Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan
Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Bok Choy, Sesame Chili Oil
Have you received a copy of a food magazine in the mail with a cover photo that absolutely floors you? February 2018 Bon Appetit did that for me. There was no way that I wasn’t going to “Cook The Cover” and make that gorgeous Crispy Tofu in Shiitake Broth.
Alas, time passed and I didn’t make it. But, last Saturday’s trip to the Torrance Farmers Market gave me the inspiration…it came from a vegetarian Korean food booth called Dave’s Gourmet Korean Food with a sample of his hot “Vegee Broth.” It was amazing – complex flavors in a vegetarian broth made with fermented vegetable juice, sea salt, low sodium gluten-free soy sauce, and miso.
As I walked the market, watermelon radish and bok choy remembered from that February magazine cover ended up in my basket. I already had carrots and firm tofu at home.
One ingredient that is not in Bon Appetit’s recipe was beautiful Gai Lan, also known as Chinese broccoli. Slightly bitter and slightly sweet, with tasty broad leaves, petite buds, a few pretty white flowers, and tender stems – this had to be added to my version of the vegetable soup.
Here is the link to the original recipe by Bon Appetit, and my adaptations are listed below. Those in the Los Angeles area can find Dave’s Vegee Broth at various Farmers Markets across the county. If you are not in LA, simply follow the original broth recipe. It will take a little longer but be, no doubt, worth your time.
Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan Recipe
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Pickled Tofu Carpaccio, Beet Syrup, Asian Slaw
By his own admission, he’s not a tofu guy. But my brother Don is definitely a foodie. Never met a foie gras he didn’t like. Tofu does not elicit even a glimmer of interest or enthusiasm. He trusts his sister though, so when she offers him a vibrant pickled tofu carpaccio – he definitely gives it a try.
Not to my surprise, it receives a big thumbs up. With the combination of exotic spices, sweet and hot juxtaposed to crunchy and soft elements, he advises to try all the flavors in one bite – calling it both a science experiment and a volcanic eruption.
Pickled Tofu Carpaccio, Beet Syrup, Asian Slaw Recipe
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Shiitake, Black Kale, Tofu & Seaweed Soup
Sesame, Scallion, Sriracha Garnish
Woodsy. Earthy. Deep.
This is one intense vegan soup that offers full epicurean contentment.
meaty shiitake mushroom, robust kale, subtly sweet ocean-y wakame seaweed,
toasty sesame oil, tangy hot sriracha
heady, intense, wet forest, earthy
steamy broth, chewy kale, silky shiitake, slippery wakame, spongy tofu, crunchy sesame seed
deep dark broth, midnight-green wakame and kale, spring-green scallion, electric red sriracha
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Third in a Series of Superiores Tacos Vegetarianos
Spicy Colorful Veggie Tacos, Korean-Style
Scrambled Tofu with Gochujang and Scallion
Sesame Leaf, Seasoned Bean Sprouts, Pickled Cucumber, Diced Daikon
Carrot Ribbons, Pickled Red Onion, Sliced Omelette
On a Warm Blue Corn & Flaxseed Tortilla, Spicy Gochujang Sauce
Initially I was inspired by a vegetarian taco recipe by Rick Bayless that I saw in the dreamy Harvest to Heat cookbook. It was genius. Fresh ingredients, healthy, and a perfect balance of flavors. Nothing complicated yet completely satisfying. In his shadow I create my Superiores Tacos Vegetarianos series, a compilation of vegetarian tacos highlighting a unique combination of vegetables and herbs where the flavor profile stands on its own. A series where even carnivores won’t wonder, “Where’s the Beef?”
In this latest incarnation, tofu is seasoned with gochujang (red chile paste) paired with colorful vegetables, zesty pickles, and egg, resulting in a spicy, crunchy, vibrant vegetarian taco that might be a cross between Korean Lettuce Wraps and the craze of fusion Korean Tacos?
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Tofu Salad à la Provençal
Heirloom Tomato, Tofu, Olive, Sweet Pepper, Scallion, Anchovy, Mitsuba
Garlicky Tamari Vinaigrette
WANTED: Colorful summer salad recipes with flair! Drab dull ordinary salads need not apply. Does your salad have what it takes? One that incorporates esoteric flavors and uses summer crops at their peak. Will it make us feel satisfied on the hottest dog days? We’re looking for salads that go well with cold-dry-pink-wine. Must be full-flavored, nothing wimpy! Willing to experiment. Unlimited opportunity. Apply soon, before summer passes us by.
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Doenjang Chigae 된장 찌개
A Korean Fermented Soybean Paste Stew with Bison
Zucchini, Shiitake, Tofu, Red Chile, Green Onion, Garlic, Sesame Oil
I make this intensely-flavored savory Korean soybean paste stew with bison. Bison might be a bit more flavorful and a little sweeter, and is naturally leaner than beef. It has more protein and iron too. Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in bison. The herd is raised without antibiotics as well.
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The Ultimate Vegetable Stir-Fry Tower
Pea Sprouts, Shiitake, Soybean Sprouts, Pickled Japanese Cucumber & Red Jalapeño
Chinese Chives, Tofu, Ginger, Cilantro
Over an Organic Short Grain Rice Timbale
With Three Vibrant Sauces: Cilantro Juice, Chile Oil, Miso Sauce
Another Sublime Dish Inspired by Charlie Trotter
“The recipes… are only a guide. You can use any or all of a recipe, deviate wherever you like, or indeed substitute ingredients completely if it suits your desires. In fact, you may want to forget about the recipe specifics and use the photographs alone as your inspiration,” penned Charlie Trotter in 1994. Thank you, Chef! No wonder you are my hero. Your words written 17 years ago perfectly describe my cooking style and blog: where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook!
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