3 Simple Asian dishes

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Pressed and sautéed tofu drizzled with a sauce Pressed and sautéed tofu drizzled with a sauce made from fish sauce, soy sauce, scallions and sesame seeds. (Mar. 2012) Photo Credit: Marge Perry

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Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.

TIP Keep open bottles of sesame oil refrigerated to extend shelf life up to a year. Smell the oil: an "off" odor indicates the oil is rancid. 

 

KOREAN-STYLE TOFU

1 (16-ounce) block firm tofu

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

3 scallions, chopped (about 1/3 cup)

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided

1. Drain the tofu; top it with a plate and heavy can to press out liquid.

2. Place sesame seeds in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until seeds are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to plate.

3. Combine the honey, soy sauce and fish sauce in a bowl; add the sesame seeds, scallions and crushed red pepper.

4. Turn the tofu on its side and cut into 4 slices. Lay the slices back on top of each other and cut diagonally across in quarters to form 16 triangles.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium high. Add half tofu and cook 4 minutes on each side, until golden. Drape with foil to keep warm while you repeat with the remaining oil and tofu.

6. Spoon the sauce the over tofu. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 332 calories, 25 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 23 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 877 mg sodium 

 

PEANUT NOODLES WITH SHRIMP

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8 ounces mixed whole-grain spaghetti

1 cup julienne (matchstick) carrots

1 cup sugar snap peas

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-by-1/4-inch strips

1 pound peeled shrimp

1/4 teaspoon Asian chili paste

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons natural (no sugar added) peanut butter

2 scallions, chopped (about 1/4 cup)

1. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil; add spaghetti and cook according to package directions. In last minute of cooking, add carrots, sugar snaps and red pepper to pot; scoop out and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water; drain.

2. Toss shrimp with chili paste. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes on each side, or until no longer translucent in center. Remove from skillet and reduce heat to low.

3. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, 15 seconds; add vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter and reserved cooking liquid, and cook, stirring, until sauce is creamy. Toss with spaghetti, scallions, shrimp and vegetables and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 419 calories, 29g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 11 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1029 mg sodium 

 

PORK AND ASPARAGUS STIR-FRY

4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided

2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons honey

1 pound boneless, center-cut pork chops, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1. Dissolve 3 teaspoons of the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of the broth; stir in the remaining broth, soy sauce and honey and set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, toss the remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch with the pork, ginger and garlic.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the pork and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan.

4. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in skillet; add asparagus and red pepper and cook, stirring, until asparagus is bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in pork and reserved sauce mixture; cook, stirring, until sauce is thick and shiny, 1 to 2 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 263 calories, 25 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 350 mg sodium

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