I blame the hippies. If it weren't for concoctions like Tofu Chili Surprise and other abominations maybe so many Americans wouldn't turn up their noses at tofu. I've always believed that the only legitimate context for the stuff is in Asian cooking.
In Andrea Nguyen's terrific new cookbook, Asian Tofu, that's right where she puts it. Full disclosure:
I am a total Andrea Nguyen fanboy. I've been following her Viet World Kitchen blog for years. My copies of her previous two cookbooks, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen and Asian Dumplings are smeared and sticky from frequent use. I'm looking forward to inflicting the same damage on her new one.
Asian Tofu contains chapters on tofu snacks and starters, soups and hot pots, main dishes, side dishes, buns dumplings, noodles and crepes, mock meats, salads and sides – even tofu desserts. And for the DIY inclined there's an illustrated tutorial on making your own at home.
The recipes in Asian Tofu are reliable, unambiguous and easy to follow. Maren Caruso's color studio photos add even more clarity. The other day I made her Hakka style tofu, stuffed with pork and dried shrimp. See the stages of preparation by clicking through the pictures above.
"If anyone found a finger in his tofu please let me know. It's mine."