Monday, 23 March 2009

smoky tea tofu

Tonight I'm feeling all quiet and homey. I was listening to Leonard Cohen and cooking for someone I love very very much, and I wanted something yummy and warm and kind of exotic, in that way that teahouses can feel exotic when the lighting is just low enough and the furniture doesn't match and just for a moment you can see how it was rare and wonderful to get delicacies from hundreds or thousands of miles away. From worlds away.

It is cold and blowing and wet outside. A reminder that although the days are getting longer, it's not spring yet.

Tofu and leafy broccoli in lapsang suchong tea.

In the morning, make a very very very (very) strong cuppa. I used 4 teabags for 1.5 cups of water, in which I marinate a block of tofu, cut into strips. Marinate your cut up tofu in this all day in the fridge. If you don't do this, don't panic. Just make your tea and pretend like it's been marinating all day. Don't tell anyone you forgot. Shhhhh! It'll be just as good, just a lot less intense. First, get some rice going and try not to forget about it. Now you're free to turn your attention to the tofu and broccoli. Dump the tofu + tea in a nice big pan, add a dash (2-3 tbs) of sake and a dash (ha! still 2-3 tbs) of shoyu (take out and reserve 4 or so tbs of the tea + shoyu + sake marinade) and simmer until the liquid reduces to just enough liquid to saute the broccoli. Your kitchen will now smell like a campfire. Mmmmmm. When the liquid has reduced, add a head of broccoli, chopped (I used flowering broccoli), cover and steam briefly. When the broccoli is done, add a bunch of enoki, turn off the heat, and cover again until enoki are wilted. Now, mix 2 tbs of unsweetened chestnut puree into your reserved tea marinade. Pour this over your tofu/broccoli/enoki mixture and heat if necessary. Sprinkle with black pepper. Garnish with slivers of orange, if you have any around. Serve over rice, or with soba noodles. Or hell, as a filling for baked potatoes. Have a small bowl of green olives alongside this. They go really well with this dinner.

music: Leonard Cohen. Suzanne. And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China.


medici said...

As if I wasn't already won over by the evocative name of this dish alone ... what a gorgeous and exotic creation this is! The secret smoky tea sauce does make me think of treasures that have snaked here all the way from China. How do such goods find their way to Scotland? We're so lucky that they do, and that they did.

Heikki said...

This recipe sounds amazing! I'll definitely have to make something similar to this.

Jackie said...

I am sooo trying this recipe. Lapsang Souchan tea is my favorite tea.

This blog is great. I love these recipes.

sinead said...

Glad you like the blog!

SweetPotatoPie said...

Wow. This looks beautiful. The moment I stop being raw and find some Chinese tea, I'm going to make it for my lover. Does it really smell like a campfire?

sinead said...

Why yes, it does.