May 25, 2021 • 34M

XO Soused - tofu and few notes on non-meat eating identities

Andrew Wong and Mukta Das
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A fortnightly chat about techniques and dishes from a professional Chinese kitchen, their history and their cultural setting
Episode details

What is tofu? What reputation does tofu have among western diners and chefs? What varieties of tofu can you find in supermarkets and how does this effect the way that tofu is used and enjoyed? When was soybean curd first formed and pressed into existence and when did varieties of dried, smoked, fried and fermented tofu become ubiquitous? What are the differences in the way these varieties absorb flavour and impart mouthfeel?

How are tofu skins now being used by other 3-star Michelin chefs? And how and why does Andrew use tofu in vegetarian and meat dishes? How does his use in meat and vegetarian dishes subvert or mirror vegetarian practices and meat eating identities in the UK and in China?

If you’d like to learn more about tofu (and soy milk) in 20th century China: Fu, Jia-Chen. (2018). The Other Milk: Reinventing Soy in Republican China. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

An image of a small round transparent glass container filled with tofu, sauce peanuts and topped with herbs set on a stainless steel surface
Andrew’s Chengdu street tofu, which uses an extra silken style of tofu and adds savoury toppings and flavours.

Intro and outro music: 遊子 [wanderer] by

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