Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Odds and Ends Lunch

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I was clearing out my fridge yesterday and found that there were little bits and pieces of ingredients sitting around and taking up room. The problem was, there wasn’t enough of each to make a full on meal on its own. What better way to use up these odds and ends than throwing them together to create something new?

I came across a recipe for Tuna Tofu Miso Burgers at Just Bento, and it had me intrigued. I definitely had the basic ingredients, since there always seems to be tofu in the fridge, and cans of tuna sitting in my pantry. I made a few changes, like replacing the breadcrumbs with cracker crumbs, as I was far too lazy to make my own breadcrumbs. I also had a few shiitake mushrooms leftover, so I added those into the mix.

If you want a smoother texture to your patties, throw everything into a food processor and let that do its magic, although they turn out perfectly fine (and with a bit more texture) if you mix by hand. Plus it'll be one less thing to wash! These mini-burgers are super easy to make, freeze well, and are the perfect size to pack into your lunchbox, along with some fresh veggies and fruit.

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Tuna Tofu Miso Mini Burgers
Adapted from Just Bento
Makes about 8 to 10 mini burgers

½ block extra firm tofu (about 250 g)
One 200 g can tuna, oil- or water-packed
2 tbsp dry plain breadcrumbs or soda crackers, finely crushed
2 stalks green onion, finely chopped
Handful of fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped (about 6 to 8 small)
1 heaping tbsp white miso (add more according to your taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white

Drain the tuna and the tofu very well. To drain the tofu, wrap with paper towel and place the block on a flat surface (like a cutting board). Place another flat object on top of the tofu, and then place a heavy object (like a heavy pan) or a couple of cans on the flat surface. Let stand for 15 minutes to allow water to drain from the tofu block.

In a large Ziploc bag, place all the ingredients, mashing up the tofu with your hands and crumbling the tuna into finer flakes as you add them to the bag. Seal bag and mix well by squishing the ingredients around. Place in the refrigerator and let stand for at least an hour. (You can also do this in a food processor, which will also give you a finer texture.)

Heat a little oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the mixture and form into mini patties. Pan fry the patties on each side for a couple of minutes until golden brown.


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