How to Fall in Love with Tofu: 40 Recipes from Breakfast to Dessert, written by Emma de Thouars, features an inspiring collection of tofu-based recipes using flavors from across Asia. A few highlights include Scrambled Tofu with Crispy Chili, Tofu Dumplings with Spring Onion-Ginger Chili Oil, Deep-Fried Tofu with Garlic Sauce, Tofu Larb, and Tofu Pudding with Ginger Syrup. I will also be sharing her recipe for Chocolate Custard with Sesame Tea Crumble following the review.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Smith Street Books in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Emma de Thouars
Emma de Thouars is a culinary writer, podcast host, presenter, and recipe developer.
She writes a monthly recipe column for PS Het Parool and is also the author of Amazing Asia and Emma’s Amazing Asia: Vegan.
How to Fall in Love with Tofu
Emma begins How to Fall in Love with Tofu with a short introduction of this beautiful ingredient. I especially appreciate the descriptions of the different types of tofu and their best uses. She also lists helpful equipment and pantry staples.
I haven’t tried it yet, but Emma even demonstrates how to make tofu at home with detailed instructions and step-by-step photos.
Chapters are divided according to the following: Make Your Own Tofu, Breakfast & Sandwiches, Tofu & Egg, Snacks, Stuffed Tofu, Saucy, Tofu as a Centrepiece, Not So Saucy, Sweet, and Side Dishes.
The photography is provided by Sophia van den Hoek. Every recipe is paired with at least a full page photo of the finished dish.
Measurements are listed in grams and ounces. Titles are written in English or the original language. Each recipe has a headnote with background information, inspiration, yield, prep/resting time, and notes.
Chocolate Custard with Sesame Tea Crumble
We had so many great meals in How to Fall in Love with Tofu, but the Chocolate Custard with Sesame Tea Crumble was especially fun to make.
A silken tofu base is blended with melted chocolate, agave (or maple) syrup, and a little instant coffee until smooth.
It is allowed to chill for at least an hour to set, then served with a generous sprinkling of a homemade sesame tea crumble.
This creates such a fantastic blend of flavors and textures with the silky smooth chocolate tofu custard and the lightly sweet crisp crumble.
A Few Tips
This dish is best with a high powered blender or immersion blender to handle the thick texture of the tofu and chocolate.
Emma made the Chocolate Custard with Sesame Tea Crumble with ground longjing tea leaves. If you do not have a grinder to make the tea powder, you can swap for store-bought matcha.
I loved the sweetness just as written, but you can also bump up the amount of agave or maple syrup if desired. It will also be sweeter if you use milk chocolate.
With Emma’s recommendation, we paired some of the leftover sesame tea crumble with ice cream and it was absolutely wonderful.
Other Tofu Dishes
I also made Tofu Sando, Steamed Egg with Tofu, Korean Fried Tofu with Ginger Soy Glaze, and Tea Tofu.
This Tofu Sando recipe is a variation of the Japanese Tamago Sando and such a great one since there is no need to boil and peel eggs! Simply toss mashed tofu with chives, mustard, Kewpie mayonnaise, and rice vinegar and serve between to fluffy slices of bread.
The Steamed Egg with Tofu has a soft and light texture perfect for pairing with steamed rice and crisp pieces of nori. Beaten eggs are flavored with dashi and gently folded with silken tofu, then steamed until barely set. To finish, it is topped with green onion and a splash of soy sauce (chad went with a Shio Ponzu with egoma seeds to use it up).
The Korean Fried Tofu with Ginger Soy Glaze was Chad’s favorite. Inspired by Dakgangjeong (chicken coated in a sweet/spicy and tangy sauce), pieces of tofu are coated in corn starch and fried until golden. To serve, they are tossed in a thickened glaze with gochugaru, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
The idea for the Tea Tofu came from Ka Fai Lee, the chef of the Chinese-Indonesian restaurant Fook Sing in Amsterdam. It is such a wonderful combination of flavors. Firm tofu is pan-fried until golden, then simmered in green tea. For even more flavor, it is topped with a sprinkling of ground green tea (or matcha).
How to Fall in Love with Tofu is a fantastic pick for those looking for both traditional and innovative ways of preparing tofu. There are a variety of options for vegans, vegetarians, and even a few using meat. Some dishes come together easily with only a few minutes prep while others take a bit more time.
Having a market nearby with East and Southeast Asian ingredients will be helpful in locating black vinegar, Shaoxing rice wine, tamarind pulp, palm sugar, ketjap manis, Japanese mustard powder, gochugaru, katsuobushi, fish paste, Sichuan peppercorns, and glutinous rice.
Chocolate Custard with Sesame Tea Crumble Recipe
Excerpt from How to Fall in Love with Tofu
Chocolate Custard with Sesame Tea Crumble
- 150 grams (5 1/2 ounces) dark chocolate or milk chocolate
- 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) silken tofu
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup or maple syrup
- 2 grams (1/4 ounce) instant coffee
- 60 grams (2 ounces) cold butter cubed
- 80 grams (2 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 40 grams (1 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon green tea powder
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- For the custard, bring a little water to the boil in a pan.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl on top of the pan, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Melt the chocolate in the bowl.
- Add the melted chocolate, silken tofu, agave syrup or maple syrup and coffee to a blender or the bowl of an immersion blender and puree.
- Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F).
- Place the butter, flour, sugar, tea powder, sesame seeds and a pinch of salt in a bowl and squeeze/rub with your hands until crumbs of different sizes form.
- Place the crumbs on a baking paper-lined tray or baking dish and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Toss halfway through.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Divide the custard between four to six bowls and spoon over the crumble.
- You can serve any leftover crumble with ice cream or yogurt another time.