From sleek, silken tofu with delicate toppings to piping-hot fried satchels in a robust sauce, tofu provides a versatile canvas for the intricate flavors and textures that Asian and vegetarian cooks have long enjoyed. America has embraced tofu as a healthy, affordable ingredient. And while it has been welcomed into sophisticated mainstream dining, tofu is often hidden in Western guises and in limited applications. In her third intrepid cookbook, celebrated food writer and teacher ANDREA NGUYEN aims to elevate this time-honored staple to a new place of prominence on every table.
Asian Tofu’s nearly 100 recipes explore authentic,ancient fare and modern twists that capture the culinary spirit of East, Southeast, and South Asia. There are spectacular favorites from Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and India, as well as delicious dishes from Taipei, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and New York. Andrea demystifies tofu and interprets traditional Asian cuisine for cooks, sharing compelling personal stories and dispatches from some of the world’s best tofu artisans along the way.
For those who want to take their skills to the next level, the tofu tutorial clearly outlines tofu-making technique, encouraging readers to experiment with the unparalleled flavors of homemade varieties. But time-pressed cooks needn’t fear: while a few recipes, such as Silken Tofu and Seasoned Soy Milk Hot Pot, are truly best with homemade tofu, most are terrific with store-bought products. Some traditional dishes combine tofu with meat in brilliant partnerships, such as Spicy Tofu with Beef and Sichuan Peppercorn and Tofu with Kimchi and Pork Belly, but this collection is predominantly vegetarian and vegan, including the pristinely flavored Spiced Tofu and Coconut in Banana Leaf and vibrant Spicy Lemongrass Tofu Salad. And innovations such as Okara Doughnuts reveal tofu’s more playful side.
For health- and eco-conscious eaters and home chefs who are inspired to make the journey from bean to curd, Asian Tofu is the perfect guide.
The focus of this volume is specific but very deep. Nguyen (Into the Vietnamese Kitchen) knows her tofu, and she shares its history, a comprehensive guide to its variations, and a homemade tofu tutorial. And for cooks who don't aspire to DIY bean curd, this single-subject book offers 75 surprisingly diverse recipes featuring tofu as a star ingredient. Flavor-packed entries include spiced tofu and vegetable fritters; soft tofu and seafood hot pot; tofu and vegetables in coconut milk; and spicy lemongrass tofu salad. Just because it's all about tofu doesn't mean it's vegetarian; while there are certainly meatless and vegan options, the tofu steak burgers, for example, are topped with bacon. Tofu-centric desserts, such as cashew and cardamom fudge and tofu tiramisu are surprisingly tempting. Fans of Asian flavors who want to dig into a versatile ingredient will appreciate Nguyen's thorough effort.