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Category: Sides

Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage

Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage

A while back I posted my take on Okonomiyaki, Japan’s famous savory cabbage pancake. It’s filled to the brim with yummy delights like shrimp and bacon, and remains a family fave. But sometimes I’m craving this deconstructed version, where I cook just the cabbage, drizzled read more

Simmered Kabocha

Simmered Kabocha

If you love winter squashes but have never tried kabocha, you’re in a for a treat. Sometimes called Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha is sweeter than pumpkin and even than butternut squash. When gently simmered, it becomes incredibly tender and makes a perfect side for nearly any read more

Broccoli Tofu Patties

Broccoli Tofu Patties

Broccoli is polarizing. I know fully-fledged adults who will only touch it if it’s buried under a blanket of melted cheese, or raw and dunked in a vat of ranch dressing. And I get it. Broccoli is often overcooked, mushy, and bland. And a lot of people have textural issues with broccoli, finding the stalks to be almost inedibly tough. My Broccoli Tofu Patties are here to redeem broccoli’s reputation. These irresistible little patties are packed with protein, super fast to make, and are a perfect part of a Meatless Monday meal.

Tofu patties of all sorts are very popular in Japan. Whether mixed with protein, flavored with seasonings, or sandwiched between slices of vegetables, tofu patties show up in school lunches, bento boxes for office workers, or as part of a tasting on menus. Tofu gives moisture, springiness, and helps to bind the mixture. Plus it’s protein packed, low in calories, and economical. Billions of Asians love it…so let’s get you on board and started.

Broccoli Tofu Patties Prep

We’re making use of the whole broccoli in this recipe, florets and stalks. I always peel the toughest outer layer of the stalks. This keeps them from being tough and stringy.  If you’ve never peeled your broccoli stalks before, this will be a revelation! Some varieties peel right off using a small peeling knife. Others might require a little more work with a peeler. Either way, please do not throw the stalks away. You’re wasting free food.

Often, the complaint about vegan food is that it’s not flavorful and tastes bland, particularly if you’re not a veggie lover. But many people are not naturally veggie lovers. So the secret to incorporating more veggies into your diet regularly, is to have variety and robust flavor. Even changing the shape of vegetables into something unexpected can work too. I used this technique with my kids when they were little and my husband even now. The kids were easier to convince than my husband! When you serve veggies that have loads of flavor and look different, you will notice fewer complaints and more enthusiasm at the table.

For these patties, we pack in scallion, garlic, miso, sesame oil, and just enough salt. Seasoning is key to tasty veggies. Just a little salt can take a dish from bland to exceptional.

cut florets tofu patties

stalk broccoli tofu patties

pulse broccoli patties

Form the Broccoli Tofu Patties

Once the broccoli has been processed, I transfer it to a large mixing bowl. There I will add those powerful little flavor boosters, like miso and toasted sesame oil. I use medium firm tofu in these patties, they do a great job of give them structure while keeping them tender. I quickly squeeze out any excess water from the tofu before breaking it up into the bowl.

flour tofu patties

miso

portion mixture patties

I realize that 8 softball sized patties is a large serving, particularly since we are now empty nesters. But sometimes I feel like it’s easier to give you a recipe that uses ingredients out completely. Rather than a half tub of this or a quarter package of that, you have delicious and easy leftovers for another day. For me, those small amounts of ingredients too frequently get left in the fridge until they go bad. But if you are a more disciplined person or you’re only cooking for 1 or 2, feel free to make half the recipe.

Cook the Broccoli Tofu Patties

One of the best thing about these patties is how nicely they crisp up. That is achieved by getting your pan really hot first. You should hear the patties sizzle when placed in the pan.  Also they should be cooked in a large enough pan so the patties do not touch and are not overcrowded.

You can place the cooked patties in the oven at 250 degrees to keep warm while you cook the rest. These patties are highly seasoned and don’t require any sauce. But if you’re one of those who lives for condiments, feel free to breakout a couple to serve at the table.

Broccoli Tofu Patties can be the main event or served with a variety of other small dishes to make a plant based feast. Try them with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Stir Fried Mushrooms, and Mango Sago for a fun and flavorful meat free meal. You could even serve them as sliders!

feature patty

I hope you give these Broccoli Tofu Patties a try and convert all the broccoli haters (and tofu haters to boot) in your life. Let me know what you think and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen; we love hearing from you!

 

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recipe broccoli patty

Broccoli Tofu Patties

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: small plates, sides
  • Cuisine: pan-Asian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 bunch broccoli (the way it’s packed at the grocery with 2-3 heads in a bundle)
  • 1 block medium firm tofu (about 1416 ounces)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 5 stems) trimmed and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white miso
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams or ¾ cup) all purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons neutral oil

Instructions

  1. Cut the broccoli florets from the stalks. Using a knife or peeler, trim and peel the stalks. Roughly chop the broccoli so it can more easily fit the food processor bowl. Add the broccoli to the bowl of a food processor (do it in batches if needed) and pulse 8-10 times until the broccoli is chopped into small bits (like cauliflower rice).
  2. Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl. 
  3. Add the minced garlic, scallions, sesame oil, miso, salt, and all purpose flour to the bowl. 
  4. Using a clean kitchen towel or some paper towels, squeeze the tofu, eliminating as much liquid as possible. Place the tofu into the bowl.
  5. Use clean hands to mix the ingredients well, like you would meatloaf. Portion the mixture into 8 soft ball sized mounds.
  6. Heat a large 12” non-stick or well seasoned pan over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the oil and swirl the oil to coat the pan. 
  7. Place four of the broccoli portions onto the skillet (it should sizzle when it hits the pan) and lower heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes, using a spatula to shape the balls into patties.
  8. Gently flip over the patties and cook for 1 minute then cover with a lid and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Flip again and cook for an additional minute. Both sides should be nicely browned and crisp.
  9. Place the patties onto a plate and continue cooking the remaining patties. (You can place the first batch of patties into a 250 degree oven to keep warm while you cook the next batch).
  10. Transfer broccoli tofu patties onto a serving plate and serve immediately.

