Okara is the soy bean residue from making tofu (bean cake). It is usually available at tofu shops. Okara itself is an excellent ingredient used as an extender for making meat loves or hamburger patties. Highly nutritious and uses what might ordinarily be wasted.
2 cups okara (soy bean residue) ⅓ cup boneless chicken meat, chopped 2 dried mushrooms (shiitake, stems removed, soaked in ½ cup warm water for 15 minutes, squeezed dry and chopped ¼ cup fresh string beans, diced 1 medium size carrot, cut short like matchsticks 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (Japanese shoyu) 2 Tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt dashes MSG (optional) 1 Tablespoon oil for frying 2 green onions, chopped
Save mushrooms soaking water and add it to saucepans along with ingredients. Cook over low heat for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally so contents will not scorch. Set aside. Heat a frying pan and add oil. Add okara. Stir so it will not burn. Add cooked mixture. Cook about 4 minutes more on low heat until well heated throughout. Stir constantly to prevent bringing. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired. Add chopped green onions just before removing from heat. Mix together.
This glistening “gelatin-type” dessert is light, tasty and a different approach from the usual Japanese sweets. It sets at room temperature and is entirely unusual in texture from Western style jelled desserts. There is an extra bonus in this creation. Agar agar is seaweed and tasteless by itself. Highly nutritious and has advantage of “holding up” even on a moderately warm day where regular gelatin would melt.
2 long sticks red agar agar (Japanese kanten) this amount equal to ½ ounce agar agar 3 cups water 1 ⅓ cups sugar dash salt 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 cup crushed canned pineapple packed in heavy sweet syrup or canned mandarin oranges, juice combined with fruit and measured together.
Wash and squeeze agar agar in a bowl with lots of cold water to remove any sediment. Rinse and remove all water by squeezing agar agar. Some red coloring will be lost in this rinsing process. Place agar agar in sauce pan. Add 3 cups water. Soak 30 minutes. Then cook over medium heat. Stir until agar agar is dissolved. Add sugar and salt. Stir again. Strain through a fine sieve into a 9 inch square pan. Add lemon juice. Stir again. After 15 minutes add fruit. When set, cut into desired shapes.