A Japanese feast in time for the Olympics

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By Linda Morel

I can’t wait for the Olympics. If your family is like mine, we are glued to the TV, watching each day’s events.


I often invite friends and serve food from the country hosting the Olympics. This time, Japanese food will be on the menu.

tofu
(NatashaBreen/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Silken tofu with ginger sauce

Serves 6

  • 1 (16-ounce) package silken tofu
  • 2½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1½ teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce

Pile up three paper towels on a plate. Remove the tofu from its package and place it on the paper towels. Let the tofu drain into the paper towels.

In a small pot, warm the sesame oil over a medium-low flame. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the honey and soy sauce and stir. Simmer for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Cut the tofu into 6 rectangles, equal in size. Move the tofu pieces to a serving dish with a deep rim. Slowly pour the ginger sauce over the tofu, letting most of the onion, garlic and ginger remain in the pot. Spoon them over the tofu.

Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Lime and soy-glazed tuna steaks

Serves 4

Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, about ¾ of a lime
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

In a small bowl, whisk the three ingredients together. Reserve.

Tuna steaks:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, about ¾ of a lime
  • 2 tablespoon sake or sauvignon blanc
  • 1 pound sushi-grade tuna, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil, or more, if needed

Select a glass or ceramic flat-bottom bowl just a little larger than the area the tuna steaks require. Do not use a metal bowl.

Pour the lime juice and sake or sauvignon blanc into the bowl and combine. Move the tuna into this marinade and turn on all sides. Keep at room temperature. Continue turning every couple of minutes for 5-10 minutes. The tuna may develop a white haze. Add the soy sauce and honey, coating the tuna. Continue marinating for 5 minutes.

Place the sesame oil in a nonstick skillet and warm it over a medium flame. Remove the tuna from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Carefully place the tuna into the skillet and sauté until seared. Turn over the fish and continue to sauté it on all sides.

Pour the glaze over the tuna. Let the tuna sizzle in the glaze, which will thicken. If the glaze is evaporating quickly, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to sauté until the tuna is seared on the outside but red to pink in the center. Or if you prefer, sauté until tuna is cooked through. Don’t overcook.

Move the tuna into a rimmed serving dish. Thicken the glaze a little more, if needed. It should not be watery. Pour the glaze over the top, and serve immediately.

Linda Morel is a food columnist for the Jewish Exponent, an affiliated publication of the Baltimore Jewish Times.

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