Monday, November 14, 2011

Daring Cooks November Challenge: Cooking with Tea

I know I've been gone far too long and I know life can seem particularly challenging without exciting recipes and images of delicious foods to get you by, but I'm back and I have a whole slew of new posts lined up to get your little hearts racing! You didn't think I would forget to tell you (and more importantly, to *show* you) all the delicious culinary treats I encountered in Turkey, did you? Of course not, gentle reader. Of course not.

But before we can get to that, we have to take care of business. Daring Cooks business. I took a little hiatus from the group while I was in Chicago because life was simply too hectic to keep up with it. Things  have slowed down enough that I'm back at it now, so you can look forward to checking out all the exciting things the Daring Cooks are whipping up here each month.

Our November challenge was cooking with tea, and we had three possible recipes to choose from tofu noodle soup (made with green tea), beef braised in rooibos tea, or Chinese tea eggs. Since checking out Toki Underground, a delicious Ramen restaurant in DC, I have been really into light, broth-y soups. The tofu noodle soup, made with green tea, was right up my ally. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor that the Japanese sencha I used added to my soup. The flavor of the tea is really nicely balanced by the other fresh, bright flavors of the soup--ginger, miso, sesame, scallion. If you would like to try cooking with tea, this recipe is a great introduction. Be sure to check out the blog of the Daring Cooks' host this month, Sarah of Simply Cooked

Green Tea, Tofu, and Noodle Soup
from Simply Cooked
serves 4

4 green tea teabags, or 1½ tablespoons (22½ ml) (3 gm) green tea leaves
1¼ inches (3 cm) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
5 oz (140 gm) thick or thin egg noodles
10 oz (280 gm) firm tofu, drained and cubed
5 oz (140 gm) bok choy or spring greens, shredded
1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) light soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz) (30 gm) red or white miso paste
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) sesame oil
6 scallions (also called spring onion or green onion), trimmed and sliced
a handful of shiso (Japanese basil or perilla) or mustard cress, or other micro greens, to garnish

Place 6 cup (1½ litre) water in a pan with the green tea bags or leaves and the ginger slices. Heat until the water is just below boiling and bubbles start to form.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it steep for four minutes.
Remove the tea bags or strain the liquid to remove the tea leaves. Return the ginger slices to the liquid and reserve.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions in a separate pan.
Return the tea liquid to the heat and add the tofu, bok choy or greens, and the soy sauce. Heat gently for five minutes, until hot all through.
Scoop out some liquid to a small bowl and mix in the miso paste. Then return the liquid to the pan.
Add the sesame oil and scallions. Spoon into bowls and garnish with the shiso, cress, or greens.


Dora said...

Mmmm, brothy soups! Looks fresh!

Ruth Ellis said...

Looks like such a fresh, ziny and healthy soup - yum!

Heather Mulholland said...

I debated on going down this route but did something different. I think I now know what I'll be doing with that block of tofu I have in the fridge :D

Sarah said...

Wonderful - I'm glad you tried the green tea soup and happy you liked it. I think green tea goes really well with ginger. Thank you so much for taking part this month - it's great to see you back in the group!

smith said...

Nice noodle soups!Looks like fresh and healthy green Tea soup.

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