Product Review: Kikkoman Kara-Age

This evening, after a long week of work,  I decided to be a little adventurous with dinner and try a new product.  As as a publisher for Foodbuzz's Tastemaker Program, I am your designated guinea pig.  I will be trying new products and reporting back to you all.  Tonight I tried a new product by Kikkoman,- the maker of everyone's favorite soy sauce.  

Yet, this product is a little different.  It is a powder that you shake onto chicken, fish, shrimp or, in my adventurousness...tofu!  Its ingredients are fairly simple, and very low in fat...potato starch, flour, ginger, dehydrated soy, spice, etc.  

  I bought a large block of Nasoya Extra Firm Tofu.  It smelled so fresh when I opened it, and poured the water out.  If your tofu ever smells like sour milk, throw it has expired!  I only know this because, yes, I have experienced it...not a good smell.  I then cut it into large cubes, although I usually cut it into small cubes (about 1/2 the size), and would do it again next time.  I find that it cooks more evenly when smaller, and the bite size pieces are easier to pop in your mouth.
    When I opened up the box and poured it into a large zip-lock, the strong smell of ginger greeted me.  I placed the tofu pieces gently into the mix and made sure to toss them around a bunch, so that all of the pieces were well coated.

I added some vegetable oil to the pan and seared the pieces over high heat, flipping them often with my tongs to get a nice brown.  
Kikkoman recommends that you fry, whatever you have coated in the mix, but I was again being a little difficult and stubborn and wanted to see how a healthier version would turn out.  Had I fried the tofu, it definitely would have been an easier and more even cook.  However, I was happy that the healthier pan sear, provided a nice brown without a lot of the added oil.

While the tofu was finishing up, I steamed some rice and sauteed some lima beans in an Asian sauce of soy sauce, mirin, a little lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  

To my surprise it all turned out very good, and it seems like there are lots of other options that this product can be used for.  While Kikkoman promotes using their product to make fried Asian chicken, I bet they don't even know that they have created a healthy and easy alternative.  If you are interested, there is a coupon on their website.   


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