Crusted tofu with wakame and lime
Skip the seaweed, if you prefer, and just fry up the tofu with the coriander crust. It makes a fantastic snack or even a pre-dinner canapé, serves drizzled with lime juice or the dressing below as a dipping sauce. Serves fourView Recipe
45g dried wakame seaweed
40g panko crumbs
Grated zest of 2 small limes
2½ tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tbsp black sesame seeds, or white if you can’t get them
15g coriander leaves
250g firm tofu, cut into 2cm chunks
35g plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
About 100ml sunflower oil, for frying
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha chilli sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp groundnut oil
Rinse the wakame well and place in a saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until aldente. Drain, pat dry and set aside.
Next make the dressing. Whisk together the lime juice, sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar and 1/8th teaspoon of salt. Continue to whisk as you slowly pour in the groundnut oil, until fully combined. Set aside.
Place the panko, lime zest, coriander seeds and sesame seeds in a bowl. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and mix well. Toss the tofu in the flour, followed by the egg and then finally toss it in the breadcrumb and mix until well coated.
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan placed on a medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add half the tofu pieces and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, turning so that all sides turn golden-brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the last of the tofu, adding a little more oil to the pan if necessary.
Cut the wakame into 2-3cm slices and place in a large bowl along with the coriander leaves. Pour over the dressing and stir well. Divide between the plates, top with the tofu and serve at once.
Pot barley, orange and sesame pudding
This is like rice pudding with texture, for those who don't mind using their teeth to eat pudding. It's also totally delicious. Serves two to four.View Recipe
½ tbsp each white and black sesame seeds, toasted (or use 1 tbsp white)
1½ tbsp dark muscovado sugar
125g pot barley, covered with cold water and soaked overnight
750ml whole milk
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped or ½ tsp vanilla paste
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon,
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
For the orange syrup:
1 medium orange
40g caster sugar
¼ tsp orange blossom water
Start with the orange syrup. Shave off a long strip of orange peel, avoiding the pith, and put in a small pan. Trim off top and bottom of the orange, then cut down its sides to remove all the skin and pith. Working over a small bowl to catch any juice, cut out the segments by slicing between the membranes. Add the segments to the bowl and set aside.
Add the caster sugar to the pan with the peel and add 75ml water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves – this should take less than a minute. Set aside to cool, then add the orange segments and juices, and the orange blossom water.
Roughly crush the sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar with a teaspoon of muscovado sugar, and set aside.
Drain and rinse the barley. Tip it into a medium saucepan with the remaining muscovado sugar, milk, vanilla pod and seeds, citrus zest and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally, until the barley is cooked but still has some bite: if it's becomes very thick, add a little milk towards the end. Leave to cool for five minutes, then remove the vanilla pod and divide between four bowls. Dribble a teaspoon of tahini over each portion, spoon over the orange segments and syrup, sprinkle with sesame and serve.
Soy grilled quail eggs with sesame salt
These were inspired by a Japanese yakitori restaurant we often go to. The marinating and grilling gives the eggs a sweet, smoky aroma, accentuated by the milder sesame flavour. Ideally, they should be somewhere between soft-boiled and hard-boiled when you serve them, but this is not always easy to achieve. They will be delicious nonetheless. Serve as a snack, and make more than you think you'll need - they're very good. Makes 24 canapés.View Recipe
Scatter the sesame seeds inside a nonstick pan and place it on medium heat. Jiggle them around for four minutes or so, until toasted evenly, then remove from the heat. Once cool, tip into a food processor, add the salt and blitz in a few pulses, to break up the seeds just a little.
Fill a medium pan with water and bring to a boil. Place the eggs inside and simmer for two minutes for soft-boiled (leave for another minute if you like them harder). Remove, refresh in cold water and peel. Mix the soy and oil in a bowl, add the eggs, coating them in the mixture, and marinade for 30 minutes.
Place a griddle pan on a medium to high flame and leave until hot. Lift the eggs out of their marinade and place on the griddle. After 20 seconds, turn them and leave for another 20 seconds, to get char marks on all sides. Remove, stick each egg on a wooden skewer and serve warm, or at room temperature, with the sesame salt alongside for dipping into.