Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday Yuba.

Yuba is maybe one of the oddest things I've ever cooked. I'd read about it here, and then went on to learn about it here (those are coincidentally two of the dozen or so vegan food blogs I keep up with). My curiosity piqued, I headed out to the Asian market for more fresh tofu and to find me some yuba. I had to ask, but then was promptly and politely led to not only dried sheets or yuba, but fresh, frozen yuba. I bought both, can't hurt to try both I figured.

I immediately rehydrated a bit of the dried yuba (10 min in a bowl of hot water), then marinated it some chipotle spiked veggie broth, and cooked it until almost crispy (which took a long time) in my trusty cast iron skillet. It was pretty good, but I wanted it crispier for sure.

So on to dinner, I was not done yuba-experimenting. I cooked off a thawed frozen sheet (which, by the by, was seriously a 2 foot round single sheet of the stuff, it was crazy) in white wine and soy sauce for a loooooong time. And then cooked mustard greens (from my garden!) and cremini mushrooms in the same broth (but with ginger and garlic added to it) for a while (until cooked through), piled the yuba back on, spritzed it with some oil and broiled it for probably 15 minutes. The junk just would not get crispy. I think I may be doing something wrong with this yuba. But, I served it anyway with roasted baby bok choy (done simply with some oil and roasted garlic pepper, my new favorite) and when my black rice would NOT cook (terrible turn out, not even CLOSE to cooked after following the directions to the letter), I threw some fresh udon noodles in hot water for 30 seconds and tossed them in my now regionally famous spicy peanut stir-fry sauce (the "region" being my house). I will put the peanut stir-fry sauce recipe below because I've made it enough times to know it and I've honed it from my few favorites. This makes, probably less than a cup, but it's a good coating for two big servings of udon or other pasta. I'd double this for an actual stir fry or a main dish (like a ton of veggies over rice or something).

Erin's Spicy Peanut Spectacular:
1/4 cup almond milk (any non-dairy milk will do probably)
1/4 water (more if you want it thinner once you heat it through on the stove)
3 T peanut butter (I use the smooth, no-stir, but you could use natural, just blend the mix more)
1 t chili garlic sauce (like this)
1 T ground/grated ginger (this stuff is a life saver - see second product down)
1 T molasses
1 T agave (or maple syrup or other sugar sub)
2 t soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
2 t white vinegar
fresh grated black pepper (to taste)
you could also throw in an extra clove of fresh garlic if you're a garlic lover

Toss everything listed in a good blender or food processor and process it for at least a couple of minutes or until completely smooth and light tan in color.

Simmer this over medium low in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan whisking pretty often (more as it starts to thicken) for 6 to 8 minutes. When the consistency is to your liking, dump over anything and it will make it taste better.

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