Monday, November 14, 2011

Sesame and Asparagus Tofu

Yesterday was a hot and sunny day in Wellington. We were invited over to our friends for lunch. They have a beautiful backyard and it was so nice to sit in the sun and eat and talk.

We went to the market in the morning and it was so exciting. As the season changes all the delicious spring fruit and veg are arriving. We bought large punnets of sweet, strawberries for $5 and huge bunches of asparagus. I love asparagus. I think it's because it's only out for such a short time. My ayurvedic practitioner suggests only eating what's in season and I find it a really nice way to eat - things are at their best but also, I find there is this off thing that my body seems to need what's in season at the time it's in season. Like how citrus fruit tends to come into season when there are a lot of colds and flus around. Also, apples seem to be at their best when I am at my sleepiest (the end of the year) - I find apples really wake me up if I am having a low energy afternoon.

Asparagus is a bit of a wonderfood I reckon. It's is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is rich in this compound. It's a good detoxifier, which I always need after those winter months of being inside in heated offices. It can reduce reduces pain and inflammation and I reckon it tastes really nice.

My friend Natasha mentioned to me last week that she has been stir frying asparagus in sesame oil and that got me thinking about how nice asparagus would be in a light Japanese-esque stir fry. So I gave it a go yesterday for our lunch out. I wanted to try and make something which would be okay cold because I knew we were eating outside. My test kitchen was our friends and Brent and the kids and they said it tasted nice, which hopefully they weren't lying about. Anyway, here's the recipe.


1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp olive oil
A sprinkle of Braggs
Three or four stalks of Spring onion
A bunch of asparagus, cut into bits an inch and a half long (I think it was about two cups worth of asparagus)
1 tsp miso paste
Optional: chili flakes (I reckon this recipe was hanging out for some heat, but I as I was making it for kids I didn't put any in - but oh, the red in with the green would have been awesome and a bit of a kick is always nice with tofu I reckon)
One block of firm tofu
2 tblsp sesame seeds (toasted)

In a frying pan or wok heat the oils and Braggs.
Add the spring onions and cook until shiny (don't cook them soft)
Add the asparagus and stir fry a wee bit (the key I reckon to this whole recipe is don't overcook the asparagus - I like it still crunchy)
Add the miso paste and 'dissolve' it - it will thicken everything a wee bit.
Add the tofu and really I just heated it through
Take it off the heat and sprinkle the sesame seeds over it.

A note about miso: I have a lot of trouble buying miso paste because I I'm allergic to alcohol and I don't eat fish. My miso shopping experience is usually a rollercoaster of products that don't have alcohol but do have fish and ones that don't have fish but do have alcohol. I've found a couple that work for me and I'll post those if anyone is interested. I actually found it easier to shop for miso at the organics/health food shop. I have been known to replace miso with Marmite (thanks again Sanitarium) - which is not exactly the same but sometimes does the trick, especially in pumpkin dishes.

1 comment :

  1. I love that you are keeping this blog going Pip :)