I picked up some "Pickled Eggplant ith Mustard Paste" in the prepared food section of my local Japanese market Nijya. Yeah, I know it's "with" but the packaging said "ith" and I think typos in food translations are funny. Not that I could begin to say this in Japanese...there's a ka ra shi in there but the rest of it, I have no idea. A quick google search tells me that karashi is the mustard and the dish is called karashinasu, but anyway, this pickled eggplant in mustard sauce is decidedly weird. However, weird didn't stop me from eating it. For some reason I was in the mood for mustard. There was plenty of sauce, so it gave that burning sinus sensation similar to a wasabi high. Although it looks like its probably meant to be one of those cold side dish items, I threw it on top of some sushi rice to cut the mustard. I'm also pressing some tofu in my new Tofu Xpress. This gadget is totally cool. It helps to have good tofu. This is the bridge tofu which I adore and is made in Connecticut.
The photo is right after I put the tofu in. It'll be about half the size in about an hour and more like a quarter the size if I leave it overnight. Then I just break it up and add it to a little peanut oil in a small cast iron skillet, add a dash or so of soy sauce, and some hot chili oil. Sometimes I add a little sake to the pan to deglaze if the little tofu bits starts to stick to the bottom. Serve over hot sushi rice.
The tofu express may seem like an indulgence when you can just pile stuff on top of tofu to squeeze out the water for free. But..if you've ever had a cast iron skillet come crashing down unexpectedly off your tower-of-heavy-objects-style free tofu press, you'll be glad all you have to do it turn the little knob on this little spring loaded gadget. It fits in the fridge easily so you can leave over night or all day to have pressed tofu ready when you want it.
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