Simmered tofu with vegetables recipe
I make simmered tofu with vegetables when I want a quick fix to help me cut back on heavy foods. It’s light and nicely accentuates the milky and delicate texture of tofu, plus it does wonders to my waistline! Dieting can be a challenge if what you eat is repetitive, restrictive and bland, therefore finding recipes that are tasty and easy to execute is essential in keeping a healthy eating regimen.
What’s wonderful about Japanese food is how many dishes are naturally low in fat and calories. Blandness isn’t an issue either; flavor is at the core of Japanese cooking and close attention is paid to every single ingredient used in a dish. This quickly explains why Japanese cuisine is considered to be one of the best in the world.
I had to lose about 10 pounds when I began modeling, did I ever mention that? Yes, coming from Montreal where I worked at Burger King to pay for school didn’t steer me in the right ‘healthy and lean’ direction during my college years. Between burgers, poutines and instant ramen noodles, I played beer drinking games and had a serious addiction to cappuccinos with lots of sugar on top please.
So when I arrived in Tokyo with chubby cheeks and ‘healthy’ sized thighs, it didn’t take long for my agent to tell me I had to skip fast food, sugary drinks and late night binges. Without much knowledge about the nutritional content in food, I stuck to the basics and made dishes like simmered tofu and vegetables.
Fast forward almost 20 years later and I still love making this dish. It’s really hard to mess up because all you have to do is simmer the ingredients and enjoy the result. I call it a Japanese version of pot-au-feu. The flavors are also similar to chicken soup but with a little soy and nuttiness (from the sesame oil and seeds) added to it.
- 3 cups napa cabbage, shredded
- 2 small carrots, roughly chopped
- 4 scallions, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
- 12oz / 340g soft tofu
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ⅓ cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- - Put all the ingredients in a deep sautee pan, except for sesame oil and sesame seeds.
- - When the broth is slightly boiling, cover and lower heat to a simmer for 8 minutes.
- - Turn the heat hot, add sesame oil and sesame seeds, stir well.
- - Season with salt and pepper and garnish with a few cilantro leaves. Serve hot.