by Mike Sula
I've been eating and cooking with a good deal of tofu lately, for one reason or another, and getting off on rediscovering the many forms this utilitarian protein is capable of assuming. For my own spicy tofu stew, I particularly like the silky variety stuffed in tubes by Pulmuone (available at finer Asian groceries). There's a small Lawrence Avenue mom-and-pop operation called Tran Tofu that sells plastic bags of presliced firm tofu out the front door ($1 per pound!) that will stand up to the most ham-handed stir-fryer.
But on a recent visit to the Niles Super H Mart--always good for a thrill --I stopped short at the sight of the the green house-made "vegetable" tofu. Woo Sung Choi of the superstore's marketing department would not admit that these olive-colored blocks are created by Korean leprechauns, but he did say they're made with spinach. They used to do an orange variety from carrots (Halloween?) but Mr. Choi regretted to say that it's been discontinued.
I used H Mart's vegetable tofu and button mushrooms for a vegetarian version of my Korean bacon and eggs. . . . Oh, all right--I used bacon fat to saute the mushrooms.
I didn't think it had a particularly noticeable spinach flavor, and I wasn't too keen on the granular texture of the stuff, but it does make an arresting presentation. Slainte!
H-Mart, 801 Civic Center Dr., Niles, 847-581-1212
Tran Tofu, 2733 W. Lawrence, 773-989-7959