Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Eating Her Curds and Whey

Photo by Cynthia

Cynthia has been urging me to try out tofu. This dish was a long way from Japanese, but, with a hat tip to Ming Tsai, I'm no longer afraid to add tofu to the arsenal.

First I mixed some curry powder into melted butter and began oven poaching some very large shitake mushroom caps with their chopped stems. Then I poured a 12 oz bottle of Jamaican-style ginger beer into a new pan with one crushed garlic clove and reduced to a thin syrup.

I discovered Goya Jamaican-style ginger beer with the Latin fooods in the ethnic aisle of the grocery store and first used it to cook rice. It has a wonderful aromatic taste of ginger with a unique tangy, spicy heat.

I cut a couple of small planks - about 2" x 3" x 1/2" - from a block of soft tofu and dredged them in panko seasoned with red and green chili flakes. These were fried in grapeseed oil for about three minutes on each side, then set on paper towels to drain.

A half pound of fresh heads-on shrimp (which had been peeled and de-veined, but with the heads and tails left on, and seasoned with salt and pepper) was sauteed on high heat, also in grapeseed oil, for about a minute on each side.The shrimp were then tossed into the pan with the ginger beer glaze with some chopped snow peas and scallions.

Each plate was prepared with a nest of soba noodles (cooked for about four minutes in coconut water), then stacked with a shitake mushroom cap, a fried tofu plank, and two shrimp. The snow peas and scallions were scattered about the plate with the mushroom stems, and the shrimp was topped with fresh bean sprouts.The final touch was tiny bit of steamed lobster claw. The dish then was drizzled with the shitake-infused poaching butter and the remaining ginger beer reduction.

The tofu and noodles absorbed all those warm and sweet-spicy juices. The more we ate, the better it tasted.

Cynthia liked it. A lot.

That makes me happy.


  1. it sounds healthy and yummy. i grew up in korea but it took me a long time before i started liking tofu. i guess there weren't many tasty tofu recipes back then but now smart people have come up with so many great tofu recipes it makes tofu a lot more delicious.

  2. What's the story on grapeseed oil. Is it the new olive oil?

  3. Ginger beer sounds like a clever addition. I can't believe I never thought of cooking with it.

    Kelly at Crock Tease

  4. I am still afraid of tofu, but this recipe looks so good, I will have to try!