July Meatless Monday Recipe: Three Cups Tofu
Three Cups Tofu comes from Taiwan, and gets it’s name from the equal parts of the oils & sauces the tofu is stir fried in. (It can be made with chicken too.) I first tried this dish while on jury duty in downtown Downtown LA. One of the many restaurants I tried was Starry Kitchen (<- recommended!) , and this was on the ever-changing menu for the week.
I thought it was the most delicious way I’d ever had tofu (though it admittedly had little competition), so I looked up some recipes and ended up using this one. I don’t have a wok. I didn’t have the 2 of the 3 main sauce ingredients (though if you do any Asian cooking, YOU probably do). I’d never worked with tofu before. I’d never even used fresh ginger before! Deep frying on the stove was a challenge. Braising it was difficult, since my largest skillet doesn’t have a lid. Evidence of my disaster-y kitchen: (note – it is not unusual that i’m a disaster in the kitchen… just ask my husband)
BUT! I made it! Twice! The first time it was SO GOOD, the second time, I thought it was good but maybe not worth the effort. It was something different to cook (obviously on a Saturday – too much for me to on a weeknight!), but honestly, I’ll probably not make it again. But if I see it on a menu, I’ll be sure to order it! Look! Despite disaster during the cooking phase, somehow the things I make always (ok, mostly always) turn out well.
Also, not that I was under any illusions that deep fried tofu was healthy in the first place, after making this dish and doing some research I learned that a lot of people (i.e. healthy living bloggers) have turned away from tofu and other processed soy products. They now seem to fall into the “sometimes” food category. I guess I didn’t follow the scene closely enough to that memo! I only eat tofu sometimes anyway, so not much has changed based upon that knowledge… except I’ve abandoned efforts to learn to cook it in more ways.