Tag Archives: soy sauce

Asian tostada

Asian tostada

After having the idea of using hummus instead of refried beans to make a tostada, producing my Greek tostada, the floodgates opened as I then thought up all sorts of other tostada variants using every type of bean I could think of. This is my next creation, using edamame atop the tortillas. Naturally, this led me to develop an Asian-themed tostada.

When I first had the idea of using edamame, I wasn’t sure in what form I wanted to include it on the tostada. I considered leaving the beans whole or mashing them with a fork or potato masher. As I often do when I am looking for inspiration, I went online and started looking at recipes including edamame. I found a number of recipes for edamame dip. (Interestingly, they all want you to serve it with pita chips.) They all took pretty much the same approach, with variations on quantities and flavoring. But all involved processing the edamame in a food processor with olive oil and some type of citrus juice. So I went from there. Then there’s the questions of how thoroughly you want to process the edamame. I chose to do it enough so that all the beans were chopped up but leaving some texture to the resulting dip/spread. Obviously one can do more or less to taste.

I chose to do a soy-ginger vinaigrette, which I have made for the Asian salad, among others. When I made these and wanted fresh ginger for other recipes, I have used Gourmet Garden ginger paste that comes in a plastic tube, which I have found works well, is very convenient, and can keep in the refrigerator for a significant length of time. Sadly, my market no longer seems to carry the tubes of ginger, though they carry many other types. Then I noticed next to that a small container of lightly dried ginger from the same company. They claimed this would be refreshed in liquid. The ginger flavor it gave to the vinaigrette was fine, but I wasn’t especially impressed with the texture. I think the next time I need fresh ginger, if I can’t find the paste in a tube, I’ll have to get over my laziness, buy a piece of ginger, and grate it.

Asian tostada

1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
i small clove garlic, pressed
fresh ground pepper

1 piece of boneless chicken breast in small bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
vegetable oil

2 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

baby spinach, chopped
mushrooms
3–4 scallions, sliced, including lots of the green portions

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons ginger
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed (not all of a large clove)

Earlier in the day combine the edamame, olive oil, garlic, and about 1 tablespoon of the lime juice in a food processor and process until it gets to your desired texture, maybe 30 seconds. or so. Add more lime juice and process a bit more to get desired flavor and consistency. I made mine so it retained some texture and wasn’t completely smooth, but it’s your choice. Refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator a half hour to an hour before making the salad so it is not icy cold and is closer to room temperature.

Heat the oil and cook the chicken until nicely browned and cooked through. Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, corn starch, ginger, and pepper and add to the chicken. Cook several minutes until the sauce starts to bubble and turns dark and shiny.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, put in a tortilla, cook for about 30 seconds on each side until it starts to crisp up. You want it a little crispy but not as hard as a tortilla chip. Repeat with the second tortilla.

Put the tortillas side-by-side on a plate. Spread on a thin layer of the edamame mixture. Put the spinach, mushrooms, and scallions on the edamame, reserving much of the green parts of the scallions. Whisk or shake in a small jar the oil, vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad. Put the chicken pieces scattered on the salad and top with the remaining green parts of the scallions.

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Chicken adobo salad

Chicken adobo salad

Chicken adobo is often called the national dish of the Phillipines. The chicken is cooked with soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. I thought this would be good for a salad.

The first recipe I found when looking for ideas online said that a distinctive aspect of adobo chicken is that the chicken is cooked in the liquid first and then browned at the end. This is just the opposite of many dishes such as chicken fricasee and coq au vin where the chicken is browned first. But other recipes did have you browning the chicken first, and still others didn’t brown at all. I decided to cook in the liquid and then finish with a quick browning under the broiler.

Then came the the question of what to do with the rest of the salad. I know nothing about Filipino cuisine, so back to Google for ideas. I found recipes for just about any kind of salad, many using familiar ingredients. I saw several recipes that combined cucumbers and carrots, both in a straight cucumber salad (with red onions) and in a slaw, with cabbage. I thought these would go well.

