Bento filler: Green asparagus and scrambled tofu
When I woke up this morning, it was snowing heavily! By mid-afternoon the sun was shining brightly and the snow had completely melted. Such is early spring. And speaking of early spring, it's asparagus time! The ones we are getting in the markets here now are from Spain, which is not totally local, but at least they're coming to us from on same continent.
Asparagus goes very well with eggs and egg-based sauces like hollandaise and mayonnaise, and scrambled eggs and asparagus is a classic dish. This is a vegan version, using scrambled tofu. Don't scoff at it until you've tried it - there are some ingredients in there that make it taste creamy and just slightly tangy, a perfect foil to the asparagus.
For speed purposes, use just the tips and tender stalk parts of fairly skinny spears for this.
This is also great for breakfast, piping hot with toast.
Recipe: Asparagus with scrambled tofu
For two main-servings or four or so little side servings
- 1 300g / about 10.5 oz block firm tofu, well drained
- 1/2 small onion
- 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. white miso mixed with a couple of teaspoons of water to form a loose paste
- salt and pepper
- 10-12 green asparagus stalks
Bring a pot of water to the boil (to speed it up, boil the water in an electric kettle, one of the essential bento making supplies). Add some salt.
Wash and cut up the asparagus. Boil in the pot until just tender, about 2-3 minutes depending on how thick the stalks are. Drain and then dunk in cold water. Drain well.
Chop the onion very finely. Heat up a non-stick frying pan and sauté the onion in the olive oil until softened.
Add the tofu, crumbled, to the frying pan. Add the vinegar and turmeric and keep stirring. Your objective is to evaporate most of the moisture, to produce a crumbly texture like dry-ish scrambled eggs. Near the end of the cooking process, add the miso and stir through very well.
Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
If you're packing this for bento, let cool, then mix with the asparagus. Also great eaten hot.
The tofu scramble on its own is delicious with rice, on toast, and so on.
Sweet white miso (shiromiso 白みそ）is milder and sweeter than regular miso, but if you can't find it regular miso will do in this recipe. Even better is kyo-miso(京みそ), a mild and slightly sour miso from Kyoto.