Carrot Braised Tofu Chorizo on Yuba Cracklings
Yields: two dozen canapés
“This recipe came about last year when cooking for an Outstanding in the Field event last fall (September 2017). We are big fans of Hodo products, and believe in cooking seasonally from local produce - although we are an Oakland-based company, we were in LA at the time and the Santa Monica Farmers' Market is a vegetable cook's dream - so this idea for a fun but elegant-looking appetizer came naturally, and has since been a hit on our catering and dinner pop-up menus.
There are only four simple components to this dish and they each bring something to the table. The texture of the crispy, fried, chicharron-like yuba, the smoky, sweet, earthy carrot, the bitter and bright pickled mustard seeds and the fresh floral herbs, work together and made this vegan bite craveable and interesting.
Smoking the carrot and pickling the mustard seeds are the longer processes, but the former can be done up to four days in advance and the latter can even be done a month ahead, and everything else comes together quickly on the day-of.” ~ S+M Vegan
Carrot and Hodo Braised Tofu Chorizo Recipe
Ingredients for about 1 cup (enough for about two dozen canapés)
1/2 8oz Hodo Braised Tofu Locate Product
1 large carrot, peeled
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
a drop of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Smoke the carrot and tofu using a smoker or a grill for about half an hour. If the carrot is still crunchy, gently saute it in some olive oil until tender, but still a little raw or it'll get mushy and lose its texture.
In a skillet on medium heat, carefully toast the fennel, cumin and coriander just until fragrant. Let the spices cool for a few minutes, grind them to a powder in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, and transfer them to a mixing bowl.
In a food processor or by hand, roughly chop the carrot and tofu to obtain a coarse ground texture. Processed too little and the pieces will be too chunky, and too long and the carrot will become a puree. Transfer the carrot and tofu to the spice bowl.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the spices into the carrot and tofu mixture. Grate in a clove of garlic, the smoked paprika, cayenne if using, sugar, vinegar, and olive oil, incorporate well and add salt and pepper to taste. Carrots can vary in flavor depending on their size, variety, origin or season, and spices can be of varying potency, so the amount of each spice should be adjusted to taste.
Pickled Mustard Seeds
Ingredients for approximately 1/2 cup:
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric
In a bowl, combine mustard seeds, vinegars and salt, and let sit for at least an hour up to overnight.
Transfer to a saucepan and add remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and stir regularly for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool. The seeds can then be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months, and as
they'll continue to expand, soak up liquid, and mellow slightly, a little more vinegar can be stirred in when desired. This recipe makes more than what will be needed for the canapés, but the mustard seeds are great on sandwiches, roasted root vegetables, salads...
Hodo Yuba Cracklings
1 5oz packet of Hodo Yuba Locate Product
oil for frying
Heat your frying oil in a pot, saucepan of fryer to 375°F. Prepare a tray lined with paper towels to drain the yuba on.
Unfold the sheets of yuba and tear them into 2 dozen squares of approximately 3x3".
Fry the sheets without overcrowding your vessel (or they'll stick to each other) until puffed up and crisp, which takes 30 seconds to a minute per batch.
Using a spider, transfer the fried yuba sheets out of the oil and onto the paper towels to cool, sprinkling them with a little salt while still warm. They are ready to serve as soon as they've cooled and will start to soften over time, so be sure to fry them up shortly before serving. You'll want to make extra to snack on on their own.
Final Assembly of the Cracklings
1 recipe carrot chorizo
1 recipe mustard seeds
1 recipe yuba cracklings
pickled cilantro and tarragon (or cilantro and sliced chives)
Lay out the yuba crackling on your serving plate or tray.
Top each yuba piece with about 2 tbsp chorizo, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and a liberal sprinkling of herbs.