Like most wannabe chefs, I'll tinker with any recipe I've read elsewhere in a vain attempt to claim the dish as my personal creation. Rarely is this necessary with Maki's offerings, which more often than not, turn out to be as delicious as the pictures appear. With No.9 though, I think I've discovered something special 「まっ、ちょっと大げさですけど。つまない。」
I'm an odd eater. A vegetarian six days out of the week, I'll eat meat only under duress – usually when my work canteen refuses to make any effort in preparing edible vegetarian dishes (anyone for a cucumber sub?). And yet I've never quite lost the pangs of desire when I come across the old favourites: BLTs, katsudon, yaki niku, real 1/4lb-ers. To get around this, I usually include whichever sauce I used with the meat dish in my vegetarian mock ups. If I'm preparing vegetable age-mono, I'll use tonkatsu sauce; with a tofu steak I'll have sesame sauce. It's certainly not a novel idea, I know, but it is the reason why I decided to use a yakitori sauce when preparing the fried tofu instead of shouyu. The sweetness of the sauce compliments the tofu well, and with a sprinkle of schimi spice on top it tastes great – because of the extremely short preparation time this has become one of my staple dishes.
REAL vegetarians beware, some brands of yakitori sauce contain meat stock so check the packaging before you buy – for the adventurous, why not try making it yourself? Soy sauce, honey and ginger if my memory serves me correctly – it doesn't keep for as long as the bottled sauce, but at lease you can be sure of what's in it.
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