Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Natalie's Nori Tofu Packets

A number of years ago, my friend Natalie made these delicious Nori Tofu Packets when she was staying with me and I've thought about them ever since.I recently visited her in England and she asked me what I would like her to make and I immediately requested this dish. For me, it embodies the flavors of Japan, which was my childhood home.  And, it was just as good as I remembered!  I watched her make it carefully and came home and made it myself. The only thing I changed from her recipe is that I added some Tamari to the Tofu as I like the savor flavor it imparts and I added a drizzling sauce that incorporates some Chili Garlic Sauce to add some heat. This is a lovely dish for those of you who enjoy tofu!

Natalie’s Nori Tofu Packets

1 package Firm Tofu, drained and crumbled
1 Leek, root end trimmed, dark green part cut off, quartered and sliced thinly
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Tamari + more for serving
2 Tablespoons Umi Plum Vinegar + more for serving
Nori Seaweed Sheets – 8
Optional:  Chili Garlic Sauce

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add in the sliced Leek and Carrots pieces. Cook, stirring frequently, until the Leek and Carrot pieces soften. Add in the Tofu and cook for another 2 minutes.  Sprinkle the mixture with the Tamari and Vinegar.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Heat the water in a steamer  Lay one sheet of Nori on a small plate and spoon a heaping 1/4 cup of the Tofu mixture into the center.  Fold in the two sides and then the two ends, turning over so the seam side is down. Repeat until all the packets are made.  Steam on the plate or on a steamer tray covered with parchment, two at a time for 5 minutes each. Serve with additional 1 Tablespoon Tamari and 1 Tablespoon of Vinegar mixed together with 1 – 2 teaspoons of Chili Garlic Sauce to drizzle on top.   

Five Element Analysis

Tofu is a Metal Food and the Leeks add even more. The Carrots contribute the Earth Element and the Umi Plum Vinegar makes sure that the Wood Element is present. Tamari brings in the Water Element along with the Nori Seaweed. Only the Fire Element is missing form the main part of the dish so that’s why it is wise to serve these Nori Tofu Packets with a sauce made with Chili Garlic Sauce to create a balanced Five Element dish.

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