Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Spectacular Failure

Tonight I made stir fried rubber for dinner.

T is always getting on my case about my kitchen experimentation. I'll make something from the still-forming recipe in my head, he'll love it and then I'll say, enjoy it while you can, you'll never get it again. And then he'll say that I need to write things down as I do it so that I can recreate the culinary miracles that happen every once in awhile. And I nod absent-mindedly and promptly forget.

Tonight isn't once in awhile.

In a keen attempt to rid the house of New Year's party leftovers I decided to make a stir fry with tofu skins. I think this comes from the film that forms on the top of the pot as tofu is being made. Dried scum, yummmmm.... It is marvelous in hot pot. It has no significant flavor of its own and a chewy, pliant texture when simmered. And then dipped in the hot pot sauce it is really comforting.

But it simmers better than it fries.

First you have to tear it to shreds and soak it to soften it up.

Poker anyone?

The bowl of dried scum.

After soaking, I drained it and then stir-fried it using one of my favorite techniques, black vinegar, cooking wine and cilantro.

It looked ..interesting.. as it fried up.

I nibbled a few pieces. Chewy, pliant, somewhat nutty in flavor. And then, in a split-second it went from chewy to strips of pure rubber. It practically squeaked between my teeth. And once I added the vinegar, it darkened up and looked, well, like elongated sheets of thin rubber...ahem.


Not one of my more successful experiments, but I ate it anyway with hot rice and a chilled Corbieres red.

T had miso soup.

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