Sunday, June 22, 2008

Panfried Tofu with Chinese Black Bean Sauce (Page 280)


  • Date: Sunday, June 8, 2008 -- 7pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

Mmmm... tofu. I LOVE tofu! Everyone always thinks I am a vegetarian because I order tofu dishes at restaurants whenever possible. Why is it not acceptable to love both beef and tofu?!? The only reason I hadn't made this dish sooner is because I didn't have any fermented black beans around. But I bought some a couple weeks ago to make a fish dish, and that brought this recipe into the realm of possibility. It was very tasty (and very simple)! The tofu was panfried until it was nice and crispy on the exterior. It was served with white rice and broccoli and the whole thing got doused with black bean sauce. The flavor of the sauce was excellent. When working with tofu, sauces are especially important, since tofu doesn't have such a pronounced flavor itself. This sauce was great with the tofu, and also over the accompaniments. My only complaint is that the texture of the sauce was too thin. It didn't have any cling to it. So instead of coating the tofu, it ran off of the tofu blocks. The addition of more cornstarch would have easily solved this problem. A better consistency for the sauce would have made this dish perfect.

The recipe is here.

Just when I started to get oriented in Copenhagen, it is now time to head to Germany. I am trying to gear up for this next week of conference. This past week there were 120 or so participants in the workshop, and that already felt huge. In Germany there will be an additional 130 people, making it an absolutely enormous conference! Whoo-hoo!

All week we have been going everywhere in big packs. A lot of the young topologists know each other well, and enjoy spending time together. But no matter how much you like people, it gets frustrating after a while to try to go to dinner in a group of 15 people every day. By the end of the week I found myself trying to splinter off a bit more, going to meals with 5 or 6 people instead of half an army. I even started making the half an hour walk to the university in the morning ALONE. Shocking, I know. It helps my mental state tremendously to have a little bit of alone time each day, and at conferences that can be hard to come by! Don't get me wrong -- hanging out with the whole crew is great, great fun, but there is also tremendous value in some quieter interaction. Last night I had a quiet evening, wandering the streets of Copenhagen with a friend until the wee hours of the morning, having a lovely chat. It was a nice way to end a fun week in Denmark.

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