Hello from Surrey, England where the Autumn colours are at their best and unusually it is both still quite warm and relatively sunny. Our house extension has been going slowly, but finally the builders are knocking the walls down this or next week. I fear if the outside air will start coming indoor freely soon and hope this mild weather will continue for a while…
Today I’ll show you a recipe of a much healthier and lighter meatloaf. I substitute half the quantity of the meat with tofu, which gives much lighter texture without losing the taste, and of course savoury Koji adds plenty umami on top of tenderising minced meat. Actually I feel marinating the minced meat is one of the best ways to feel the power of Koji, probably because the actual surface area of the minced meat is much bigger than a normal chunk of meat of the same weight and therefore the Koji works much faster. The one thing you should pay attention is the water content of the tofu. Depending on the brand you use, the water content is quite different, and it’s better to get rid of water as much as possible, otherwise the mix will be too soggy. (Having said that, when you bake it, most of the water in tofu will come out, and it then just takes a bit longer to turn it into a sauce:))
Meatloaf with tofu and savoury koji
Lovely and hearty meal which makes all the family warm on a cold day!
400 g minced beef
400g tofu (probably around 1 whole tofu)
1.5 large onions, minced finely
1 pack of mushroom (Shiitake mushroom is even better!), chopped finely
1 large red pepper, minced finely
2 cloves of garlic crashed
2 tbs parsley finely chopped
3 tbs Shio Koji
300 g of Pasata or a tin of chopped tomatoes
1.5 tbs Shio Koji
2 tsp soy sauce
(around lunch time) Mix 1.5 tbs of Shio Koji each with minced beef and tofu, and keep refrigerated for 5-6 hours.
1. Heat the oven to 200c.
2. Heat olive oil in a pan and fry onion and garlic for about 4 minutes till it gets soft . Leave it to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Throw away any liquid from tofu. Wrap it with two pieces of thick paper towel and microwave for two minutes. When it’s done, remove the tofu from paper towel and throw the water away.
4. Add minced beef, red pepper, mushroom, fried onion and tofu in a bowl. Add parsley and lots of black pepper. Knead very well till it gets gluey, and add the beaten egg and mix well again. (If you have a food processor, put all the ingredients and run it with a kneading blade till it becomes completely smooth and gooey.)
5. Put the mixture in a loaf tin tightly. Bake for 1 hour or till cooked through.
6. To make the sauce, add the juice from the loaf tin to a frying pan (you might have lots of juice if your tofu releases lots of water). Add tomatoes and soy sauce in the pan and cook till the sauce gets thicker. Taste and if it’s not salty enough, add some Savoury Koji according to your taste. Pour it on top of meat sauce and enjoy!