Korean Tofu Tacos

Korean Tofu Tacos

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned my obsession with tacos. Hands down, the most enjoyment-worthy food I've ever eaten. Tacos are extremely popular among the Pacific Northwest - Washington, Oregon, and California. I like to judge a city based on its taco selection. Before moving to Seattle, unbeknownst to me that these tiny tacos were the epitome of a true culinary delight.

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl

I used to live beside a great little pho restaurant. Even though their main attraction was the perfectly executed pho, my heart and taste buds were always more captivated by the noodle bowls. Fresh crunchy lettuce, a layer of soft noodles, scattered with crispy tofu. A delicious and colorful rainbow of flavors and textures finished with a sweet and savory dressing and a sprinkle of peanuts. My idea of a perfect lunch, light, and refreshing. The type of meal that lets you feel good about yourself. 

Tofu Scramble

I am so very excited to share with you one of my favorite recipes for tofu, and a sparkling new blog design. I have been very studious the last 10 months, trying to learn the fundamentals of web site design. There have been a lot of painful nights, staring at tutorials, trying to make sense of it all. I started with the basic principles of HTML, and then graduated to the fun stuff - CSS, where you get to add style components. The most challenging part of it all was picking a design, and sticking to it. Making sure that I wasn't going to grow tired and loose interest, similar to the pair of shoes I bought last month. I chose a clean, bright look. Added a few more items, a press and FAQs page. Provided some more options to follow the flourishing foodie, and added some labels for organization. My husband has been working ever so hard the past few weeks getting the site up and running, and I am truly grateful for it. I hope you enjoy the new look, and please don't hesitate to send me a quick email with any concerns or suggestions. I want this blog to be as user friendly as possible.

Now, lets get to the good stuff - tofu scramble. It's nice to switch it up once in a while from the more traditional scrambled eggs. Although this dish has the same consistency, it offers so much more. It is important when making, that you use silken tofu not regular Chinese-style or bean curd. Silken tofu is neither drained nor pressed, therefore all of the liquid remains in the tofu, making it very smooth and light. It has a delicate, silky texture that crumbles nicely into a scramble egg form. The tofu should be frozen before cooking. This allows tiny ice crystals to form, making the tofu more porous. Squeezing out the water before cooking with then leave lots of space within the tofu membranes to soak up all those wonderful flavors from the oil, turmeric, garlic, and chili. I prefer to add a few vegetables with a nice cheese, allowing the taste and texture from the tofu to perform as the main character. The greatness of this dish, is that you can tweak it to your own liking, as long as you stick with the fundamental spices. The bright orange hue from the turmeric adds a magnificent color to the tofu, giving it the bright yellow similar to eggs. I encourage you to try this dish, cook it for a loved one, and maybe wait until they've eaten it all to let them know it was tofu not eggs. Most will be surprised, I am sure. 


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serves 2

notes: Use silken tofu and not standard water packed firm. The texture is much different. The veggie sausage is not key to this recipe. It enhances the flavors, but I often make my scramble without. You can add any veggies to a scramble. If you are going to use tomatoes, make sure to add them at the end. The tofu will become soggy with the tomato juices. Feta and goat cheese are also a nice substitution for cheddar. 


1 package silken tofu, cubed

2 + tbsp canola oil for frying

veggie sausage

, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp red chili flakes

salt and pepper to taste

6 shiitake mushrooms

4 small tomatoes

1/4 cup sharp cheddar, shredded

Freeze the tofu a couple of days in advance. Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the fridge. 30 minutes before making the scramble, place the tofu, without removing it from its package, into a bowl of warm water. This will ensure that the tofu has completely thawed. The tofu can also be frozen overnight and thawed in the morning. Regardless of the method, it is important that the tofu has been completely frozen, and then completely thawed before cooking. 

Once thawed, remove the tofu from the package and press between your hands to remove any excess water. Cut the tofu into small cubes and place in a frying pan with the veggie sausage, canola oil, garlic, turmeric, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook the tofu on low-medium, frying until the veggie sausage begins to brown. The tofu should lose its shape and crumble during frying. This is desired. Start with 2 tbsp of canola oil, and add more as needed. The scramble should soak up the oil. You will need to add less if you are cooking with a non-stick, and more with a cast iron. The oil will help with frying, and add flavor to the tofu.

