Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tofu (and my issue with some haters)

Tofu is one of those foods which has a ...reputation. I understand that not all people like it (Paula Dean, for example, on Wait, wait), however, I cannot understand why some people degrade it and have not even tried it.

I cannot even count the number of times I have had this conversation:

Friend: What are you eating?
Me: Tofu!
Friend: EW! Oh my gosh! How can you eat that? That is the grossest food ever!
Me: You must have had really bad tofu. What dish was it?
Friend: What? Oh, I've never tried it.

How frustrating!
So, please, those of you who are constantly making faces at it, just try it. You don't have to like it afterward. However, if you do happen to fall head over heels for bean curd whether silky or firm, a lot of doors for simple, cheap, filling, nutritious, and yummy meals open up to you.

The following dish is great, especially if you are stuck somewhere without air conditioning or it is just plain hot. My dad used to make it for me all the time. So, without further ado: Chinese Summer Tofu.

1) Cut the tofu into slices and put on a plate. What kind of tofu you get depends on personal preference: As the firmness of the tofu increases, the soy taste increases, and the nutritional value increases. i.e. extra firm tofu is
the healthiest, while silky is just nice. I would recommend getting tofu in water, because it stays more flavorful
that way.

2) Pour (or drizzle, once again, depending on taste) soy sauce and sesame oil on top of the tofu. If you don't
want to go out and buy huge bottles, you can usually find soy sauce and sesame oil packets with Chinese take-out
or store-bought sushi.

3)Throw chopped green onions, sesame seeds, and pickled radish on top of the tofu. The pickled radish I
used was gardenia pickled radish. This is an ingredient you can find in a lot of Chinese stores. While not crucial,
the radish really adds dynamic to the dish by being sweet, tangy, and crunchy.

4) Omnomnom (I think that might become a sort of tradition)

If you don't have access to green onions, sesame seeds, or pickled radish, fear not.
This dish is great with just soy sauce and
sesame oil, or with soy sauce, sesame oil, and some sprinkled sugar.


  1. I'm supposed to be allergic to soy. XD But, I'd like to try tofu some day. I'll have to try your recipe some day.

  2. I agree with your comment about tofu haters! Also, that looks like a simple yummy tofu dish :) Knowing what I do about your dad, the dish seems appropriate.

  3. @Moxie, sorry about allergies! I have a sibling who has a soy allergy, not fun. I hope you outgrow it or something awesome like that and try tofu, too. =)

    @wyang, hahaha you're such a cool kid, btws =)

  4. I love tofu! It looks so yummy!

  5. The soy allergies probably won't stop me. I eat soy sauce all the time (not the same thing, but oh well).

    I will have to steal some Tofu from my vegan friend.

  6. this was one of my favorite dishes growing up and while in college (although i usually didn't have more than green onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil or rice vinegar to put on top).

    love the blog--format, content, photos, everything!

  7. Hmmm. I've been vegan for years and have never tried tofu without cooking it up in a pan first. And since it's rapidly approaching august, I just might have to soon!