I don't know why I'm so crazy about seaweed, but that actually is the case. And I also don't know where it has been all my life?? Finally now seaweed will feature in this blog in today's dish.
This recipe is once again one that a friend of mine taught me, and I absolutely adore it. As you will notice, the seasoning is slightly different than in most of my dishes. So this Japanese style stew is a nice change to my normal recipes and makes such a warming winter impact.
200 g smoked tofu (you can substitute with normal tofu)
1 tbsp groundnut oil (for tofu roasting)
2 garlic cloves
250 g green beans
500 g baby new potatoes
2-3 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp mirin rice wine
3 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp miso
1-2 g toasted fine cut nori (dried sea vegetable)
green nori sprinkle (sea vegetable condiment) for decoration
Dice the tofu (into about 1cm x 1cm sized dices). Place the dices in an oven dish and brush them with the groundnut oil (or any other heat resistant oil, such as vegetable oil). Roast them at 180C for about 40 minutes until they are slightly crispy yet still bouncy. Turn them a couple of times during the roasting.
Chop the shallots into generous rings and sweat them at low heat in one tablespoon toasted sesame oil for about 20 minutes. This is a dish where you really want to bring out the richness and the sweetness of the shallots.
After this time add the chopped garlic, potatoes and carrots. Also make a soy sauce addition of about two tablespoons and then add about four deciliters of water to just cover up the potatoes and carrots. Cook the ingredients under the lid while boiling slowly.
In the meanwhile chop the green beans into about 2 cm long pieces. When the potatoes are almost cooked, add the beans into the pan. Then cook the stew at least for further 10 minutes and add the tofu in as well.
Season the stew with the maple syrup, mirin rice wine and an extra tablespoon or two of sesame oil (keep tasting the stew during the seasoning). Also add a heaped tablespoon of miso, another tablespoon of soy sauce, if preferred, and the toasted nori. Add the nori to taste. I had a 10 g packet, which sounds like a tiny amount, but not a huge amount of this is needed.
When you are happy with the seasoning, place the stew into a bowl and sprinkle the green nori sprinkle on the top as decoration.