Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Burmese chickpea tofu salad (soy-free)


Yum


When I was a kid, my only wish was to become an adult so that I can buy and eat whatever and whenever I want. Kids are not allowed to touch money in my family. Naturally, the first time I felt like a grown-up was not the day I lost my virginity, but the very first day of fifth grade when I finally received my first pocket money. As soon as I arrived school, I went straight to the cafeteria with thirty kyats (3 cents) in my hand. Of course, with the prospect of food within the next 5-10 minutes, my face was beaming like a Ferrari’s headlight. Despite the cafeteria’s small size, it was mostly flooded with candy shops. I literally was a kid in a candy store; unable to decide who should get my 30 kyats. But, of course, as a child taste prodigy, I was not tempted by the lowly high-fructose corn syrup. I somehow ended up at a salad station, and finally got myself a Burmese chikpea tofu salad with a complex flavor profile. That day, I learned two very important lessons- that autonomy is priceless and unsanitary hands give you a very bad stomachache.


Burmese tofu salad



I grew up eating lots of Burmese tofu salad, but never actually tried to look into how it was made. I have always assumed that making tofu is so intricate and complex that I would not have the capability or patience to complete the process. Another self-justifying reason is that even my grandmother who actually plants, dries, and grinds her own black pepper, does not make tofu herself.


Chickpea tofu


Chickpea tofu


But recently, I start to read more and become a little bit more ambitious. Anyway, I decided to take on a challenge and make Burmese chickpea tofu by myself. Fortunately, unlike soy tofu, chickpea tofu is very easy to make, and all you need is chickpea flour, turmeric powder and water. Despite its easy journey, the final product is a worthy opponent for its counterpart, soy tofu. The Burmese chickpea tofu is firm yet velvety smooth. It is a great vehicle for bold flavors as in this salad. Another equally popular recipe for the tofu is tofu fritters, served with tamarind dipping sauce. Especially if you are allergic to soy products, you can still maintain your love for tofu with this recipe.


Chickpea tofu salad


Chickpea tofu




In the words of Barefoot Contessa, I would like to say, “How easy is that?” I will be enjoying my autonomy to make tofu whenever and wherever I want. Now, I actually feel like an adult.



chickpea tofu







Chickpea tofu


Chickpea tofu


Chickpea tofu





Notes on the recipe

  • Your chickpea flour must be superfine. Otherwise, tofu will not set right.
  • Soak thinly sliced onions in cold water for about 30 minutes to get rid of astringent oniony taste.
Serving Size - 3-4 

Ingredients

1 cup of super fine chickpea flour (Thai Kitchen Coconut Cream, 13.66 oz.)
1.5 cup of lukewarm water
1.5 cup of hot water
a pinch of turmeric powder
a pinch of salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl, add one and a half-cup of lukewarm water to your chickpea flour and stir until all the flour dissolves. At this point, you see very liquid-y batter and start to lose trust in the recipe. Be calm. This is normal. Close your eyes and add another one and a half cup of hot water.

Pour the liquid batter into a sauce pan and put the pan on the stove on medium high heat and stir with a wooden spoon. The mixture will start to boil in about 3-4 minutes. Stir constantly. Do not walk away. The bubbling will start in the middle, and eventually at the wall of your pan. When that happens, keep cooking the batter, with constant stirring, for 3 more minutes so that all chickpea flour is cooked thoroughly.  Otherwise, you will have this nasty raw legume taste. The whole process on the stove takes from 6-10 minutes total.


Oil an 8x8-baking sheet with flavorless vegetable oil. Spread the batter in the baking sheet and let it cool down for at least one hour (or in the fridge for 20 minutes for inpatient souls). You may also use two 4x4 glass tupperwares, so you can eat one now and save one for later.

The texture should be firm and bouncy. If it is soft and liquidy, you have failed. 

Serving suggestions

You can make the tofu into a salads or battered deep-fried fritters. I decided to stay away from fried food for the time being (I know it’s sad. I bet hell is fat-free), so I made into salad. Burmese salads really rely on individual’s taste preferences; so don’t be caught up on the amount you need to put in for each ingredient. Adjust accordingly and, most important of all, trust your taste buds.

Here is a list of essential ingredients for a magnificent tofu salad.


  • Homemade Garlic infused oil (2 tablespoons for every cup of tofu)
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Temarind concentrate
  • Fish sauce for saltiness
  • Chili flakes for spiciness
  • Brown sugar for sweetness
  • Toasted chickpea flour (one teaspoon for every cup of tofu)
  • Dried shrimp powder (one tablespoon for every cup of tofu)
  • Thinly chopped Kefir lime leaves and cilantro (one teaspoon each for every cup of tofu)
  • Fried shallots





print recipe

Burmese chickpea tofu (firm)
Soy-free chickpea tofu makes a versatile protein source.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Chickpea flour (superfine)
  • 1.5 cup lukewarm water
  • 1.5 cup hot water
  • pinch turmeric powder
  • pinch salt
Instructions
In a mixing bowl, add one and a half-cup of lukewarm water to your chickpea flour and stir until all the flour dissolves. At this point, you see very liquid-y batter and start to lose trust in the recipe. Be calm. This is normal. Close your eyes and add another one and a half cup of hot water.Pour the liquid batter into a sauce pan and put the pan on the stove on medium high heat and stir with a wooden spoon. The mixture will start to boil in about 3-4 minutes. Stir constantly. Do not walk away. The bubbling will start in the middle, and eventually at the wall of your pan. The bubbling will start in the middle, and eventually at the wall of your pan. When that happens, keep cooking the batter, with constant stirring, for 3 more minutes so that all chickpea flour is cooked thoroughly.  Otherwise, you will have this nasty raw legume taste. Oil an 8x8-baking sheet with flavorless vegetable oil. Spread the batter in the baking sheet and let it cool down for at least one hour (or in the fridge for 20 minutes for inpatient souls). You may also use two 4x4 glass tupperwares, so you can eat one now and save one for later.The texture should be firm and bouncy. If it is soft and liquidy, you have failed.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3-4 servings



10 comments:

  1. This is interesting! Never thought of making using chickpea flour this way. Thanks for sharing this inspiring idea :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Maggie. If you end up trying the recipe, let me know hot it turns out :D

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  2. I am totally trying this recipe this weekend....while trying to write a 10 page paper..it will be glorious.

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  3. I made this today and it was delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for trying, and I am really glad that you like the recipe :D

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  4. Oh No you got sick from your fist independent meal :( I’m a huge fan of chickpea tofu but I never thought about making it. You make it look way too easy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha yes, stomach problems tend to happen in Yangon. Yes, it is really easy to make. Let me know if you make it :D

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  5. This dish is incredibly delicious. Soe, thanks for sharing it with us. I love the texture of the tofu and the combination of flavors. Can't wait to try more recipes, Dana from Foodie Goes Healthy

    ReplyDelete