Notes

*This batch makes a hefty amount of patties. You can cut the quantity in half easily. You can also store any leftover patties in the fridge and reheat for a couple minutes on the stove over medium heat, microwave, or air fryer.

Keywords: tofu, vegan, broccoli, meatless monday, plant based

Korean Cucumber Salad

Korean Cucumber Salad

Late August and I’m still reaching for quick and easy, no cook dishes that don’t skimp on flavor. And this Korean Cucumber Salad, known as Oi Muchim, is a favorite. It’s cooling and crunchy, a little spicy, and it has an amazing umami packed dressing. You read more

Daigaku Imo

Daigaku Imo

Sometimes you just want something fried. And maybe a little sweet too while you’re at it. Enter Japanese candied potatoes, known as Daigaku Imo.  These are flash fried to crispy perfection, and glazed with a sweet and tangy sauce. Daigaku Imo translates to College Potatoes. read more

Yakimatsu

Yakimatsu

I just recently returned from a family trip to Hungary, where the food was heavy on rich meaty dishes, but light on veggies. I found myself craving one of my meatless meals where I make an array of plant based dishes so there’s a variety of textures, colors, and flavors to make dinner exciting.  Yakimatsu is a powerful player in my arsenal of quick veggie sides. It’s ready in minutes, it’s a perfect side for any protein, and it’s made with only a handful of pantry ingredients. This speedy stir fry is tangy from the ponzu sauce while toasted sesame oil lends nutty richness, and a sprinkling of scallions adds a fresh bite.

This dish, with just regular mushrooms, has been on our menu since 1979! I know crazy. But it’s a time tested recipe that has savory flavor, likable ingredients, and a taste that doesn’t get old. It’s delicious whether you keep it simple with basic mushrooms and bottled sauce or extra special with some fancy mushrooms and homemade ponzu.

ingredients for yakimatsu

Use a Variety of Mushrooms for Yakimatsu!

This dish is all about the mushrooms. I select a variety for both visual appeal and to provide lots of different textures and flavors. Shiitakes, oysters, cremini, enoki, baby bellas, beech…they’re all good. And even good old button mushrooms all have their own distinctly different look, flavor, and texture.

beech black bean tofu

Prep for Yakimatsu

Like all stir fries, prep is key for Yakimatsu. The actual cooking time is just about 5 minutes, so everything has to be prepped and within reach. Prep your veggies and have your ponzu sauce and sesame oil close. By the way, homemade ponzu sauce is so easy to make and is amazing here, but the bottled stuff will be great too.

slicing onion

Now it’s time to prep the mushrooms. I know the prevailing wisdom is to just gently brush dirt off mushrooms rather than wash them. That’s a no from me. I thoroughly wash mushrooms because that dirt can really cling to them and I feel that brushing them can actually rub the dirt in. So instead I wash them quickly under running water and dry them thoroughly. Then I use high enough heat that I don’t worry about the dreaded mushiness.

cutting mushrooms yakimatsu

enokis

Yakimatsu Stir Fry Time!

Usual rules of stir fries apply here:

  • Get your pan good and hot before adding the oil. This means heating it for several minutes.
  • Have all your ingredients prepped and ready.
  • Use high heat and keep everything moving in the pan.

And for good measure, I let the mushrooms sit undisturbed for 1 minute before stirring. I know this goes against the rule I just mentioned but mushrooms have a ton of water. And like other extra moist ingredients (such as ground meats) you need that heat plus lack of movement to get a good sear on your food.

stir frying yakimatsu

ponzu mushrooms

Stir in the toasted sesame oil:

sesame yakimatsu

Mince the scallions to top the yakimatsu.

I like to also sprinkle some Shichimi togarashi chile on top for a little tickle of heat.

Yakimatsu makes a wonderful side to any number of dishes, and it pairs exceptionally well with these Japanese style pickles. I also like to serve it with other veggie forward plates like my fave Spinach, Air Fryer Tofu, Braised Peppers, or this Eggplant Salad.  I hope you love this earthy and tangy mushroom stir fry as much as I do. Give it a try and let me know, we love hearing from you!

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recipe yakimatsu

Yakimatsu

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: side
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 ounces mushrooms: use a combination of button, cremini, shiitake, or oyster
  •  1 pack enoki mushrooms (about 5 ounces)
  • ½ large onion
  • ½ cup homemade or bottled ponzu sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil 
  • 1 Tablespoon minced scallion for garnish
  • Shichimi togarashi chile to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice the onion thin and set aside.
  2. Slice the mushrooms into approximately the same size and thickness. If the mushrooms are long or big, cut them in half before slicing. 
  3. Open the packet of enoki mushrooms and cut off the growing medium at the bottom.
  4. Separate the mushrooms into small clusters. Set aside.
  5. Heat a large pan over medium heat for several minutes.
  6. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan. 
  7. Add the mushrooms (except for the enoki) in an even layer over the pan and let them cook for 1 minute without touching them. They should brown around the edges. 
  8. Next raise the heat to high and add the onions.
  9. Stir-fry for 1 minute, moving the food in the pan constantly.
  10. Add the enoki mushrooms and ponzu sauce. Stir to combine and cook for an additional minute.
  11. Add the sesame oil and toss to combine.
  12. Serve yakimatsu immediately garnished with scallions and shichimi togarashi.

Keywords: stir fry, mushrooms, vegan, vegetarian, ponzu, enoki, side dish