Posts Tagged ‘tofu’

* Seared Broccoli Stems with Smoked Tofu

Posted on November 18th, 2012 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Chinese, Cuisine, Sear, Sichuan Peppercorn, Sichuanese, Sides, tofu, Vegan, Vegetarian.

This has been my lucky week –  not only did I get to see my very awesome friend, Angie Koong, I was bestowed with some fresh smoked tofu from Chengdu and a sachet of green Sichuan peppercorns when she swung by San Francisco for two days.  Angie is my foodie friend from Hong Kong, and needless to say, we get along very well because we both so love to eat and cook all kinds of foods – from Malaysian to Sichuan to foie gras and the stinkiest of cheeses!  Here we are, last night at Prospect SF, between glasses of wine, lobster gnocchi, dungeness-stuffed calamari and more, taking a sniff at a little ziplock bag of the citrusy peppercorn and inhaling the hickory-like aroma of the smoked tofu. Angie had just had a foodie weekend at Chengdu a few days before where she scored these treats for me.  I, in turn, handed the ever-the-foodie some ice foam packs to keep her five balls of burrata cool for her flight back to Hong Kong!

Today, I created this dish using the smoked tofu where I paired it with the naturally sweet and crunchy broccoli stems (yes, they are edible!) and some of my Sichuan red oil.  And finished it with a sprinkling of crushed green Sichuan peppercorns.  As Angie warned me, the green ones are more potent in the numbing department, so it made a good finishing salt.

If you ever wanted to explore undiscovered China through “guided driving journeys into hidden China and beyond“, Angie’s husband, Peter Schindler, leads amazing, chance of a lifetime trips, through the land of Shangri-la.  One day, I will take time off and do this life-altering trip – food, culture, photography, and good friends.  It’s on my list of 10 things to do before I die.  If you ever need to be inspired by nature, go to On the Road in China.  Peter is also an inspirational speaker, and an entrepreneur and so maybe you might be able to get your company to pay for your trip!

Chef’s tip: Don’t throw out the broccoli stems!  It’s just as nutritious as the crowns, and is delicious….almost a different vegetable altogether.  Just use a peeler or a paring knife to remove the hard outer layer of the stem to expose the pale and crisp stem.  See my other post on Sichuan red oil for recipe.

6 broccoli stems, trimmed, yielding 2 cups baton
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons rice bran oil

2 pieces smoked tofu (do fu gan), cut into thin strips
1 leek, sliced at a diagonal thinly
1 Fresno chile, seeded, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon ginger juice
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 Tablespoons Sichuan red oil

1 teaspoon green Sichuan peppercorn
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1. Heat a cast iron skillet on high.  Ad a little oil.  When it starts to smoke, sear in small batches, the broccoli stem batons.  Remove when the stems are slightly wilted, and still crunchy.  Repeat for remaining batches.  Toss seared stems with salt.
2. Sear the smoked tofu.  Add to reserved broccoli stems.
3. Next sear, leeks and chile.   Add to broccoli-tofu mix.
4. Add ginger juice, vinegar, soy sauce, salt and Sichuan red oil.  Toss to mix.  Let sit for 20 minutes for flavors to come together.
5. Muddle green Sichuan peppercorn with salt.  Just before serving, sprinkle mix on.

Serves: 4

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* Uni on Nama Yuba

Posted on August 20th, 2012 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Californian, Cuisine, Japanese, tofu, Yuba.

Yuba is popping all over the place….and its rebirth is probably due to Hodo Soy making fresh yuba available, more easily relatively (they now ship nationwide), instead of those dried or frozen ones.  This recipe is really Minh’s recipe, a purist combination of sea urchin and nama yuba.  Sweetness of the name yuba balanced by the umami and sea-taste of the uni.  Recently, I have seen sea urchin on house-made tofu popping up in your favorite food magazines.  I am betting yuba will be on the 2013 top 10 must eat food.  I made a couple of changes – chiffonaded the shiso so its chewiness doesn’t compete with the uni, dusted it with meyer zest and finished the biteful with a chaser of soy vinaigrette.  Of course, you can also serve this on silken tofu, too.  I am going to experiment with other vinaigratte like a blood orange reduction, but the basic soy is always wonderful.

