Tofu Chicken Burger

I am an avid meat lover.  I lived with a Vegan friend for a year and always admired her healthful and ethical eating choices.  However, being the carnivore I am, there were nights that I would make myself a full steak dinner and indulge in it all by my lonesome.

One of my favorite dishes growing up was hamburg steak (similar to salisbury steak), however, due to the high caloric value, we rarely ate it at home.   My mother would make this tofu chicken burger as a healthy alternative to hamburg steak.  A great way to decrease consumption of meat is to mix meat 50/50 with a vegetarian option such as tofu or some type of legume or vegetable.  By adding tofu to this chicken burger, it cuts down on the amount of meat and also results in a unique texture.   You can serve it with a side salad or steamed vegetables and some rice to make it a complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 600 g of lean ground chicken
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Large clove of garlic, grated
  • 1 Container of firm tofu
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for sauteeing

Instructions

1.  Put tofu on a cutting board, and sandwich with another board and put a heavy plate or book on top to squeeze the excess water from the tofu.  Leave for about 15-20 minutes.

2.  While draining the tofu, sautee half of the onion until translucent and slightly browned.  Once the browned onion has cooled, put it in a large mixing bowl with the raw diced onion.

3.  Crumble up the tofu and put it in the bowl with the onion.  Add the breadcrumb, egg, grated garlic, and raw ground chicken.  Mix well and form into patties.

4.  Add 2 Tblsp of oil to a heated non-stick frying pan.  Brown one side of the patties.  Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat to low to fully cook the patties.  Cook for about 2 minutes or until the patties are cooked through.

5.  Remove the lid and flip the burgers.  Let the other side of the tofu chicken burger brown and transfer the patties to a plate.

6.  You can serve the tofu chicken burgers with ponzu sauce, soy sauce, tonkatsu sauce or ketchup.  I prefer ponzu or tonkatsu sauce!

Enjoy!

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Japanese Sweet Potato Muffins

Most kids who grow up in the United States are probably familiar with the musical jingle that makes children go crazy…you know, the one that will motivate any kid to get off of their xbox or play station to go run outside…the ice cream man’s jingle!  You could hear him from a few blocks away and would chase him down to purchase your cold summer treat..mmm.  Growing up in Japan, instead of the ice-cream man we had the Ishi Yaki Imo Man!

For those unfamiliar with Ishi Yaki Imo, they are whole Japanese sweet potatoes that are roasted in stones (ishi = stone, yaki = roast, imo = potato).  The Ishi Yaki Imo Man would drive around in a truck filled with hot stones and roasting potatoes playing his music.  He serves these healthy delicious hot treats in sheets of old newspapers and they usually sell for about 500 yen a pop.

I knew that summer was over and we had officially entered fall when I would hear “Iiiiiiishiiii yaaaaaakiiiii imooooooooo” (here’s a clip I found on youtube).  I remember getting off of the late night school bus to hear the ishi yaki imo man and my mouth would just salivate over the thought of warm roasted Japanese sweet potatoes..yum!!

Recently, my uber talented friend Ashley posted a sweet potato muffin recipe on her blog.  Inspired, I decided to try making a Japanese sweet potato muffin, to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  I wanted to re-create the taste of the ishi yaki imo I had enjoyed growing up and I felt that by twerking a recipe I found online, I succeeded in creating a yummilicous ishi yaki imo type muffin!

(Recipe adapted from mamaloli.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Japanese Satsumaimo Sweet Potato (200g)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (113g)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (134g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon honey (plus some to drizzle on finished muffins)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups cake flour (250g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • cinnamon to sprinkle on top

Instructions

1.  Lightly grease 12 muffin cups (or you can use cupcake liners) and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  Meanwhile, peel and cut the Japanese sweet potato into small cubes.  Boil the potatoes for 5 minutes, drain the water, and set them aside.

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3.  Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Lighly beat 2 eggs in a small bowl and add 1/3 of the mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well then add another 1/3 of the egg mixture. Mix well again. Add the last 1/3 of the egg mixture and mix well once more. Stir in 2 teaspoon honey.

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4.  Mix the cake flour and baking powder, then add half the cake flour mixture and half of the milk to the large mixing bowl. Mix until all the ingredients comes together. Then add the remaining flour and milk and mix well once more.

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5.  Once the wet and dry ingredients are mixed, mix in half of the Japanese sweet potatoes.

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6.  After mixing in half the sweet potatoes, fill the liners or muffin tips about 2/3 of the way with the batter.  Add the remaining sweet potatoes to the tops of each muffin.  I had some batter left over so I added it to my mini donut pan as to not waste any of it :).

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7.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.  For the mini donut pan, I only baked them for about 12 minutes.  Set the muffins on a wire rack and let cool.  Once they are cool, you can place them in a container and drizzle them with some honey and cinnamon if you’d like a sweeter more dessert type muffin.  Enjoy!

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