

Vegetarian Chili with Smoky Pickled Onions

Serves 4 to 6.

2 cups diced onion
1/4 cup minced celery
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 15-ounce cans beans, drained (kidney, black, or pinto beans)
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice (fire-roasted is nice)
1/4 cup oil (avocado, grapeseed, or olive)
1 tablespoon Chili Today blend
1 bay leaf
1 cup cooked grain, such as farro, barley, brown rice, or bulgur (optional)
Fresh lemon or lime juice
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and continue to cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes, until the onions are golden. Add the garlic, peppers, and Chili Today — cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the bay leaf, beans, tomatoes plus half a can of water and black pepper to taste. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, adding the cooked grain (if using) at the 15 minute mark. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to balance the flavor. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot, topped with onion pickles and any other garnishes that you like.

Garnish suggestions:

Maras chile flakes
Greek yogurt
Chopped, fresh cilantro
Freshly grated cheese
Sliced scallions
Roasted squash cubes
Tortilla chips
Avocado chunks

Smoky Pickled Onions

Makes 1 cup.

1 cup very thinly sliced red onion (or shallot) half-rings
1–2 tablespoons minced, fresh jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons (organic cane) sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oil, such as avocado or grape seed
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, such as Champagne
Juice from ½ lime (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped, fresh cilantro
Pinch of pink peppercorns

Put the onions /shallots into a medium, non-reactive bowl. Add the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar and toss to coat the onion /shallots. Set aside for at least 15 minutes (up to an hour is OK).

Drain the onions /shallots in a strainer, then dump them back into the bowl, cover with cold water swishing them around for a few seconds before draining again. Repeat this “rinse” another time and after the onions /shallots have drained for a couple of minutes, pat them gently with a clean tea towel to remove excess water.

Wipe the bowl dry and return the onions /shallots to it. Add the remaining ingredients and mix them thoroughly. Let the pickles stand for another 10–15 minutes before serving (they’ll be ready to eat, but the flavors will blend if made and refrigerated a few hours ahead of serving).

These pickles will keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for a few days. Leftovers are good on sandwiches or added to potato salad or cole slaw.

Main

Thai Green Curry Paste

Homemade curry paste is a bit of work, but it will enhance your Thai dishes tremendously — it’s so much more flavorful and bright than curry paste from a jar. Curry paste freezes well in an airtight container.

1⁄2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
4 green chilies
3 shallots, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves
1 stalk lemongrass
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
4 Makrut lime leaves, fresh or dried
Thai basil leaves, handful

The convenient method for turning these ingredients into curry paste is to put them all into the bowl of a food processor (fitted with the knife blade), then pulse and process to a paste. You may need to stop and scrape the bowl with a spatula. The authentic way to make curry paste is in a mortar & pestle. It’s more work, but we’re fans, in part because we think more flavor is released and the finished texture is superior. Start by grinding the dry spices and salt in the mortar, then add the fresh ingredients a few at a time, pulverizing them well until you have a thick, chunky paste.

Makrut lime, also called kaffir lime, is a relative of the common lime but is known for its highly aromatic leaves instead of its fruit. Fresh leaves can be found at Asian markets (or you can grow your own!) but Curio offers top-quality dried leaves from California.

Main

Thai Green Curry with Chicken

Fragrant and soul-satisfying, this simple curry is best served with a mound of Jasmine rice. The dish balances salty, sweet, and spicy flavors beautifully.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons green curry paste, or more to taste
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut big bite-sized pieces
6 Thai eggplants* cut in quarters or
2 cups trimmed green beans cut in
2-inch pieces
4–5 Makrut lime leaves, fresh or dried
1 red Thai chili, sliced thinly
1 14-ounce can coconut cream
1⁄2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
Thai basil, handful leaves

Prep the lime leaves by tearing the leaf from the center stems, discard the stems.

Warm a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, swirling the pan so that the oil coats the bottom. Add the green curry paste, stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and stir fry until the chicken is about half-way cooked. Add 3⁄4 of the coconut cream (you can add more later, if needed), stir, let the sauce come to a boil, then add the chicken stock and stir in the fish sauce and palm sugar. Let the sauce come back to a boil, add the eggplant (or beans), and lime leaves. Simmer until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Tear the basil leaves and add them to the curry. Taste the sauce, adjust for sweet–salty balance.

*Thai eggplant are round, small, and mild. If you can’t find them, use any other variety of eggplant — about two cups of 1-inch chunks.