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Cook the Book: Miso Tofu Nuggets with Edamame

[Photographs: Makiko Doi]

All of the recipes in Makiko Itoh's The Just Bento Cookbook are designed to be eaten straight out of the bento with no need to reheat. Finding recipes that taste just as good cool or at room temperature as they do warm sounds like a great challenge, but Itoh has created some ingenious, packable recipes that are filled with flavors big enough to shine through even at room temperature.

These Miso Tofu Nuggets with Edamame are perfect bento material—crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside croquettes of tofu mixed with big, umami flavors. The tofu is whipped together with ginger, miso, sesame oil, scallions, and edamame, forming a salty, custardy batter that's dipped in cornstarch then shallow-fried. Straight out of the oil these nuggets are nearly all liquid in the center but once they have a chance to cool, the tofu mixture becomes dense and creamy with big punches of soy and miso flavor. Just like cold fried chicken, there's something about these nuggets that gets even better when they've had a chance to cool.

Itoh recommends serving these Miso Tofu Nuggets in a bento along with steamed rice, yellow and red peppers dressed with chiles and soy and blanched mizuna greens.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Just Bento Cookbook to give away this week.

Adapted from The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh. Copyright © 2011. Published by Kondosha International. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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