Tag Archives: tofu

Sesame-Crusted Tofu with Nuoc Cham

18 Jun

Negligence is becoming my middle name.

I am honestly starting to believe that my list of things to do would make anyone stop in their tracks and blink, dazedly. Even the person who is convinced they are the worst procrastinator in the world! I’m worse than that!!! I’m sure if I wrote it all out, it would cover miles of land… I’m picturing one of those enormous scrolls in cartoons that start out looking normal and average-sized, but with a shake of the wrist that unravels the lot… it is clearly formidable to the point of unrealistic goal-setting.

My excuses to avoid getting on with important things recently:

  • My birthday! ๐Ÿ˜€


  • The love’s birthday, and hisย mom’s


  • Dog-sitting


Me and this bundle of beautiful have totally bonded. I want one of her.


He, on the other hand, is like a little old man. Adorable though.


And hilarious.

  • The BBC Good Food Show/Gardener’s World!









(Haha :D)

  • Symphony Hall


  • Misc.

Especially the last one. Gosh how that takes up my time!

Included in the ‘misc’ category is Pinterest. Damn you Pinterest I never thought I’d get drawn in! I am weak when it comes to websites laden with beautiful images and ideas… Pinterest is where I found this incredible recipe ๐Ÿ™‚


Which is actually one of those things I would happily have gotten round to earlier, only I couldn’t find black sesame seeds in any of my local shops ๐Ÿ˜ฆ and they make the finished dish look so pretty! Don’t you think? Luckily The Good Food Show was just around the corner and of course it didn’t let me down ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks BBC Good Food! (Hire me!) ((Jokes, so not qualified)). You could of course buy some online.

Still, I made it a couple of days ago and I guess it taught me a lesson about striking while the iron is hot when another blogger I follow wrote about the same recipe this morning!!! Now that’s a bit frustrating when I had it all planned.

Oh, what’s that? Your now desperate to follow me on both Tumblr AND Pinterest!? Awesome! Don’t be shy, there’s links to both on the right hand side of my WordPress ๐Ÿ˜› just in case you can’t find them I’ve totally helped you out by adding the links above too ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyhow, here’s my version:

Serves 2.

  • 1 package of firm tofu
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs (panko would be best)
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • oil for frying

For the Nuoc Cham:

  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2-3 anchovies, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 fiery chillies (Thai if you can find them), de-seeded (if preferred) and thinly sliced

To Serve:

  • Chopped mixed vegetables (I used spring onions, carrot, sweet red pepper and mushrooms)
  • Noodles or rice
  1. First you need to drain your tofu in whichever way you like to do so. I place mine between 2 chopping boards in the sink and balance something heavy on the top. I would recommend you do this at least an hour before you plan to start cooking.
  2. At least half an hour before planning to eat, make the nuoc cham so the flavours have enough time to become well acquainted. Simply whisk all of the ingredients together and taste. It should be salty (but not too salty), full of interesting flavours, and with subtly ensuing heat from the chillies. The finer you chop the garlic and the chillies, the stronger tasting these aspects of the finished sauce will be.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 tsp water. In a larger bowl, mix the sesame seeds and bread crumbs with the salt.
  4. Slice the (now much firmer) tofu. I like mine to be in chunky cubes – you decide how you like yours and adjust cooking times accordingly. One at a time, dip each piece of tofu into the egg. Scrape off any excess, then roll it around in the bread crumb mixture. Put to one side while you finish the others.
  5. Heat some oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and fry the tofu pieces for about 2 minutes on each side (if following my lead with chunky cubes). Serve with the nuoc cham, veggies and carbs of your choosing ๐Ÿ™‚

The nuoc cham is, I think, meant to be used as a dipping sauce, but – tell me if it’s just me – I don’t have the patience for this at dinner time. At dinner time, I’m hungry and I want a bowl full of food. So I used it as a pouring sauce ๐Ÿ™‚ make sure you distribute it evenly though if you do it this way, to avoid pungency overload on top and blandness on the bottom.


Unless there is tofu on the bottom – this stuff is not bland in the slightest! I just mean bland in comparison to the mouth-puckeringness of the sauce ๐Ÿ™‚ The tofu is amazingly crisp, then meltingly moreish. It is perfect and I will make it again many, many times.

And I’m just realising that I should have put a disclaimer at the start of this post: Loads of pictures! Looooong post!

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ˜€



Now the frost is thawing.

28 Jan

To date, this is the longest I have neglected my blog for! I have really hated being absent for so long, but I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired.

It’s been a gloomy start to the year, and not just for me. A huge amount of people seem to have been down in the dumps lately, and that doesn’t help the mood of somebody who is very susceptible to other people’s dispositions. The snow! The ice! The rain! The floods! The assignments! The things that go on behind closed doors! All of these things and more have had an impact on my usually (these days) contented and comfortable self.





So as a sorry result of all this, I have been less ‘gung-ho!’ in the kitchen, opting for basic meals and not taking the time to experiment with extras. Actually, the main meals I’ve been banging out have been pretty damn good if I do say so! I’ve made turkey burgers, black bean chilli, cart driver’s spaghetti, stuffed giant pasta shells and chicken stroganoff… all delicious and I will post the recipes for them at some point, but that’s pretty much all I’ve posted for what seems like forever, and I’m boring myself let alone you guys! I really wanted my next post to be a glorious sweet, but as yet, sorry – let down! So instead I thought I’d offer a bit of explanation, and a few highlights from the last week or so.





