Friday, 15 November 2013

D.K's Poached Tofu with Spicy Kumquat Sauce

Rocket & Roses Holiday Play List:

Metallica ~ Whisky In The Jar
Joan Jett ~ You Don't Own Me
Natalie Imbruglia ~ Everything Goes
Chris Cornell ~ All Night Thing
Bing Crosby ~ Temptation
Feist ~ I Feel It All
VAST ~ Lady Of My Dreams
Maroon 5 ~ Beautiful Goodbye
Lacuna Coil ~ The Secret...
Edith Piaf ~ L etranger
Bonnie Raitt & Bryan Adams ~ Rock Steady
Soul Asylum ~ Sometime To Return 
Buckcherry ~ Sorry
Halestorm ~ Nothing To Do With Love

Today is the last day of our more night of falling asleep to the sound of waves and one more morning waking up to them. One more morning sat enjoying breakfast completely hypnotised by the beautiful and often dramatic beach scene. We've had some spectacular cloud formations and we will miss it all dreadfully. So today I've taken a day off of cooking and bought in some Thai Cakes to have with a simple stir fry of veggies. It's been a great week but as with all holidays it's over way to soon...we feel like we were just settling in and beginning to relax. I have been completely smitten with Cornwall...and I think I always will. 

Today's recipe is another from my chosen holiday cookbook Donna Klein's A Chinese Vegan Kitchen. It was probably the first one I selected when making the list...because of the sauce. I had completely blanked on the fact it was poached tofu. I have been fascinated by Kumquats from being a kid. Never tried one...never seen one..until a recent visit to our supermarket. There in amongst the mango and papaya was bags of kumquats. I eyed them and bottled out of trying some. Then my cookbook arrived and I found the sauce recipe...kumquats were purchased and off we set off on our holiday road trip.

The sauce can be made and stored in the fridge for up to three days so I made it the first day I was here. And it was a simple effort of chopping the fruit and shallots etc. Then allowing it to reduce down. It smelt fantastic as it simmered away...

I had my tofu break thorough the next day and left it a couple of days before I had tofu again. I didn't wanna peak too I decided to have mine over some new noodles I found at our little health food shop and with some simple steamed side veggies. Then I re-read the recipe....

.....poached tofu slices...and my stomach flipped. It became apparent I still hadn't got over my tofu texture thing. But as the trooper I am I decided to make the recipe as D.K intended and then give the meal an honest and fair shot. Again the poaching of the tofu was a simple affair. 

The Sweet Potato & Buckwheat noodles were very fragile and having been bounced around the stock box were in more pieces than the makers had intended. But they cooked easily and were really tasty...I'll use them often. Low in GI's and Gluten Free...perfect. However...they really are meant to be cooked and eaten...left for a few hours and re-heated...not so great. But at least I know now...and therefore so do you! lol.

OK..I can't put it off any longer...the tofu. I enjoyed the smell of the poaching stock and I love to use Star Anise but cutting off a corner of one of the slices...oh heck...I tried...but instantly knew I couldn't eat it. The texture issue kicked in big time...I tried again with some of the sauce...but nope...wasn't happening for me. I was gutted. I scooped off the sauce onto my noodles and veggies but then realised I wasn't enjoying the sauce either. Yes it was spicy but it was also very sharp or tart. The aroma was beautiful but as a dish for just didn't work. But as I always say that is just my personal preference....I hope you folks try it and enjoy it. I have posted the recipe because I believe to test a cookbook fairly you have to post the great, good and the not so good. I really wanted to enjoy this dish...

Poached Tofu with Spicy Kumquat Sauce

Poached Tofu with Spicy Kumquat Sauce  Serves 4 
(Recipe from A Chinese Vegan Kitchen/Klein)

Cooked noodles as per your personal requirements
Steamed veggies as per your personal requirements


2 cups low sodium veggie stock
2 cups water
1 scallion/spring onion, thinly sliced
1/2 star anise 
16 oz firm tofu, drained

In a medium saucepan bring the stock, water, scallion and star anise to a boil over high heat; add the tofu, reduce the heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, 10 minutes. 

Kumquat Sauce:

1/2 tbsp canola oil
6 fresh kumquats, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
1 fresh green or red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped or 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar or balsamic 
1 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup low sodium veggie stock 
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp toasted dark sesame oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a small heavy bottom saucepan heat the canola oil over a med-low heat. Add the kumquats, chilli and shallot; cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened 4-5 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost completely evaporated. Add the juice, stock and sugar; bring to a simmer over med heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups. Stir in the sesame oil and season. Serve warm. 

To assemble: 

Remove the tofu from the broth mixture and cut into thin slices. Divide the slices evenly between the serving plates and top with equal portions of Kumquat Sauce. 

Close up on the sauce...

Or serve over warm noodles and with steamed I did. 


So ML ventured down to the beach that we overlook and took some pretty spectacular shots for me so I knew what was down there. I opened them this morning and was blown away by beautiful. And I had to share them...

Hayle Beach, Cornwall

This is the view I've had all week long...can't beat nature like this....

Hayle Beach, Cornwall
...sometimes there just aren't words...

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday has been a blast....


Many thanks to Donna Klein for an amazing cook book...respect.