tofu

Sushi Rice Bowl with Miso Glazed Vegetables

In the last decade, I’ve made sushi a few times, the bulk being predominantly in college (and once, not so long ago). One Saturday in my third year, the Japanese society was holding a sushi-making workshop in a heavily (food & safety) regulated part of campus, and the fact that there were no open flames (rice cooker for the rice was the shortcut), just knives and raw fish (and some vegetables for the likes of just me), seemed to pass their safety standards agreeably. The afternoon that ensued was great, learning the tricks that have been passed down from generation to generation, not the chef’s secrets, but honest home versions of a world-famous Japanese favourite. The most intriguing part for me was the precision and linear way in which each filling was cut and prepared. One of the most essential tips that have stayed with me till now (even though I didn’t take any pictures or notes there) is the specific urgency in which the rice vinegar is fanned while being added and mixed into the hot sushi rice – it’s what makes all the difference and successfully elevates the sushi rice.
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Hoisin Glazed Tofu in Miso Broth with Soba Noodles

Never underestimate the strength and benefits of local produce. Although I have in the not so distant past rambled on about the gorgeous ingredients I picked up at the vegetable market, I do not restrict this concept to fresh ingredients, but even to pantry staples. A lot of times, we tend to pick certain imported brands or products that we are familiar with, rather than its local counterpart or substitute, often because we focus on authenticity in flavour.

In the last few years, there has been an amazing growth of local brands selling stellar products not traditionally available here, ranging from perfectly portioned healthy snacks, freshly grated parmesan, fresh tofu, sparkling passionfruit juice, dried herbs and seasonings, freshly roasted coffee beans, you get the gist!

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