Yes, there have been highlights (thank God), and they have been fantastic! Let’s start with my new e-mail friend (whose fun and creative blog can be found at:ย http://waitarethosecookies.wordpress.com/). This lovely lady has become many things, including my American food supplier! ๐Ÿ˜› The main reason I choose to mention her here is because she has brought a delicious recipe to my attention which is far too good not to share. It can be found here:ย Peanut Noodles with Veggies, and without being bossy, I want you all to try your version of it as soon as you can. I made mine with almond butter, ‘normal’ soy sauce, peppers, courgette, spring onions and loads of mushrooms. It takes about 2 seconds to whip up and is about as satisfying as it gets. Kudos to you Hayley (Y)! My picture below does not do the perfection justice.


And I am extremely happy to announce that I am feeling better now ๐Ÿ™‚ so I’m hoping that this will set the benchmark to my return to blogging (I know I’m making it sound like I’ve been away for months, haha). This is a big deal though – I feel so much better that I have taken a few massive steps forward! Wait for it… I have been clothes shopping :O and… *drum roll please* made arrangements with friends! Oh yeah, socialising AND making an effort with my appearance – two things that definitely aren’t run of the mill in my usual daily schedule! I’m so proud of my purchases that I’d like to share a few of my favourites with you ๐Ÿ™‚




The last thing I’d like to share is about Tamatanga, an Indian restaurant the love and I went to in Nottingham. It’s been quite a while since we did anything like this, and we’d actually planned to go to Carluccio’s. But like the wazzocks we are, we didn’t think to book a table in advance, and typically it was fully booked all night. Then came the nightmare of searching for a restaurant that had spare seats available! For such a huge city, I found it really strange how few restaurants there were! It’s no wonder they were all crammed. Anyway, it worked out nicely as we found this place (one table for 2 left!) and the food was delicious. Not only that, but I got to try 2 dishes that have been on my ‘to try’ list for a very long time – butter chicken and gulab jamun. The curry was nice, but the dessert was incredible ๐Ÿ™‚ The love had the same dessert but had Goan fish curry for his main – a favourite of mine! We also had a cocktail each, and they were perfect. Actually… we ordered two, but as the second lot came round with the desserts, our waitress decided to make some snide comment that put me off mine. I truly hate when people give their opinions in completely inappropriate circumstances. So the love drank 3 in the end… Shame, as like I said, they were perfect and it did put a slight downer on a fantastic day out. Oh! I haven’t yet mentioned the peshwari naans we had on the side. If heaven is a bread product… I could cry thinking about them :’) Great value and relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. I wouldย recommendย it for sure ๐Ÿ™‚ but maybe vet the waiting staff first? Just an idea…


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No picture of the gulab jamun or the cocktails I’m afraid – they were eaten/drunk excitably before the camera even had a chance ๐Ÿ˜ฆ and I know the mains look exactly the same, couldn’t even tell you which was which, haha. Ah well…

I hope that those of you reading have had a much brighter start to your year, and if you have, I’m catching up with you now! Woop ๐Ÿ˜›

The sun is out and they’re even selling daffodils in Asda…

Oh, Oh! I’m sorry Sam! I promised to tell you all about the lovely banana bread he made ๐Ÿ™‚ he used this recipe: healthy banana bread, and I have to say, I may even prefer it to the one I made (recipe is on here somewhere)… That’s not to say mine isn’t the bomb of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ but it is more of a treaty bread, whereas the love made this virtuous yet delectable loaf! Fantastic sliced and spread with butter. Mmm… He is also responsible for the gorgeous winteryย picturesย at the start of this post. I’ve had lots of compliments about them but I can’t take the credit! Clearly, he’s been on fire this month!


Watch this space!

Home-made Hoisin sauce and a Side of Stir-Fry

26 Nov

It has been a few days since I posted anything, but not for wont of trying!

Unfortunately, this week has been clutz week. Clutz week usually entails a lack of concentration, clumsiness, forgetfulness and impatience, so when it comes to cooking it doesn’t tend to turn out quite right.

I attempted crab cakes last Wednesday – one of my favourites, and they were delicious but I had to improvise with certain ingredients that I forgot to buy. Thursday I made my first risotto! Which, despite a few mistakes turned out how it was supposed to! But I didn’t think much of the flavours I used. Friday, cassoulet. I could eat cassoulet until it was coming out of my ears, but seriously just look on the BBC Good Food website. Sunday was my worst failure of them all. Please, don’t make me talk about it.

Anyway! As I was successful in the kitchen today, I am hoping that the coming week is set to wash out the clutz in me. For a while.

Making this sauce was amazing as all of the ingredients were already in my cupboards. If they’re also in your cupboards, you have no excuse not to make it in my opinion.

Serves 2.

For the Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar (I used spiced black rice vinegar. You should too.)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • a sprinkling of black pepper, to season

To Accompany:

  • 1 pack firm tofu, drained (if necessary) and cubed
  • 1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 handfuls beansprouts
  • straight-to-wok noodles
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  1. First, simply combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix until smooth.
  2. Marinate the tofu in the sauce for about 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a little oil in a wok over a high heat and add the tofu with a scant covering of the sauce. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes then set aside.
  4. Tip in the pepper. After a minute or so add the noodles. After another 2-3 minutes, add the beansprouts, tofu and remaining sauce. Mix everything together.
  5. Transfer to bowls and scatter over the spring onions.

I love tofu and like using different types. For this recipe I used silken tofu which broke up a lot during the cooking process. I loved the texture and would use it again, but if you prefer more bite, use regular tofu which will retain its shape much better.