Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Japanese Fried Tofu with Egg, Spring Onion and Bonito Flakes - gluten free


It has been more than 2 weeks since I last posted anything here. I am sorry! Life has been difficult and right now, my heart is not really in the blogging 'groove'. Sometimes, things happen in life with such unexpected gravity, that your whole world gets thrown off balance and you find yourself reevaluating everything....... What you do..... how you do it..... how much time you spend doing it..... what should you be doing instead..... whether it really matters and to whom......

You see.... Since I last posted, I lost my big brother. There was nothing wrong with him and he was at one of the happiest points he had ever been in his life. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, when the ground literally crumbled beneath his feet on a cliff edge and he fell to his death.

Suddenly, my own existence and how I live my life has been brought into sharp focus. Amidst the twisted pain that is grief, is the realisation that life is too short to hang around procrastinating and deferring hopes and dreams. Once I am 'through' this, I intend to spend more time with those that are important to me and to step up a gear and start living..... really living!

I may post sporadically for a while as things sink in. I will be away for a short time, travelling to the States (where he lived) in June to say goodbye and to feel a little closer while I am doing that. I have a few posts waiting in the wings, so as and when I get the energy, I will pop them on the blog......


When you experience loss and your eating dips, every meal becomes important, both for nutritional content and for keeping up routine. It is so important to make every calorie count. When I get stressed about normal day-to-day events, I tend to reach for the sweet stuff. At the moment, I seem to be craving nourishing, savoury, slightly salty dishes.

I love this bowl of protein-filled goodness. Unique in its oriental simplicity, I was first introduced to it many years ago when I went to visit a friend in Japan. I was taken to meet some of her good Japanese friends, who shared their hospitality with the same dish, but using an uncut block of tofu. It has remained with me as one of those memorable travel dishes, which has somehow become merged into my UK foodie repertoire.

The tofu gets coated in cornflour and then fried so that it forms a crisp coating around the soft white interior. I was so taken with the combination of textures, that when I re-made it here, the tofu got cut into cubes, so that I got more of the crispy magic.


The fusion of the tofu with egg, spring onion and soy sauce (make sure you use gluten free Shoyu if you need to) which is then broken up, leaves you with a sort of deconstructed Japanese omelette. It's amazing (even if I am not selling it very well)..... really!

And if you have never tried Bonito flakes, but you love the flavour of smoky fish, then I urge you to source some. Although they are not essential to the dish (if you are veggie, you will still enjoy the rest), they do add an extra, very Japanese dimension.

Bonito flakes are fine flakes of dried shaved tuna. They contribute a savoury, slightly fishy, smokiness which is pretty unique. When you sprinkle them on the hot, moist base, they seem to move and bend with the heat, a little like those bright orange fortune fish that came out of Christmas crackers when we were kids and curled with the warmth of your palms. Bewitching and delicious!

....... any perfect for when life is the pits!


I am sharing this Japanese favourite with the following linkies this month :


Alphabakes with The More Than Occasional Baker (and Caroline Makes) - May's letter is F. Slightly tenuous link I know.... but I am going for the Fish Flakes that are Bonito, as well as the fact that the tofu is Fried.







Cook Blog Share, this month with Hijacked by Twins.








Inheritance Recipes with Coffee & Vanilla (and Pebble Soup). This is one of my foodie travel memories that I so wish to pass on to Miss GF, who (phew!) really enjoyed the mingling of flavours in this dish.








Credit Crunch Munch, this month with Utterly Scrummy (& Fuss Free Flavours & Fab Food 4 All).



The Tea Time Treats linky, with Janie over at The Hedge Combers (and Lavender & Lovage), who are asking for colourful entries. I love the subtle colour contrasts of this dish.... they are so appealing!






Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.






Sunday Fitness & Food link up with Ilkas Blog (and Marathons & Motivation).









Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too.









Gluten Free Fridays with Vegetarian Mamma.


Japanese Fried Tofu with Egg, Spring Onion & Bonito Flakes (serves 2)

Ingredients 

approx 200g tofu - cut into cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons corn flour
oil for frying - vegetable, sunflower or corn
black pepper
2 large eggs - beaten
3 spring onions - trimmed and chopped into 1cm lengths (including green part)
Shoyu gluten free soy sauce
handful Bonito flakes (dried shaved tuna) - optional

Method

  1. Coat the tofu cubes in cornflour, making sure they are well covered and set aside, separated from each other.
  2. Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or frying pan until very hot and then add the coated tofu to the pan, frying and turning until the coating is crisp and golden on all sides.
  3. Add a good grind of black pepper.
  4. Add the beaten egg to the pan and allow to cook and firm up. As the egg solidifies, break it up a little with a spoon or spatula so that you have pieces of egg and tofu.
  5. Add half the onions and a good splash of GF soy sauce and mix through, allowing the onions to   soften slightly as they mix with the egg and tofu and the flavours mingle.
  6. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with a good handful of Bonito flakes (if using) and the rest of the spring onions and serve.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-16 unless otherwise indicated

26 comments:

  1. Kate- I am so very sorry to hear about your brother. I am really at a loss for words after reading about the tragedy. I am extending heartfelt condolences to you & your family. My thoughts are with you at this time.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your story & recipe as well... xo

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    1. Thank you Angela for your kind words. In a strange way, writing it down makes it feel more real in a very surreal situation x

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  2. I'm so very sorry to hear about the loss of your brother Kate, how very horrible for you and the rest of the family. I can quite see why the blog may not be at the top of the list of your priorities right now, but I'm glad to see you are eating good nutritious food. Take care and hope to hear from you anon.

