August 19, 2011

Emma's Yellow Tofu Curry

The other night, I found myself in the mood for some curry. I also had the good fortune of having two fresh-from-the-farmers-market firm blocks of Hodo tofu. It was decided. I would make Tofu curry.

Although I thoroughly enjoying cooking, I’m not quite able to create any dish that comes to mind, so I went to the Internet. I took my inspiration from a Fine Cooking recipe and adapted it to include fresh ingredients from my garden and my local North Berkeley Farmers market.

Cooking this yellow curry was almost as good as eating it, the aroma lemongrass, curry, and coconut milk that filled my kitchen was irresistible. It’s a good thing that this dish was so quick to make because by the time it was done I was practically salivating.

With this recipe, I discovered a new way to cook with tofu. This yellow curry was the perfect combination of delicious fresh ingredients and a creamy curry that was bursting with flavor. This dish would go well served with basmati or brown rice. Enjoy!

1 (13.5- to 14-oz.) can coconut milk (alternatively you could experiment by using Hodo unsweetened soy milk)

1/4 cup yellow curry paste

1 cup homemade vegetable broth (simply boil water, celery, onions, carrot, bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper, and whatever additional veggies you like for a few hours or until desired strength, and then strain vegetables out and use liquid only)

2 Tbs. light brown sugar

1 tsp. fish sauce

3/4 cup green bean pieces

3/4 cup sliced onions

3 stalks fresh lemongrass cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces

6 whole fresh lime leaves

2 or more Hodo firm tofu cut into bite-size pieces

3/4 cup eggplant, peeled and cubed in ½ inch cubes

3/4 cup zucchini, cubed in ½ inch cubes

3/4 cup oyster mushrooms, pulled apart into bite-size pieces

3/4 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves

4 Lime wedges, for garnish

Place eggplant and zucchini on baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake at 400 until eggplant is soft and golden brown. Set aside.

Over medium heat in a large wok or saucepan, bring ½ cup of the coconut milk to simmering. Stir the milk occasionally until it is thickened and reduced by about half. This will take about 4 or 5 minutes.

Add the curry paste to the coconut milk, whisk in the curry paste for 1 minute. Then whisk in the broth, sugar, fish sauce, and remaining coconut milk. Bring to a simmer.

Add the green beans, onions, lemongrass, and lime leaves and continue to simmer.

After a couple of minutes, add in the Hodo tofu, mushrooms, zucchini, and eggplant and continue to simmer until everything is cooked to your liking; it should take around 3 minutes.

Remove the curry from the heat. Taste the curry and if preferred add more sugar or fish sauce, and then add the basil leaves. Remove the lemongrass and lime leaves. And finally, toss on the lime wedges for garnish.

Bon Appetite!

August 15, 2011

Hodo Kiosk Spotlight, by Emma Lutz

As I walked towards the Ferry Building amongst the gaggle of tourists and business people, the air was crisp and uncharacteristically warm. Visiting the Hodo Kiosk and blogging about it was one of my first tasks as Hodo's Summer 2011 intern. The kiosk is a great expansion for Hodo because it's Hodo's first retail location and it introduces new products different from Hodo farmers’ market and grocery store items.

I stepped into the Ferry Building and was instantly relieved by the openness and natural light that flooded the building. With the farmers market outside, the halls of the building were bustling with food enthusiasts and tourists—great people watching.

I found the Hodo Kiosk next to Gott’s Roadside and The Slanted Door. I tried the Yuba Kung Pao salad, which is a refreshing mix of yuba, brown rice noodles, carrot, cucumber, and daikon. The yuba gives the salad a sumptuous texture when mixed with the fresh crunch of the veggies. The Kung Pao dressing tops the salad off giving it a delightfully summery flavor.

I learned that the customers’ favorite is the Indian Wrap, made with spicy curry tofu nuggets, crisp lettuce, cucumber, carrot, daikon, and cilantro, seasoned with a mouth-watering mango chutney and Hodo’s homemade vegan mayonnaise, all wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.

The kiosk also carries a great variety of soy smoothies and drinks, such as Chocolate Soy Shake, Thai Tea, Strawberry Banana Smoothie, and Kale Avocado Shake. If you are already a Hodo fan or someone who simply wants to try some great new Hodo dishes, make sure to stop by the kiosk! Next time I visit, I hope to enjoy some of the decadent Scharf’s Chocolate Mousse while viewing sailboats on the bay.

