Braised Japanese Autumn Vegetables and Tofu
|Apple cider is a perfect substitute for the pear cider in our recipe and easier to locate. Whichever you use, just check to be sure no sugar has been added.|
|The stew darkens and gets delivered an "umami bomb" with the addition of tamari.|
|Our autumn stew plated with brown rice and homemade kimchi. Chives or scallions are the only garnish required although a condiment dish of hot mustard is a lovely addition.|
|Freezing and then thawing tofu prior to cooking transform the texture and allows the bean curd to soak up, to the fullest, the savory broth.|
|Leftover stew with rice, shiso leaves, roasted cauliflower and peppers and habanero hot sauce.|
Cut the tofu into triangles or squares,really, any shape or size you like. Set aside while you heat in a wide saucepan or deep skillet 3 cups vegetable broth, 1 cup pear or apple cider, 2-3 T. tamari or soy sauce, 1 T. mirin or a sweet sherry and 2 T. grated ginger. Allow the mixture to simmer gently while you prepare the vegetables.
Now add to the pan 2 large onions (peeled and quartered), 1 large sweet potato (peeled and sliced into rounds) and the tofu. Return to a simmer and cover the pan partially. Cook over a low heat until the sweet potatoes are very soft when pierced with a knife, generally, around 25 minutes.
Add to the pan 2 cups tatsoi or spinach leaves. Cook another couple of minutes or until the greens have wilted.
Serve the stew in wide, deep bowls with brown rice. You can plate the stew with the broth or arrange the cooked vegetables and tofu in a bowl or on a plate with the sweet, rich broth on the side or even as a separate soup course. Either way, garnish with snipped chives or slivered scallions.