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More cooking - Mole sauce, chilli salt and pepper tofu, and lemongrass rice - Ed's journal
More cooking - Mole sauce, chilli salt and pepper tofu, and lemongrass rice
So, bit of recipe theorycrafting.
Current constraints for culinary creativity:
No Spinach
Minimizing Dairy and Wheat as much as possible.

So I'm thinking about a new idea. I tend to go for something in one or two parts, because then getting timings right is less of a problem.
I also tend to go for things that are continuously cooked - I'm not good on put something in the oven for an hour type dishes.

So I was thinking:
Mole sauce - mexican, chocolate and chilli based sauce, that's often used with chicken. Would probably work with tofu instead, on a bed of rice. (Suggestions also include enchiladas).

Chicken Mole
Tofu Mole

Anyway, ingredients list is quite long, but looking at it's mostly looking like vegetable broth, chocolate and chillis, along with a few onions and tomatos, and a bunch of spices.
Not sure how strong the need for a food processor is though, so it might bear a bit of experimentation. I'm not hugely a fan of liquidizing my food anyway.

As for the rice, I daresay just 'plain boiled' rice will work.
I'm getting there with fried rice - recent iterations have been quite promising - and did a test run with lemongrass rice.

Fried rice the trick seems to be:
Rinse the rice in a colander to get rid of any loose starch.
Cook the rice mostly first (cook to the undercooked side rather than overcooked), with a bit of oil in the pan - the oil will bind the starch, and stop the rice getting 'sticky'.
Then, when you're done, offload the rice into a colander, and rinse it again (yes, this does mean the rice goes cold).

The rest of the fried rice recipe can be found here.

Lemongrass/lemon rice is another one I tried.

Two sticks of lemongrass - one you cook in with the rice, one you chop finely, fry and stir into the rice.
First one you're looking to 'bruise' with e.g. a pestel and mortar, or crush it under a rolling pin. Do this thoroughly, but not to the point where it disintegrates (you will be fishing it out later :).
Put it in the boiling water with the rice as you're cooking it, and you'll get a delicate lemony flavour to it. Add oil to the rice or not as you see fit - it's a bit more sticky, but that's not always a bad thing. Anyway, I suspect that if you 'boil' the lemongrass for a bit before adding the rice, then you might end up with a better result.

Second stick you chop _finely_. (It's called lemongrass for a reason) - strip the outer layer of the lemongrass, and remove the lower bulb and outer layers (e.g. much like you would on an onion).
Chop it up, and bruise it (again, pestle and mortar, rolling pin, something to crushinate it).
I then fried it like an onion (e.g. until it softens) and stirred the 'slightly lemony' rice into the frying pan.
It's rather stringy and grasslike, so it does need to be quite well cooked and in small pieces, but you'll have some rice that has a really quite pleasant lemon aftertaste to it.

Chilli salt and pepper tofu.
At the local noodlebar, my favourite dish is 'chilli salt and pepper pork chop, on fried udon noodles'. So I thought I'd see how it was done.


Again, cooking with vegetarians in mind, but the carnivores can quite easily use something else instead - the cooking is much the same.

Chilli, Salt and Pepper Tofu

* 1 package of firm tofu
* 3-4 tbsp cornflour
* 1 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp pepper
* 1/2 tsp brown sugar
* 2 tbsp sesame oil
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 red chilli, sliced
* 1 pepper, sliced thinly
* 1 small bunch spring onions, sliced
* Soy sauce

1. Press the tofu by wrapping it in a towel and putting something heavy on it for about an hour.
2. Chop the tofu up into cubes. Add to a bowl of cornflour and toss until all the cubes are coated
3. Sprinkle the cubes with the salt, pepper and brown sugar
4. Heat the oil up in the pan and fry off the tofu until golden. After a few minutes add the chilli and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Tip into a bowl and put to one side.
5. Add a little more oil if you think you need it and fry up the pepper and spring onions. When soft add the tofu back in, splash with soy sauce and fry for a few more minutes before serving.

The suggestion on the site is to freeze and thaw the tofu before use, because that changes the texture. I may well try that, and see how it works.

Typically, served on noodles or rice. Or rice noodles, rather than wheat noodles.

I think there's room to add a few vegetable to this too - again, the favourite noodlebar serves with ... a few things, such as pak choi, depending on what's in season.


1 comment or Leave a comment
phlebas From: phlebas Date: February 1st, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's the chicken mole recipe I use - it's one of my favourite dishes. It can end up being pretty hot, but you get a wonderfully deep, rich flavour rather than just a kick in the mouth.
Chicken Mole
1 comment or Leave a comment