Vegan Grandma

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

On being asked why he was vegetarian

"Oh, come! That boot is on the other leg. Why should you call me to account for eating decently?
If I battened on the scourched corpses of animals, you might well ask me why I did that."

George Barnard Shaw
Ethnic Grocery Stores

I love looking around ethnic grocery stores. In my town, we have an Indian grocery, a Middle Eastern grocery, and several Asian grocery stores. I find so many new and interesting things at these stores. It’s amazing how many different kinds of vegan foods there are. I’ve been making new vegan things just about every day for over a month, and I think I can keep doing that for many, many months. I’ve discovered new ingredients like yuba, Shirataki Noodles, and chick pea flour. At the Asian grocery stores, there are lots of different kinds of vegan sauces I want to try.

I ’ve found that some things at the Ethnic grocery stores are less expensive than they are at non-ethnic food stores, spices and herbs, and dried mushrooms for example.

At one of the Asian stores, I often ask the proprietor how to use new foods I find. She always tells me it’s for soup, no matter what it is-lotus seeds are for soup, Shirataki Noodles are for soup, burdock root is for soup. The only thing she didn’t say was for soup was yuba.

Peppered Tofu Crisps.

Today I used the Burmese-Style Tofu I made yesterday (see yesterday’s blog) to make Peppered Tofu Crisps. I really liked it. The recipe calls for regular soy bean tofu, but it worked well with the chickpea tofu. I read the recipe wrong, and used rice vinegar instead of rice wine. It still tasted good, though.

This recipe comes from This Can’t Be Tofu, by Deborah Madison, published by Broadway books, New York, page 30.

Peppered Tofu Crisps.
Serves 6 to 8

1 carton firm, or extra firm tofu (if using home made Burmese-Style Tofu , use an amount that looks about the size of a package of tofu.)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or ground red chile

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 tablespoon flour

½ cup chopped cilantro or parsley

2 cups peanut oil for frying

Cut the tofu crosswise into slabs 3/4 to 1 inch thick, then lay them on several thicknesses of paper towels. Cover with additional towels and press firmly to absorb the water. (You can skip this step if you are using home made Burmese-Style Tofu .)

Cut the tofu into cubes and put the cubes in a bowl. Toss with soy sauce, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt.

Mix the rice wine with the cornstarch and flour. Pour it over the seasoned tofu and toss well. Add the cilantro and toss once more.

Heat the oil in a heavy 8 -inch skillet until it sizzles when a piece of tofu is added. Fry about 8 pieces at a time until golden, then scoop them out and drain on paper towels. Fry as many pieces as you want to serve. Serve immediately on a plate or in a basket.