Korean Tofu Strips

Friday, September 10, 2010

food painting for the vegetarian cookbook by Fiona Morgan
Versatile. Leisurely. Easy. Moreish.


Food painting artwork

30 x 30cm oil on canvas. Again inspired by the paintings of Paul Klee. This time it's his paintings from about 1915 to about 1925 which are purely abstract and composed of coloured rectangles. According to Wikipedia, 'The colored rectangle became his basic building block, what some scholars associate with a musical note, which Klee combined with other colored blocks to create a color harmony analogous to a musical composition. His selection of a particular color palette emulates a musical key. Sometimes he uses complementary pairs of colors, and other times “dissonant” colors, again reflecting his connection with musicality.'

Well I'm not connecting this artwork to music. As you know, it's connected to food. In particular, the rectangular strips of tofu and their tasty golden brown tones of this recipe.

By the way, all the food painting artwork is available to own in the Official Art Store.


The meatless meals recipe

When I was living in London I became friends with a lovely South Korean by the name of So-Young. When I went to visit her in her home outside London where she was studying, this is one of the dishes she had prepared. It made quite an impression on me and for a year or so I was asking for the recipe. I gather that this was seen as a bit strange as this dish for Koreans is a bit like cooking toast for Westerners. It's just something you do all the time, no recipe required. Anyway, we did end up doing a little recipe swap. Yay - tofu strips for chocolate cake! This is So-Young's recipe with quantities added and put into my words.

I'm not sure what the Korean name for this dish is. I call it tofu strips which is not the most imaginative title, but it does describe it in a 'call a spade a spade' sort of way. So-Young has recently posted me an absolute gem of a book called 'Invitation to Korean Cuisine' by Han Youngsil. In there is a recipe for Braised Pan Fried Bean Curd. It's basically the same dish! Use whichever name you prefer.

250g firm tofu
1/2 small to medium onion, sliced fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1-2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
a sprinkling of salt, to taste (remember that soy sauce is quite salty)
about 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 spring onions, chopped
1-2 tablespoons peanut or sesame oil
chilli to taste

Slice tofu into your favourite shape. Pieces about 1/2 to 1cm thick are good.
Use the oil and lightly fry the tofu pieces until gold but not brown on both sides with a sprinkling of salt.
Remove the tofu from the pan.
Turn the heat right down low.
Lay the onion in the bottom of the pan and place the tofu on top.
Sprinkle with the sugar, garlic and chilli and cover with the spring onion.
Carefully drizzle the tofu pieces with soy sauce. Get as much on the tofu, as opposed to in the pan, as possible.
Cook long and slow until the spring onion begins to wilt.
Taste test and adjust the sugar, salt, soy sauce and chilli to your preference.
Keep cooking slowly until the spring onion has fully wilted.

Serve on top of stir fried veg and rice or noodles and it will make 4 meals. Or use as tofu burgers for 2. Or just snack on it by itself.


More vegetarian cookbook goodies

Need help with conversions? Download this handy dandy pdf of cooking conversion charts for every cooking measuring system I could find. It should make your life easier.

Want to check out more vegetarian dinner recipes? They're all in the Table of Contents.

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