Kiosk Hours:

Monday-Friday 9am – 7pm

Saturdays 8am – 6pm

Sundays 11am – 5pm

Unique and freshly-made ready-to-eat items at the kiosk:

Strawberry Banana Smoothie: Strawberry, Banana, Hodo Soy Milk, Hodo Custard, Orange Juice, Agave Syrup

Kale Avocado Smoothie: Kale, Avocado, Cucumber, Hodo Soy Milk, Hodo Soy Custard, Apple Juice, Lime Juice, Sea Salt

Thai Iced Tea: Hodo Soy Milk, Thai Tea, Organic Sugar

Chocolate Soy Milk: Hodo Soy Milk, Cocoa Powder, Organic Sugar, Vanilla, Sea Salt

Yuba Kung Pao Salad: Yuba, Brown Rice Noodles, Cucumber, Daikon, Carrot, Soynuts, Cilantro, Kung Pao Sauce (soy bean oil, rice vinegar, tamari, water, cane sugar, sesame oil, brown sugar, corn starch, spices, garlic, ginger, chilies, dried orange peel)

Scharf’s Mousse: Hodo Soy Crème, Hodo Soy Custard, Scharffen Berger 62% Semisweet Chocolate, Agave Syrup, Rice Starch, Vanilla, Sea Salt

Forbidden Rice Pudding: Hodo Soy Crème, Hodo Soy Custard, Licorice, Cinnamon, Agave Syrup, Indian Spice, Candied Ginger, Toasted Coconut

Indian Wrap: Curry Tofu Nuggets, Lettuce, Carrot, Cucumber, Daikon, Cilantro, Hodo Vegan Mayo, Mango Chutney, Whole Wheat Tortilla

Sky Is Falling! Sandwich: Hodo Firm Tofu, Hodo Vegan Mayo, Yellow Curry, Turmeric, Vital Vittles Bread

***In addition to the prepared items, the Kiosk also carries all of Hodo’s fresh tofu products (Soy Milk, Silken, Medium, and Firm Tofu, Fresh Yuba, Braised Tofu, and Tea-Infused Tofu) along with a variety of grab and go salads (Hijiki, Spicy Yuba Strips, 5-Spice and Spicy Curry Nuggets).***

April 6, 2011

Bakesale Betty Fried Tofu Sandwich

Since becoming a vegetarian and slow foodist and moving to the Bay Area, I have eaten so well that I rarely miss my old diet. Except when the first perfect days of Spring arrive, like they have this week, and I smell everyone's barbecues.

And when I pass by the line outside Bakesale Betty's and overhear the patient lunch-goers saying to their friends, "just wait until you try this amazing fried chicken sandwich. The combination of slaw, fresh French roll, and crispy chicken are dreeeamy."

At last, beginning April 12, we self-sacrificing vegetarians will have a dreamy Bakesale Betty sandwich to line up for! During the photo shoot for today's Oakland Tribune article about popular food companies who launched their businesses at farmers' markets, Minh and Betty finalized the specs for how he would brine the tofu and she would fry it for this unbelievably delicious sandwich. Betty brought her "final take" to the beanery, and we were speechless with appreciation for the most skillful fry job we had ever witnessed, and the most magnificent balance of cabbage, parsley, vinegar, and olive oil topping it.

I hope to see you in line to try the fried tofu sandwich's debut next Tuesday! Or Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, as I will most likely be there for one every day.

P.S. Even though the news of a Bakesale Betty friend tofu sandwich seems too good to be true, believe it! A Hodo Ferry Building kiosk opening in May will happen also! However, Hodo selling soy-flavored bacon, soy cocktails, and edible soyrangements at said kiosk was an April Fools Fancy. Sorry to disappoint those who didn't catch on.

April 1, 2011

Hodo Invites Ideas for our new kiosk

Are you questioning the buzz about a Hodo kiosk in the Ferry Building opening in May? Well, believe it! Across from Out The Door and next to Gott's Roadside, Hodo is opening its first very own retail space! We will sell many new ready-to-eat breakfast and lunch items, flavored soy milks, and all our freshly-made soy products.

Our kiosk will serve as a stage to present our soy innovations, as we have them. Our current projects include:

Tofu-flavored Bacon. No one's succeeded in making a truly delicious soy-based bacon substitute, including us, so we've switched gears and begun developing a soy-flavored bacon. Yes, we are still a vegetarian company, but we're making this one small exception in pursuit of an amazing product.

Soy Liqueur. We haven't perfected the fermentation process, but as soon as we do, our beverages will be even more intoxicating! Look for soytinis and Long Island Soy Teas at our kiosk bar soon!

Edible Soyrangements. Edible gifts have taken off, and Hodo has tested some beautiful yuba roses and braised tofu tulip bouquets. They look fantastic and taste delicious... so long as you present them to your loved ones in a refrigerated space.

What ideas do you have for new soy innovations? We welcome your suggestions! We want the launching of our kiosk to be a collaborative community event!