Two Worlds in One Plate - My Iranian Japanese Fusion Dinner

I was inspired to create this Iranian Herbs mixed Rice with Miso Glazed Tofu and Eggplant after watching a program on a culinary journey around Japan on SBS Food. Whilst I was already craving for my mum’s Sabzi-Polo (herbs mixed rice), I was drooling over everything they were cooking on TV.


This dish absolutely makes sense. These two cuisines have so much in common rooted in the similarities of Iranian and Japanese cultures around food.

The attention to detail and the human touch known as Wabi-Sabi in Japanese is fundamental in both cuisines. The balanced mild flavours, beautiful aromas, and freshness are the distinctive features of food from both Persian and Japanese cooking.

This recipe is a proof of how great these two flavour profile match and complement each other. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.

We literally licking our plates clean!



Serves 4

Perp time 10 Minutes

Cooking Time 20 Minutes


Ingredients

  • 1 jar Exotic Bazaar Herbs & Persian Lime Meal Base

  • 4 cups jasmine rice (you can also use long grain or basmati)

  • 300 grams firm tofu

  • 1 large eggplant

  • 2 tbsp miso paste

  • 2 tbsp mirin (mirin is a sweet cooking wine, you can use 1 tsp sugar instead)

  • 3 tbsp vinegar or verjuice

  • 1 tsp ground ginger or 1tbsp fresh ginger

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

Instructions

We start from Iran ...

1 – Cook the rice: Wash then cook the rice however you normally cook rice or follow my steps for a perfect Persian rice.

2 – Mix: Gently mix the cooked rice with the herbs and lime sauce.

3- Steam: Put 2 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp of water at the bottom of a non-stick pot. Put the rice and herb mixture into the pot, put the lid on and let the rice and sauce steam gently on medium heat whilst forming a beautiful crust aka famous Persian Tah-dig.


…Now we head to Japan!

4- Prepare the miso glaze: Mix miso, mirin, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and coconut sugar in a bowl and set aside.

5- Cut the tofu and eggplant into small cubes. Lightly fry on both sides.

6- Pour the miso glaze all over the tofu and eggplants with a cup of water. Put the lid on and let it all simmer for 10 minutes.

7- Serve* and enjoy


Notes:

*Serve the rice layer by layer and gently serves the bottom crust separately.

**I suggest you taste the glaze as you go, because depending on the type of Miso you use, the glaze’s flavour could be a bit salty, in that case increase the amount of the other ingredients little by little.

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