I like cooking with ginger, especially now that the weather is getting colder. Most of my Chinese style dishes are very simple, I usually make a tofu or a gluten (seitan) dish, and a side vegetable dish, to serve either with plain rice, or noodles.
Both these recipes have ginger (in summer I tend to use fresh coriander instead). To use fresh ginger I cut a piece from the root, peel it, and then grate it using the ginger grater that I got in Japan (Italian bloggers, you can use the apple grater designed to grate apples for baby food).
Ginger and Chili Tofu
Cut a piece of firm tofu into cubes, top with a chili, sliced, and some grated ginger. Add a couple of tbsp of soy sauce (I use Japanese soy sauce, I prefer it to other types) and let the tofu marinate for a few hours, stirring it from time to time so that it gets all coated with the sauce.
Drain the tofu but keep the sauce and all the chili pieces aside: they will be used later. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil (I use rice bran) and lightly fry the tofu on all sides. Lift the tofu from the pan and set aside. Add one tsp of cornflour to the marinade, and a couple of tbsp of water (if it looks too thick), mix well and then put into the same frying pan (or wok) where you fried the tofu. Do not rinse the pan, usually some pieces of tofu get stuck there (they are the best!), but scrape them all up while stirring the sauce. The sauce will thicken immediately, add 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup, and then the tofu. Stir and serve immediately.
Ginger Bok Choy
The bok choy comes from my garden, is growing well now, one of the easiest brassica to grow, in my opinion. It looks great if you cook it whole, but for a family meal it is easier to cut it into pieces first. Wash well and cut into big chunks. In the meantime in a bowl mix 1 tsp of cornflour with 50 ml of water, 2 tbsp of soy sauce (as always, I use Japanese soy sauce), and half a tsp of grated ginger. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil) in the pan and add the white stalks of the bok choy first. Sizzle for a couple of minutes, then add the green leaves. Cover for a couple of minutes and let the greens wilt in their own steam. Add the sauce and mix until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately.
Ginger, Carrot and Pear Juice
Finally, this is not exactly a recipe, but if you like juices you may also like this combo: carrot, pear and a piece of ginger root. Super healthy!
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©