Once the veggie sausage has started to brown, add the mushrooms, and fry until soft. Add the tomatoes and cheese and combine. Heat slightly, just until the cheese has melted and then remove from the stove. Serve warm.

Tofu Dumplings

There are some boxes left, scattered around the apartment, waiting for a few final items to top them up before sealing. My dishes are packed, the fridge is almost empty. I have eaten my way through jars of pickles, mustard, and ketchup, because I am too lazy to pack them into a box. Meals have consisted of pizza mostly, and wine. The last meal to be had in this apartment was dumplings. A meal to remember. I made a few extras, stored them in the freezer. I will pull them out next week, when I have eaten all the pizza my body can handle. By then, I will be a little sad to have left a place once called home, but excited to start a new journey. A new home.

I'd like to tell you about a time, my first real experience with dumplings. Mother's Dumplings in Toronto's Chinatown district, a special place. It was a cool winter's afternoon, famished from a day of walking, drooling over merchandise gently laid out in the store front's on Queen St. Rummaging through the racks of clothing, looking for treasure, poking my head down alley ways in Kensington market. Excited by new things, forgetful of basic physical needs such as eating, I found myself woozy and seeing stars. A recommendation from my sister-in-law, a few blocks away, we sat down at a large round table, eager to fill our bellies and warm our hearts.

Passing around the hot and sour soup, steamed buns, pan cakes, and dumplings, I am surrounded by family, it is a nice treat. I can't help but fidget with the chopsticks while trying to gracefully pick up a dumpling, my patience wears thin and I grab it with my fingers. I dip it into a bowl of extremely delicious sauce, sweat and savory. Covering it from head to toe, people don't mind that I've left a trail of sauce from the bowl to  my dish, I am in good company. That day, I fell in love with dumplings. Ever since, I have been imagining, well dreaming really, about dumplings. The soft chewy exterior, stuffed with tofu, asparagus, and mushrooms. A perfect vessel to soak up the dippings sauce, which also needs to be discussed. Rice wine vinegar, lime juice, Tamari, honey, and Sriracha. I'm not sure there could be a better combination of flavors. Immediately after I dipped my first dumpling, I started to wonder about other foods worthy of its dipping. The filling is delicious on its own, and I enjoy pouring on a bit of sauce and eating it as is, sans wrapper. 

makes 60 dumplings

16 oz firm tofu
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 large shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
14 small asparagus spears, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
60 round wonton wrappers

1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp Sriracha Hot Sauce

Remove the tofu from its package and drain off any excess water. Wrap the tofu in 4 or 5 paper towel sheets and place under a cutting board or something similarly flat. Place a heavy object, like a cast iron frying pan, on top of the cutting board. The weight will help press the tofu and drain the excess water. Let the tofu press for 30 minutes and then discard the water.

Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan on low. Remove the tofu from the paper towel and crumble with your hands. Place into a frying pan with the shallots, garlic, asparagus, and carrots. Fry for 5 minutes, or until the carrots have softened. Drain any excess water. Add the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, salt and combine. Remove from heat and set to the side.

Remove the wonton wrappers from their package. Place a wrappers in your hand and then place 1 tbsp of filling inside. Here is a great tutorial demonstrating different dumpling folding techniques. Make sure to moisten the edges with water before folding, this will ensure that the filling does not spill out during steaming.

Place the dumplings onto a cutting board or tray and cover with a cloth to prevent them from drying out while you are making the rest. At this point you can place any extra dumplings into a ziplock bag and freeze them for up to 6 months.

You can use a bamboo steamer to steam the dumplings, or make your own steamer by using a small colander elevated inside a lidded pot or pan, with an inch of water in the bottom. Bring the water to a simmer and then cover.

Place a few dumplings into the steamer at one time, with enough room so that they do not touch. Steam for 6 - 8 minutes. Remove from the steamer and serve immediately.

To make the dipping sauce, combine the tamari sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, honey, and Sriracha.