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    1. Thank you Choclette. Some days I feel like writing a few words and other days, I just can't be bothered to even turn on the computer. But I am certainly trying to eat sensibly..... I even bought a Nutribullet!

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  3. So so sorry to hear about your brother. I really feel for you and quite understand how it's difficult to focus on blogging right now x

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  4. So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother Kate, sending love xx

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  5. Kate, speaking from personal experience with a very close shave with our son, we were told to eat highly flavoured savoury dishes, spiced if possible as such losses/close shaves really affect the taste buds. Thinking of you and yours at such a horrible thing to happen. Please take care and time and do your own thing. See you if and when. Xx

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    1. Thank you DC for your kind words and thoughts. It's amazing how many ways shock and grief can affect the body. I would never have thought that the taste buds would be in the list! But it makes sense with the overall experience of desensitisation!
      I have good and bad days at the moment and can flip from feeling positive to distressed in a matter of moments. I am trying to focus on good nutrition and plenty of rest alongside a healthy dose of distraction in amongst the tears!

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  6. So sorry to hear of the sudden death of your brother. I am pleased to hear you are able to travel to the US to where he lived as from our recent experience of traveling to Scotland after the death of my father in law, it really helps to go there when someone dies far from us as it is so easy to feel they are still there. I hope your travels bring you some comfort and closure. And I will look forward to when you post but I can understand it is not your priority right now. Take care and warm wishes to you and your family.

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    1. Thank you Johanna. It is a very disconnected experience right now, for sure. I think visiting his home and world will make a huge difference and will enable a better opportunity to understand what happened and to say goodbye. x

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  7. Oh, that sounds amazing... and so exotic. Thank you for sharing with Inheritance Reciepes link-up :)

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  8. We don't often get Japanese recipes in the #inheritancerecipes challenge, yours make an interesting change. thank you so much for following us

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    1. Thanks Solange. Sometimes a recipe just stays with you and you want to pass it on!

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  9. Oh my goodness, Kate. I am so sorry - what a terrible thing to happen! And what a shock for you all. No wonder your heart is not currently in the blogging groove... Absolutely love this recipe, though, and such beautiful photographs. Totally understandable that you won't be blogging much for a while - but we will miss you! Sending BIG HUGS Eb x

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    1. Thanks Eb. It is really difficult to make sense of it right now. Finding I am dipping in and out of the blog as and when I want a distraction, but it is very random! x

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  10. Oh Kate, I am so sorry for your loss. Words cannot express how sorry I am, it must have been such an awful shock for you all. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. This recipe looks and sounds delicious. It is only natural for your heart and mind to be elsewhere at the moment. You need time for you and time to heal. Sending lots of hugs and love xx

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    1. Thank you Kirsty for your kind thoughts and prayers. It's good to know that the blogging world is so supportive and I am touched by how amazing everyone is out there! x

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  11. Dear Kate I so much feel for you. I am really really sorry you have lost your brother in such a tragic way. Life can take us by surprise and we have to find a way to cope. You are right at taking time off to heal and in order to be able to come to terms with what happened.
    Sending you all my love and thoughts. xxx
    (and lovely recipe by the way!)

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    1. Thank you for you kind words Alida. Life presents challenges when we least expect them sometimes. But it is amazing how the body responds and resilience is a powerful tool in our armour. x

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  12. Kate, so sorry to hear about your sudden loss. It must be such a shock. I had a similar bereavement of a friend not a relative who also died very suddenly and unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I know what you mean about not being in the blogging groove. I'm pleased that you are eating well in this difficult time. I've just come back from Japan and this dish reminds me of Japan! The food there is incredible and I am bookmarking this to try for myself at home as I love Japanese tofu. Thanks for your continued support to AlphaBakes and for this fantastic final entry xxx

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    1. Thanks Ros. It has been a tough few weeks.
      The food in Japan is so different from anywhere else and always seems much 'fresher' in flavours. If you do try this dish, let me know how you find it.
      Sad to see AlphaBakes going, but I guess after twice round the alphabet, it's time for a break! x

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  13. I am so sorry to hear of your loss Kate, it is a cliche but time is a healer and you will be able to look back and enjoy memories without the over riding grief.

    Lovely dish here for Credit Crunch Munch - I love bonito flakes and the way they gently dance.

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    1. Thanks Helen for your kind words and thoughts. Bonito flakes are pretty unusual but very yummy! x

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