Wednesday, May 30, 2012

making tofu class


i'm taking a quick break from work to eat some leftover wonton soup and i wanted to take a moment to write about the tofu class i attended last night at 18 reasons by delores park. 



i had never taken a class at 18 reasons before. while i like the idea of a community oriented space and all of the things that the bi-rite folks are doing, i usually don't visit the delores park area. yet, when i heard that andrea nguyen was going to teach a class, then i thought..."yeah, i'll make my way over to that area to hear her speak." getting out of the certain parts of the mission, for me, is quite a pain in the ass which is why i've been spending less and less time there and more time exploring other parts of the city that isn't such a challenge to get out of after a certain time at night. these days, i pretty much only go to the mission to go to the hapa kitchen.

the reason why i thought the challenge of exiting that neighborhood was worth it is because i'd recently purchased andrea nguyen's asian tofu book and have had her intro to vietnamese kitchen for years. i reference the viet kitchen book often and i have a feeling that i'll be doing the same thing with the asian tofu book.



i've been interested in tofu and preparations for a long time. yet, what appealed to me about ms. nguyen's book was treating tofu as an ingredient within itself and not something to be manipulated into a diluted mockery of something else. i'm also not vegetarian so i do love me some tofu with meat accents...specifically porky accents. i like experimenting with tofu....these days....i'm really into hodo soy tofu (silken and yuba). there are some techniques that ms. nguyen recommends in the book that i'm very interested in trying out. yet, i wanted to go to the class to see it being made and not just read about it. i definitely plan on using the recipes she provides as guidelines as there were some tofu dishes i had in hong kong that i'm going to try to make....i also love the idea of making some sweet or savory tofu custards that are flavored during the coagulant/setting stage. her book definitely brings out the nerd in me and thought going to the class would also help reinforce my nerdy interest in tofu.



i'm glad that i attended the class. it was very informative. it also helped to have some visual and tactile reinforcements to what she writes about.....to be able to touch the beans......






and the soy lees....to get idea of the firmness and texture. it also helped to understand more about the level of texture/grain to blend the soy milk before straining it....and to see the weave of the unbleached muslin that she recommends to strain the milk.






also, since i haven't seen videos or any of her demos before, i was not prepared for her to be so funny and sassy. i'm a big fan of funny and sassy. while she was showing the students how to make soy milk, tofu pudding, preparing pressed tofu, and quite a bit more actually, she relayed quite a few funny stories about traveling around asia while conducting her research. i enjoyed the class quite a bit. not only did i learn quite a bit and was there more than enough food for each student to have quite a bit.....









i really just enjoyed listening to her stories. i'm also rather amazed that the class was so inexpensive given the sheer number of things she covered and the food that was provided. i'd definitely attend another class or demo....and think if you can....you should consider it as well.

UPDATE:  i found these videos online......





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