Last week, I got to attend a one of a kind event at my friend Daniela’s place (Waves in the Kitchen) with Hodo Foods. Hodo Foods is a tofu brand that has been in the bay area for 14 years!!! That is so surprising to me because I had not heard of them before and I am a huge tofu lover. I learned all about tofu including making tofu, where it comes from, and I even got a swag bag filled with tofu. I was so inspired by the event I decided to make something with the tofu I got from the event.
My Relationship with Tofu
Tofu has always been a big part of my life because it is a big part of Asian culture. Personally, I’ve always had a love hate relationship with tofu. When I was little, I thought it tasted sort of bland and the texture was so weird to me. As I got older though, I definitely started to appreciate the taste and when I started cooking, all the stuff you can make with it.
Hodo Foods Dropping Tofu Knowledge
One of the most surprising things I learned from the event was how simple making tofu is. The founder Minh gave us a demonstration on how to make tofu using soy milk. He first heated the soy milk to 140 degrees F and then poured it into a mixing bowl. He then let it sit and as he said “let the chemistry do its work”. After a few minutes, the soy milk started to solidify into a silken tofu. It was absolutely amazing!
Nowadays, a lot of people associate tofu with vegetarians and vegans. And I sometimes just want to tell them “No! Tofu is just as good as meat.” But then I remember most people didn’t grow up with it like I did. It’s true that tofu is a popular meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian diets. However, if people tried dishes like this pumpkin tofu curry, I think they would change their mind.
My Pumpkin Curry
I attempted to make gluten free pumpkin muffins last week, but apparently, I’m still a noob when it comes to gluten free baking because my muffins didn’t even form properly. It was sort of frustrating. I had a ton of pumpkin puree leftover, so I decided to make a savory dish using the puree. It’s been really cold in SF, so I made a pumpkin tofu curry using a pumpkin curry paste. It was amazing and the tofu went really well with the curry. Tofu has little to no flavor, so the dish you make with it must have strong flavors that can help elevate it. Curry is perfect for this!
I used the pumpkin puree in addition to lemongrass, shallots, ginger, and garlic to create the paste. I then added it to a pan with more shallots, tofu, green beans, and enoki mushrooms to round out my curry. This will be my lunch for the rest of the week!
Pumpkin Tofu Curry
- 2 shallots
- 2 tsp fresh turmeric
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 4 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
Tofu Curry Ingredients
- 20 green beans cut into 2 inch pieces
- 3 oz enoki mushrooms
- 10 oz firm tofu
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can coconut milk 13.5 oz
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 15 Thai basil leaves
- 1 lime
- Curry Paste: Throw 1 shallot, tumeric, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, vegetable oil, and pumpkin puree into a food processor. Pulse until you get a thick paste. If the paste starts to look a little dry in the food processor, add more oil to loosen it up. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add in 1 shallot and 3 tablespoons of the curry paste. Cook for 30 seconds. Then add in your green beans, enoki mushrooms, tofu, and salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes, making sure the curry paste coats all the ingredients.
- Lastly, add in the coconut milk, vegetable stock, bay leaves, and Thai basil. Bring to a boil and lower to low heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.