Nama yuba is the gold of tofu.  The younger, softer, yuba is harvested when the soy skin is barely formed during the yuba making process, or the yuba that is formed during the the last phase of yuba-making when the milk is weaker and doesn’t form thick sheets of yuba.  It is very tender but still chewy, and full of flavor.  It’s super laborious to make – I spent over an hour harvesting half a cup full from a 10 inch skillet.  It’s almost burrata panna like in texture.

Chef’s tip:  When I cook for others, i learn from them too.  I am sharing a uni eating tip from one of my diners.  He said never chew (same debate with oysters!) the uni.  Gently press it against the upper palate of your mouth and savor it.

 1 cup nama yuba
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 dozen fresh “uni”  sea urchin, shelled
6 shiso leaves, chiffonade thinly
1 Meyer lemon, zest

2 Tbs Usukuchi
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs water
1 tsp sugar

1.   Mix sauce ingredients together.
2.  Mix in salt to nama yuba.
3. Place half teaspoon of sauce on the bottom of a spoon.  Then a dollop of nama yuba.
4. Top with a piece of uni and a pinch of shiso.
4.  Zest on some lemon.

Makes 12 pieces

Making your own nama yuba:

Good quality soymilk

1.   In a wide stainless steel pan, heat about an inch of soymilk till 180F (or when it starts to form small wisp of steam).  Keep heat on simmer.
2.   Fan above the simmering milk till a skin forms.
3.   When desired thickness is formed, using a paring knife, slide knife against the edge of the pan to release the skin.
4.   Skim out the skin.
5.   Repeat.

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* Tofu Parsley Salad On Aromatic Forbidden Rice, With Orange-Marinated Lotus

Posted on July 18th, 2012 by Linda. Filed under Californian, Entree, Lotus Roots, Salads, tofu, vegan.

This was one of the first recipes I developed on my quest for contemporary tofu flavors at Hodo Soy.  Sweet, salty and tangy Hodo tofu, parsley and cilantro salad with Sichuan peppercorn and sesame overtones, and accentuated with golden Californian raisins and toasted pine nuts.  Served with nutty and aromatic Lotus Forbidden Rice and crunchy orange-ginger marinated lotus root disks.  So yummy, and beautiful, too.  We have even served it as an appetizer on a piece of Endive.

Chef’s tip: When slicing lotus roots, place cut pieces in acidic water (water with lemon juice or vinegar) to prevent it from oxidizing.


1 Tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
½ Tablespoon kosher salt
A pinch white pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 Tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn oil

1 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley, stems removed
½ bunch cilantro leaves
2 stalks green onions, green parts only

1 lb firm tofu, drained?, crumbled
½ cup golden or Hunza raisins
2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

1.     Whisk dressing ingredients together.  Set aside.
2.     Finely chop the herbs.  Use a food processor if desired.
3.     Crumble tofu –  place in a food processor and give it a couple of pulse, being careful not to turn tofu into a paste.
4. Chop raisins roughly.
5.     Toss tofu, raisins and herbs with dressing.  Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.  Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

2 cups rice
6 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 sachet aromatics

2 Tablespoons tamari
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

  1. Bring rice, water, sachet and salt to boil.
  2. Then cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk together sauce and add to rice after 30 minutes.  Make sure all liquid is absorbed, otherwise, continue to simmer on low until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Fluff and cool.


Aromatic sachet:
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 whole star anise
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
1 cinnamon stick
Cheese cloth with kitchen twine


1 6 inch segment lotus roots, about 3 lbs
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 Tablespoons grated ginger
1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar

  1. Slice lotus to 1/8 inch thick slices and submerge in acidic water.
  2. Let sit 5 minutes, then rinse several times.  Drain.
  3. Bring juices, ginger and salt and sugar to boil.
  4. Add lotus slices.  Bring back to boil and remove from heat.
  5. Let marinate at least 2 hours.

Serves: 6

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