Monday, January 11, 2010

Cooking Experiment #2-- For Liz :)

Ok: This post took a lot of work--so appreciate it :P

EXPERIMENT #2: Noodles Deluxe

Your ingredients:

Tofu, Bean Sprouts, Udon Noodles, and Leafy Greens :)

Eggs, Sauce (pick to suit your taste), and Oil

Step #1: Prepare your veggies

When I was a student in Taiwan, I had some cooking classes. Usually I was given menial work to do, as I could not yet speak Chinese. So I was always given the job pictured below: rip off the roots on the bean sprouts! I don't think you have to, but we always did, so I did too. Optional though.

Step #2: Prepare your Tofu

Some recipes will call for "harder" tofu. This means that you will need to reduce the water content of the tofu. You can do this in a variety of ways, but by pressing down on it, or leaving it squished under a cutting board with a pot on it seems to work just fine! They recommend you leave it sit like this for fifteen or so minutes. However, I didn't really care if my tofu was "hard" or "soft", so I gave it a brief squish, and then called it good.

After "draining" the tofu, slice the tofu into the size you want it. It cooks faster in smaller chunks, thus I cut mine small. Also, noticed I separated the tofu into two halves--this is because I only needed one half for this creation. Tofu is rich in protein and so you don't need a lot to get full fast! Also note, all of the cooking I've done thus far (yes, all two dishes) made enough for at least two meals. Maybe three if I stretch it out a bit.

Step #3: Cooking Tofu

Add as much oil as you feel necessary--remember, all that you put in will be eaten by you! So I only added enough to cover the bottom.

Heat the oil until when a droplet of water is added it fizzles. Next, add your tofu! It is somewhat important that the oil is warm enough, otherwise the tofu will absorb more of the oil, which said oil you will need when you add your noodles.

Stir the tofu occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. When it starts turning golden brown you are in business!

Step #4: Add Noodles, Eggs, Veggies, Etc.

Reduce the heat so that the stove is warm, but not hot. Add the noodles and make sure to stir them up so they are coated in the oil. This helps them cook good! After a like a minute or two, feel free to add a couple of eggs! I added them one at a time--to make sure the first was cooked all the way, but I'm sure you'd be fine putting them in at the same time. I also added a few dashes of salt while the eggs were cooking.

After the eggs look like they have a good head start, go ahead and add your veggies! Then either put the lid on for a few minutes, or just stir them around for a bit. You want to soften them a bit, but I kind of like the bean sprouts a little crunchy, so I added them in a few minutes after the leafy greens (which I have no idea what they actually are....perhaps leeks??).

Step #5: Add Sauce to Taste and ENJOY!!

When the veggies look good to you (five minutes tops), add some sauce! I used a bull dog sauce that is slightly sweet in flavor. I probably added about a teaspoon and a half of the bull dog sauce. Add according to taste! I also added in a little more salt...I like salt :).
The end product :

I think it tasted better than it looks! But I am proud of it non-the-less. Anyway, hope that was informative Liz :).

On a different note, today was awesome!!!! Liz and I had planned to meet up in Shibuya to go celebrate today's holiday: The Coming of Age Holiday. But after a bit of researching, we discovered it would be quite expensive for her to meet me there--like twenty bucks round trip, verses my like ten buck round trip fare. It is quite sad that we live soo far away from each other. But we figure there must be some reason God wants her that far away from me!!!! Lol, so while she was talking to her family on skype, I went out for a walk.

Actually, what started out as a two minute walk to the seven eleven to grab some new ingredients for lunch turned into an hour and a half walk/jog. I walked to like three different cities technically. I was kind of searching for a real grocery store....but I never found one! I did find out why there are sooo many flower shops by my house! The largest cemetery EVER is located like five minutes away from me. My whole walk was kind of centered around the cemetery so I wouldn't get myself lost. I saw two hearses. I forgot to bring my camera (as initially it was merely a trip to the convenience store....which said store is AMAZING!! Convenience stores are pretty much as good as a grocery store), which was very sad. I'll have to go back around there, cause I saw lots of interesting things.

On my walk I found a Denny's (which are surprisingly prevalent in Tokyo.....weird eh?) and lots of funny Engrish signs. Oh, and a driving school! And a park where the skaters apparently strut their stuff. They did have some cool moves. On the way back I did end up stopping at the 7-Eleven and found lots of awesome things for my apartment and fridge! And I only spent ten bucks, not bad eh? And I found cheap bananas!!! I haven't had fruit in sooo long, it was awesome! Still no meat but that is why I picked up some tofu.

Then when I got back (at this point Liz and I hadn't figured out how much the trip was going to cost yet) I went on skype to talk to Liz ( I love Skype, it is amazing!). We figured out how expensive it was going to be and thus didn't end up going. Instead we made plans to go to a free Sumo wrestling match on the 29th that happens to be in a more central location for the two of us! Live sumo, how cool is that?! And for FREE!!!! So that is our plan for our monthly get-together.

We kept talking and then Liz was a genius and discovered that skype has a hangman game you can play! And thus the legendary hangman game began! We played almost constantly for two!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It shouldn't have been that fun, but when you are playing a game with Liz, let me tell ya, its HILARIOUS and amazingly fun. We did other things online at the same time too--multitasking and spending quality time together, it was awesome!

I forgot to mention that I was able to skype my family quite a bit over the weekend. It was quite great. And I bet you all can guess what I did for dinner! Liz has mentioned that she'd like to learn more about cooking, so thus you have the cooking lesson above. The funny thing is I don't really know how to cook!!! But you learn by doing, and this worked out rather well. I ended up with plenty for tomorrow and am still super full from what I did have.
Well, this post is I shall call it a night and see you all later!


  1. You absolutely rock, Brooke. :) You're an inspiration to us all! ...Now off to fill my lunchbox with store-bought cookies.

  2. I can cook, but I can cook American things, or with things you find in America. I am figuring out cooking here, but it is a little difficult. Your cooking tip is really handy! Thanks!

    I totally want to go to a sumo match! Tell me all about it after you go!

    Go get some apples, they are in season right now, and really good!

  3. brooke.




    yes, you read that right.

    anyways, dude, you should have your own cooking show!!! you are totally legitimate!! you saying you can`t cook...pffft. you watch me "cook" for an afternoon and you`ll start feeling like the next alton brown. sewiously you guys.

    also, i just have to say...i must be really tired, because that part where you said you added the salt when the eggs were cooking? i thought you had written, "and then i added salt when the eggs weren`t looking" i was like, go brooke!! you trick them eggs!

    yes, it is only 6pm...
    and i am exhausted.

    thus concludes another day of nodding off in the teacher`s room.

    post script:
    i love you.