Vinegar is a primary ingredient for the dressings for some cucumber salads, so having the cucumber with the adobo chicken with the vinegar was a good choice. To emphasize the vinegar on the salad, I altered the proportions for my dressing, using equal amounts of oil and the soy-vinegar mixture from the chicken.

Chicken adobo salad

2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
5–6 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
fresh ground pepper

spring mix lettuce and spinach
cucumber, sliced thin
carrots, sliced thin
red onion, sliced very thin

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Put the chicken thighs in a pan with the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and pepper. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, turning the chicken over once about half way through.

Remove the chicken thighs. Place them under the broiler for 2 or 3 minutes to brown. Then let them rest a few minutes before slicing.

Take 2 tablespoons of the soy-vinegar cooking liquid and combine with the oil for the dressing. Boil the remainder of the liquid down by at least half, until it starts to thicken, to concentrate the sauce for spooning over the chicken.

Arrange the cucumber, carrots, and onions on the lettuce and spinach. Whisk or shake in a small jar the oil and soy-vinegar mixture. Spoon the dressing over the salad.

Slice the chicken. Place in the middle of the salad. Spoon the reduced cooking liquid over the chicken.

Soy wasabi salmon salad

Soy wasabi salmon salad

I found the recipe for soy wasabi salmon a long time ago, and this has become a favorite which I have made many times as an entree. I thought it would be an interesting way to include salmon, hot, on a salad.

I am not sure why, but I have nearly always made quickly stir-fried carrots and broccoli as the vegetable with this salmon. So I thought, why not put the carrots and broccoli (now uncooked, of course) on the salad?

Finally, honey, soy sauce, and ginger in the vinaigrette complement the salmon. With the honey, it’s hard to get the ingredients for the dressing mixed with a whisk. In this case, putting everything in a small jar and shaking works better.

Soy wasabi salmon salad

salmon filet
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon wasabi powder

4 teaspoons (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce

baby spinach
carrots, thin slices
broccoli, small florets
scallions, sliced

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1–1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 small clove garlic, pressed

Marinate salmon in 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon wasabi for 1 to 2 hours. Place filet skin side down in oiled baking pan and brush on marinade. Bake in preheated of at 400 thickness until desired doneness. I’ll do about 12 minutes for a fairly thick filet.

Arrange the spinach, carrots, broccoli, and scallions on the plate. Whisk or shake in a jar the oil, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. With the honey, this is harder to mix, so shaking in a jar works best. Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad.

Take the salmon from the oven. Remove the skin. Heat the honey and soy sauce and brush on all sides of the salmon. Place the salmon on the salad and brush a little more on the top.

Asian frittata

Asian frittata

The crisp vegetables contrast nicely with the taste of soy sauce and ginger to make this a real change of pace.

For most of my recipes, I have come up with the basic idea on my own. I will then often look at recipes online to get ideas to refine my original concept. This one is not my own idea. I found the recipe online and just modified the quantities to make it work as a 3-egg frittata for one person.

As a (retired) academic, I am acutely sensitive to the importance of giving appropriate credit when using the ideas of others. But I found the recipe and first made this frittata long before I ever thought of doing this blog, so I had not recorded the source. I went online and did a Google search for “Asian frittata” and found pages and pages of Asian frittata recipes, some very similar to this one, some quite different. I could not identify the source from which had I adapted my recipe. And I would have had no way of knowing whether they had developed the recipe themselves or had taken in from one of the other Asian frittata recipes. I tried.

Asian frittata

1/2 cup snow peas trimmed and cut into thirds
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup bean sprouts (fresh, if possible)

3 eggs
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
oil

Cook snow peas in boiling water until barely tender, only about 30 seconds. Drain the water from the snow peas..

Heat oil in the pan and cook the garlic, scallions, and red pepper for about 3 minutes until they just are starting to get tender. Remove from pan.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl, add the soy sauce and ginger, and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit more oil to the pan if needed and let it get hot. Add a small amount of egg mixture to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the snow peas, bean sprouts, and red pepper and scallions into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.