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Saturday, September 22, 2007

cheaper than chopsticks

Eating cheaply doesn't have to equal to eating badly.

To eat beautifully on a budget, all it takes is a little creativity.

This week my focus has been affordable Asian food. Because, as much as I love going out for sushi, even the cheaper restaurants leave my wallet empty and my palate wanting more.

The following dishes were made in the comfort of my own kitchen. They were all packed with vitamins, and have kept me healthy while everyone around me seems to have a cold.

As well as being delicious and nutritious, they didn’t bust my budget (and as you know, I’m still on the job hunt).

miso tofu noodles with baby eggplant
Miso Eggplant Tofu Noodles:

One pack of tofu noodles* (2.99)
One tbsp of white miso paste (3.99 for tub of around 30 servings)
Baby eggplants (1.89 for a bundle)
One tbsp Chopped ginger
One green onion
Soya sauce
One tsp Rice vinegar

1. Drain noodles, then heat in a pot with fresh ginger, miso paste and rice vinegar
2. Steam chopped baby eggplants, saving two to cut into large halves
3. Take steamed large halves, drench in miso, then fry in a hot skillet with oil
4. Add eggplant to noodles, along with some chopped green onion, and enjoy!

spicy korean noodles
Spicy Korean Noodles with Tuna

(Extremely easy for tired, hungry student)

One pack of tofu noodles* (2.99)
Half a large tin of spicy chili tuna (two for 2.99)
Handful of chopped red pepper
Handful of chopped green onion
One tbsp Chopped ginger
Drizzle of hot chili paste
One tsp Rice vinegar
Dash of Worcester sauce

1. Drain noodles, throw in hot pot
2. Add spicy chili tuna (packed with great sauce)
3. Add in all other ingredients
4. Enjoy, and slurp up sauce

vegetarian sushi
Vegetarian Maki Sushi

Nori seaweed paper
Sushi rice
Two tbsp rice Vinegar
One tbsp sugar
Half a mango
Half a cucumber
Half a red, orange, and yellow pepper
Finely chopped ginger
Soya sauce
Pickled ginger

1. Strain sushi rice until clear
2. Cook rice as directed, adding rice vinegar and sugar afterwards in a separate bowl
3. Lay out seaweed paper on bamboo rolling mat (toast paper above hot element for extra taste)
4. Spread out rice on paper as flat as possible, leaving an inch of paper without rice (top of paper)
5. Align finely chopped ingredients an inch from bottom
6. Roll tightly
7. Wet knife before slicing separate sushi pieces
8. Enjoy with tons of wasabi, pickled ginger, soya sauce and a fresh green salad!

*Tofu noodles can be found in clear plastic pouches in the refrigerated section of Japanese and Korean grocery stores. Any type of noodle can be substituted for these dishes.


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