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.
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.
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!
Japanese Fried Tofu with Egg, Spring Onion & Bonito Flakes (serves 2)
- Coat the tofu cubes in cornflour, making sure they are well covered and set aside, separated from each other.
- 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.
- Add a good grind of black pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.