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Jun 3, 2012 03:43 PM

Cooking from Fuchsia Dunlop's new book, "Every Grain of Rice"

So now that it's FINALLY out, let's get cooking...
Had guests who were pining for spicy food last night, so I made the gong bao chicken recipe (which she says was first in Land of Plenty, I didn't compare the two to see if it was reprinted verbatim or not) -- delicious as always.
But the star of the dinner for me was the tofu appetizer with avocado, from a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan --
1 block silken firm tofu (I used the tetrapak stuff), 1/2 perfectly ripe avo (I used all of one), 2 tb light soy (can use Kikkoman, I use Kimlan), 1 tb water, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, bit of wasabi (I use the squeezy tube stuff, about 1/4 tsp).
Slice tofu about 1/4 in thin across the block, put on plate, fanning out slightly (I cut it on a piece of paper towel and used it to transfer the tofu to the plate as a sort of sling). Top w dressing. Top w avo, similarly sliced across and fanned slightly. Eat. Blissfully. The 2 textures are almost identical.
Dead easy and just simply wonderful.
Looking forward to more explorations of this lovely new treat of a book.

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  1. that sounds scrumptious, BT. bet it was pretty, too. thanks for sharing.

    6 Replies
        1. re: mariacarmen

          Definitely. The Chinese name for avocado used in the book is "eel pear", I presume because of the fattiness. (The usual name for them is "butter fruit".)

          1. re: buttertart

            I made silken tofu with avocado and I see what you mean about it being sexy-looking Texturally it was sensuous too. Rich, silky, very enjoyable to eat.

              1. re: buttertart

                yum - I am so making this NOW after reading all 317 posts. thanks :D

    1. We're hoping to cook some dishes from this cookbook over the next week or so. Tonight's dinner, I take no credit for -- it's my wife's [Pandanexpress on here] night to cook.

      From the book (forgive any typos in the names):
      Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce (Suan Ni Pai Huang Gua 蒜泥拍黄瓜) (p34)
      Silken Tofu with Soy Sauce (Xiao Cong Ban Dou Fu 小葱拌豆腐) (p41)

      Also (not from the book), some lotus root cooked with serrano and habanero peppers from our yard, a little soy sauce and mirin, and chayote shoots (long xu cai (龙须菜); lit. dragon whiskers vegetable), stir-fried with shaoxing wine, garlic, and salt.

      5 Replies
      1. re: will47

        Looks terrific. Had never heard of chayote shoots, how interesting! Ever tried the Suzhou lotus root appetizer, thinly sliced, blanched 1 min and marinated in tangerine juice overnight? I love it. Love all things lotus.

        1. re: buttertart

          Haven't tried it yet.

          There's a local place that does a pretty nice cold (but cooked) "salad" of them, so when we saw them at the market, we grabbed them right away. The taste (especially raw) has some slight resemblance to asparagus / fiddlehead ferns. They do have a bit of a "dry" texture, even when there's oil or water in them. I think if I were making them, I'd probably blanch them in salted water first, before stir-frying them, but they did cook Ok just in the wok.

          1. re: will47

            I love the texture, so bitey. Flavor is nice too.

            1. re: buttertart

              I was talking about the chayote shoots, not lotus root.

      2. The avocado tofu salad sounds amazing.

        And I'm sticking my toe in this thread so I can easily follow along!

        1 Reply
        1. HiHo Buttertart...
          don't forget to add this soon to be burgeoning thread to the Non (or Pre) COTM archived thread...

          As soon as my book arrives the tofu and avocado salad will be the first recipe I'll make...

          1 Reply
          1. I don't expect to receive my copy until tomorrow, just after I leave for Atlanta. :-(

            My primary eater is SO thrilled that we will be cooking Chinese food again. Every time we concentrate on Chinese food for a period of time, we both drop a few pounds and generally just feel good. We feel very lucky to have some good Chinese markets so close to our house.

            4 Replies
              1. re: smtucker

                No sooner have you found a "zen" place where the book will come when it comes, and either you will be here to receive it or you won't when the universe surprises you with delivery THREE DAYS EARLY!

                Have barely cracked it, but I am loving the pictures. I also like the cover. I think it is pretty clever and will be easy to find on the shelf.

                I will curl up in a chair, post it notes by my side, and starting reading tonight.

                1. re: smtucker

                  Yay!!! I was sorry to hear about the likelihood of it showing up after you'd left town, so this gives me a happy little tingle. Jealous of the quiet time with it in your lap.

                  1. re: smtucker

                    Hurray! I like the cover too. I like the fuchsia accents and ribbon!