Some people immediately like tofu. Not me. I flipped over tempeh at first taste and couldn’t get enough of seitan, but tofu left me cold. I’m not talking just a few times of trying it, I’m talking a matter of a few years when I first went vegetarian. The only way I’d eat it (notice I didn’t say I liked it, was when I cooked it with that old Fantastic Foods Tofu Scramble mix. The texture still creeped me out, but Jim loved it, so around year 3 of vegetarianism, we had that a handful of times. Even the recipes in The Farm Cookbook didn’t didn’t tempt me.
Also around year 3, we picked up a copy of Tofu Cookery at a really cool independent bookstore, Mac’s Backs, when we were living in a ‘hippie’ section of Cleveland. I was convinced I was missing out. Every vegetarian I knew liked tofu. The photo of Chinese Sweet and Sour Balls gave me hope. The first time we made it, Jim made the sauce and I made the balls. Of course, we had it over rice. And I was in love. Since then, I’ve tried many of the recipes in Tofu Cookery, but this one remains my favorite. People say you don’t forget your first kiss, but I did. That probably says more about my first kiss than my memory. But I’ll never forget the first dish that made me a tofu lover rather than a reluctant tofu eater.
The 25th Anniversary Edition has been updated. Recipes have been adapted to be more healthful in some cases, and some new recipes have been included. Louise Hagler is a pioneer in vegan cooking, and this book is a testament to that. The familiar recipes please vegans and meat-eaters alike. If you happen to have a thing about the texture of tofu like I do, you might want to press the tofu in some of the recipes to make them more pleasing. I don’t press the tofu for the Sweet and Sour Tofu Balls, but for some of the other dishes (especially the stir frys), I suggest it. If you do make the Tofu Balls, try adding a little parsley to them. Apparently, it was dropped in this latest edition, but it gives a wonderful, fresh taste.
Would you like to win a copy of this book? Just post a reply here telling me something about tofu. It could be your favorite way to eat it, what got you to like it (or not), your favorite brand or anything.
International readers are welcome to enter. Thank you to the Book Publishing Company for sending me this copy to review and giveaway.
Also, if you’re within driving distance to Erie, don’t forget the book signing on Sunday. Info is in the sidebar. I’m bringing snacks and would love to see you there. Thanks!