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2/18/13

Playing around

My mom bought a block of konnyaku a while ago and didn't know what to do with it. So I took the liberty to create a dish. What the heck is a konnyaku

"Konnyaku is about as close to a zero-calorie food as you can get. No wonder, since it's about 97% water. The remaining 3% is mostly fiber in the form of a viscous substance called glucomannan, plus some traces of protein, starch and minerals like calcium. It's the glucomannan that makes it so interesting as a weight loss food though. A big block of konnyaku has about 10 calories, but it's very filling." - from JustHungry

I've tasted something similar way back when I made cold tofu noodles. Konnyaku tastes just like unflavored jelly. So it's good to simmer it in sauces or make a dip for it. The JustHungry link has a recipe for stir-fry. Or you can slice them up and make a miso dip for it. Just don't forget to blanch it with boiling water to get rid of the weird smell. 

Being a japanese product, I simmered it in a base of soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar. In addition I added mushrooms, rice vermicelli, and slices of beef. Then left it to cook through and through until the konnyaku absorbed the flavors (More or less 20 minutes?) You can add a thickening agent after turning off the flame - equal parts of water and flour. I think it makes a great side dish with a bowl of rice. 
To keep up for my love of Japanese food, I made peanut miso dressing. It tastes like the side salads you get a Japanese restaurants. Making my own salad dressing is a much better alternative than buying them from supermarkets: 
1. I know exactly what's in it and can adjust the amount of oil. 
2. I never finish the bottles of dressing I buy and leave to expire.

Many recipes called for white miso but I only had red miso on hand, red is more pungent.
Equal parts of miso, water, and oil. (1/2 cup of each)
Peanut butter (optional, but makes it tastes so much better! 1tbsp)
Vinegar (1 tbsp)
Honey or Sugar (1tbsp)
1/4 of chopped onion
Blend everything and then pour on salad. Makes 1.5 cup

Next time I would subtract the onions, there's something with raw onions I just don't like. 


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