This is my Tuesday post... on Wednesday. Sheesh, I can't believe October is 2/3rds of the way over already! Sure has been a busy month around my house. It is sort of amazing that I have even managed 13 blog posts so far!
The Emperor continues to do well. He's about 12 pounds now. We took him to a new parents group at the birth center he was born at yesterday. The group is for 0-3 month old babies. Most of the other babies there were at the 3 month end of the spectrum... and he was bigger than most of them! Oh my! See, you can be vegan and have a healthy roly poly vegan baby.
Anyway, that's all the baby talk for the moment. Today's real topic: Tofu Yu Garlic Pepper Tofu! Tofu Yu is a tofu company up in Berkeley. I saw their tofu at the store yesterday morning. It was labelled a bit erroneously as a local product. Berkeley's not really local to us. I mean, it's closer than Colorado or Mozambique but it's still not exactly local.
Local or no, their stuff seems to be a new entry into the tofusphere around here and you know I'm a sucker for trying new things. I actually don't usually buy flavored tofu, because I am extremely cheap and it's not like I don't know how to marinate tofu. (Smoked tofu, though... I'd buy it more if I wasn't so cheap, because I _don't_ smoke my own.) What caught my eye was a package of tofu balls by Tofu Yu that looked really tasty. Plus, ball shaped! But they cost like $6 a package so I started casting around to see if there was anything else interesting in the tofu case.
And that's when my eyes hit on the Garlic Black Pepper tofu. Ooooh. I've only just recently started to be able to eat garlic again-- it made me horribly horribly ill throughout my entire pregnancy. Very sad. Garlic is one of my very favorite things on earth, as is black pepper, so this tofu sounded pretty tasty to me. The package was fairly small, maybe 12 ounces? It cost around $3, which is as much as I usually pay for 20oz of plain firm tofu. Not impossibly expensive, but still a bit of a treat.
The tofu is heavily flecked with black pepper. It's got a pretty thick layer on top, and then more pepper distributed throughout the rest of the block. The tofu has a pleasant smell right off the bat... you get a nice whiff of garlic. Not overwhelming, but enticing. Since I usually use the super extra firm (or whatever) Wildwood tofu these days, I was a little surprised by how much liquid the Tofu Yu tofu had and how crumbly the texture of the tofu was. I had a little trouble slicing it up without accidentally crumbling it, but managed to do okay in the end.
I prepared it by broiling it, because broiled tofu is the best. (No arguments!) I brushed it with a very small amount of soy sauce ahead of time, broiled one side for 7 minutes, flipped, brushed, broiled the other side for 7 minutes. Then I served it on top of a bed of plain quinoa and broccoli.
On its own, the tofu is surprisingly salty. Like, I would argue that this should really be called Garlic, Salt & Pepper Tofu. Not that that's a bad thing-- on the contrary, it's tasty. But I was kicking myself for not tasting it raw. The brush of soy sauce was absolutely not necessary and made the crunchy skin of the broiled tofu just a tiny bit too salty. Aside from the saltiness, the tofu has a really great flavor that's more or less exactly what you'd expect from something labeled Garlic Pepper Tofu. Fairly mild but delicious level of garlic, lots and lots of zesty black pepper.
Mixed with the plain quinoa and broccoli, the tofu was transformative. It managed to flavor the entire dish, which was pleasantly surprising considering how little tofu there was relative to grain and veg. The tofu made the meal excellent rather than enh, which is great, because I had to do just about zero work and got something awesomely delicious out of the deal. Woo!
Overall, I really enjoyed the Tofu Yu Garlic Pepper Tofu. I'll probably buy it again next time I see it. One thing I'd like to do is try the salt & pepper tofu recipe that's in Veganomicon (I think? maybe it's just on the PPK somewhere? It's Terry's recipe, I think) and see how that compares. Again, cheapness. But I'm also really lazy and this stuff is not prohibitively expensive, so I expect it will make future appearances in my shopping cart. Mmmm.