Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Yesterday, Kat at Our Adventures in Japan wrote about "Taiwan Mushi," a savory pork and tofu dish she ate growing up. My mouth watered and I immediately changed dinner plans.
I had most of the ingredients from my Japanese weekend last month. I've actually been wanting to make nikujaga again, but sweetie kept asking for it minus the potatoes (literally, "niku" [meat] without the "jaga" [potato]!) Well, this is as close as he's going to get.
I halved the recipe and altered a few things to suit my regionally stocked refrigerator:
-1/2 an onion, sliced
-1/2 pound ground beef
-handfuls of mushrooms (about 1/2 a cup, sliced)
-1 tablespoon mirin
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-1/2 a block firm tofu, cubed
-1 medium egg, beaten
First, I sautéed the onion until soft. I added the beef and stirred diligently until browned. I added the mushrooms to the skillet and doused everything with the mirin, soy sauce, and ginger, mixing vigorously to even the flavors. I wasn't intent on cooking the mushrooms through, because the mixture would go into the oven in a bit.
I lined a loaf pan with aluminum foil and sprayed Pam liberally. I lined the tofu more or less evenly in the pan (Kat's family uses an 8x8 square pan, but since this was halved I needed something much less aesthetic).
Then I poured in the beef and drizzled the beaten egg on top. After 15 minutes in a 350° oven, the top was browned and it looked, to my Sweetie's disappointment, like your typical casserole (but not to worry; it's gorgeous once you go bottoms up!)
I filled two bowls with servings of rice seasoned with rice vinegar and sesame oil (I didn't have to, but Sweetie hates his rice plain).
The original plan was to put the mushi in a separate bowl to eat communally, but that offended Sweetie's American germophobic sensibilities. So the bowls became Taiwan Mushi Donburi.
In the words of the charming Mieko, it's the "Japanese yum" (she meant "yam" at the time, but yum works here ;D). The beef was a little saltier than I anticipated, but extremely tasty. Sweetie devoured every bit of his, too, including the tofu! For the record, he despises tofu. He doesn't like things with wet, squishy textures (like tomatoes, boiled potatoes, oatmeal...) but he ate his bean curd doused in soy sauce and mirin. And rated the dish one notch below spaghetti, which is a big compliment in his books.
This dish is definitely going on The List of recipes I cycle through regularly.
Posted by Tamara Marnell at 1/05/2010