China was making tofu from soybeans more than two thousand years ago. But mention it to most Americans and it is “yuk” time. American prejudices for tofu are so strong, most will not taste a morsel. Horror fills faces and complexions turn green.
That’s why we never mention to the beefy McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, cancer and heart attack generations that eat at our house as guests that the ice cream we serve is made from tofu or the chocolate pie is made from tofu or that …
They never know the difference. We reveal the truth after they eat.
When we are in China, I get up early to go the the nearest market that makes fresh soy juice and I buy it without sugar or sweetener added. There is no comparison. It’s warm. It’s fresh. It’s China. It’s different from the genetically altered, American, factory-farmed soy juice sold in American markets. That stuff is “yuk” and I don’t touch it.
There are thousands of foods that humans eat. Most Americans eat about a half dozen. Maybe soy and tofu is the secret explaining why there are more than 1.3 billion Chinese.
And, if you are curious enough to overcome your prejudices, visit one or all of these Websites and Blogs to learn more:
Gluten-Free and Sugar-Free Ginger-Baked Tofu with Agave-Peanut Sauce
The Chinese invented tofu, but some Americans are reinventing it. I was introduced to Chocolate Tofu Pie at Mother’s Market in Costa Mesa, California. Then I figured out how to make it at home by experimenting.
- Two 10-ounce containers of soft or silken organic tofu
- Two four-ounce packages of baker’s, unsweetened chocolate—but use only six of the ounces. This chocolate has no milk or sweeteners added. Use six ounces of the eight.
- One bag of malt-sweetened chocolate bits. There are no dairy or refined sugars in this chocolate. Use half of this bag. If you skip this ingredient, add more of the baker’s, unsweetened chocolate.
- Agave nectar. This low absorbing sweetener is absorbed into the body slowly.
- One package of readymade whole-wheat piecrust (recommended for fiber).
- Use one tablespoon of arrowroot for a thickener
- Mix the tofu in a blender with the arrowroot or another natural thickener.
- Heat the chocolate in a pan (double boiler hopefully) until melted and pour into blended tofu and mix.
- Add the Agave nectar.
- Taste to make sure it is sweet enough and that the bitterness from the baker’s chocolate is gone. Add more Agave if desired. Our daughter enjoys this step the most, since she is the taster.
- Blend until it is all one smooth color.
- Pour equally into the pie pans.
- Put pies in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Let pies cool after cooking; put in refrigerator after they are cool.
- The pies will be ready the next day.
Note: I usually shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for the ingredients used in the tofu chocolate pie.
Discover China’s Noodle Culture
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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Tasty twist mr Lofthouse. I was introduced to tofu the same as we eat back home. Cold, watery, tasteless, white. Or as my little friend in Zhaoqing called it, “Chinese ice cream!” There is a difference. First, I agree the warm soy milk is a great breakfast drink not only is soy a healthy vegetable filled with protein, but drinking it warm helps the stomach prepare for digestion of the day’s meals. Unlike my other breakfast last year when I’d run to Mcdonalds to grab a chocolate shake and have everyone including the manager scratching their heads and wondering what fool eats ice cream at 8am.
Chinese take tofu to the next level by including it in their dishes and when they cook with herbs and spices, it adds a taste to the tasteless. In a sense, it’s like our love of salads. Both are vegetables eaten with a spice for flavor.
The Chinese know how to make tofu tasty. I think the US may be learning but I wonder what dangerous chemicals the US companies are adding to the tofu products here to extend the shelf life.
Too bad it is not easy to find fresh tofu juice in the US. There is a place in Rowland Heights in Southern California that does it the traditional Chinese way. My wife has made fresh tofu juice at home before but it is a lengthy process.