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Monday, June 24, 2024

Exploring the Vast Realm of Tofu

“These are good times for tofu lovers,” Andrea Nguyen writes in this week’s New York Times, introducing three types of tofu: basic, chewy, and deeply flavoured. According to her research, increasing interest in vegetarian and vegan diets has contributed to a near doubling in tofu consumption in the United States. This Chinese culinary mainstay has been around for over two millennia and has a wide variety of uses. It may be smoked, shredded, preserved, fried, or cut into slippery noodles.

To show the versatility of tofu, Andrea provides three delicious dishes. Happy news for those who like tofu! If you’re looking for a dip that pairs well with a wide variety of raw vegetables, try rau c s ng ch m chao, a fermented tofu spread flavoured with lemongrass and reminiscent of blue cheese. Shredded tofu salad called liángbàn gndufus (above), created with pressed tofu sheets, cucumber ribbons, scallions, and a tart sesame vinaigrette. And if you’re looking for something sweet, my personal favourite is duhu, which is custardy silken tofu drizzled with ginger syrup and can be found on many New York City dim sum tables.

Soy-glazed salmon hand rolls, a simple variation on a sushi bar classic often prepared with unagi (grilled eel) and a sublimely sweet sauce, are another one of Kay Chun’s recipes that I can’t wait to try at home. Better than takeaway and cheaper than a restaurant meal, especially when accompanied with a cup of handmade miso soup.

Was the weekend good to you? Is the Easter Bunny here? If you’ve cooked a ham and are wondering what to do with the leftovers, why not make some Miami-style ham croquetas? They’re deliciously chewy on the inside and crackling crispy on the exterior. These Cubano sandwiches, which take their inspiration from Miami as well, are loaded with ham, cheese, roast pig, and pickles before being pounded on a griddle to melt the cheese and crisp the bread.

Perhaps you have a surplus of matzo because you’re stocking up for Passover. Make matzo lasagna, which is similar to the traditional lasagna but uses matzo crackers instead of noodles. You might also make a sauté similar to matzo brei by mixing matzo, lox, eggs, and onions and frying the mixture. Fans of matzo, now is your moment!

Yossy Arefi’s whole-wheat chocolate chip loaf cake with a sugared, salted topping is what I’m most looking forward to for dessert. It’s simple enough for a weeknight, plus it’s a little healthier than the typical sweet.

The recipes are only available to subscribers. By becoming a subscriber, you’ll be able to help us continue adding to our collection of thousands of recipes with each new week’s installment. Fong On is a family-run tofu store in New York City; we have videos on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok showing how the tofu is created.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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