Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook It at Home
By Andrea Nguyen
(Ten Speed Press, Hardcover, 9781607740254, 240pp.)
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
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From sleek, silken tofu with delicate toppings to piping-hot fried satchels in a robust sauce, tofu provides a versatile canvas for the intricate flavors and textures that Asian and vegetarian cooks have long enjoyed. America has embraced tofu as a healthy, affordable ingredient. And while it has been welcomed into sophisticated mainstream dining, tofu is often hidden in Western guises and in limited applications. In her third intrepid cookbook, celebrated food writer and teacher ANDREA NGUYEN aims to elevate this time-honored staple to a new place of prominence on every table.
Asian Tofu’s nearly 100 recipes explore authentic,ancient fare and modern twists that capture the culinary spirit of East, Southeast, and South Asia. There are spectacular favorites from Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and India, as well as delicious dishes from Taipei, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and New York. Andrea demystifies tofu and interprets traditional Asian cuisine for cooks, sharing compelling personal stories and dispatches from some of the world’s best tofu artisans along the way.
For those who want to take their skills to the next level, the tofu tutorial clearly outlines tofu-making technique, encouraging readers to experiment with the unparalleled flavors of homemade varieties. But time-pressed cooks needn’t fear: while a few recipes, such as Silken Tofu and Seasoned Soy Milk Hot Pot, are truly best with homemade tofu, most are terrific with store-bought products. Some traditional dishes combine tofu with meat in brilliant partnerships, such as Spicy Tofu with Beef and Sichuan Peppercorn and Tofu with Kimchi and Pork Belly, but this collection is predominantly vegetarian and vegan, including the pristinely flavored Spiced Tofu and Coconut in Banana Leaf and vibrant Spicy Lemongrass Tofu Salad. And innovations such as Okara Doughnuts reveal tofu’s more playful side.
For health- and eco-conscious eaters and home chefs who are inspired to make the journey from bean to curd, Asian Tofu is the perfect guide.
Andrea Nguyen is one of the country’s leading voices on Asian cuisine and the author of the acclaimed Asian Dumplings and the James Beard– and IACP-nominated Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. She has written for Saveur magazine, where she is also a contributing editor, the Los Angeles Times, and many more publications. She is also the creator of the Asian Market Shopper app. Her engaging and knowledgeable writing on cuisine and culture has attracted a loyal and well-deserved readership that actively follows her blog, www.vietworldkitchen.com. Andrea lives in Santa Cruz, California.
"The most gratifying part about cooking from Asian Tofu is that all the recipes work the way they’re written."
— Boston Globe
"This book should be a priority for anyone with the slightest interest in Asian cuisines."
— Anne Mendelson, Taste & Travel
“Flavorful meditations on soy.”
—Christine Mulhke, New York Times, Summer Cookbook roundup, 5/31/12
"If you're the kind of person who has only one, or two, or three ways to prepare tofu — or is just plain mystified by the whole world of bean curd — Asian Tofu is a godsend."
—T. Susan Chang, National Public Radio, 2012's Best Summer Cookbooks, 5/23/12
"Beautiful, knowledgeable and thorough, this is the best book on tofu to make its way to my bookshelves. Highly recommended."
—Carolyn J. Phillips, Zester Daily, 5/22/12
"Andrea Nguyen’s new cookbook, Asian Tofu (Ten Speed Press, $30), might sound like a succinct, single-subject treatise. However, the book—her third—is actually a robust tome, almost like a biography of the soybean, from how it’s used in multiple Asian cuisines to how it’s relevant in contemporary American food culture."
—Priscilla Mayfield, Orange Coast Magazine, 5/10/12
"This fresh, imaginative take on tofu includes an easy, practical lesson on making your own (we tried it, and it works like a charm), as well as a wide assortment of recipes for both traditional and imaginative foods. . . . Nguyen makes it appealingly clear that tofu is to be prized for itself and not for its utility as a meat substitute."
—Kitchen Arts and Letters bookstore, Spring 2012 newsletter
"A whole cookbook devoted to tofu? Yes, please. Andrea Nguyen's newly released Asian Tofu is a gorgeous guide to all things bean curd."
—Caroline Russock, Serious Eats, "Cook the Book" feature, April 2012
"Asian Tofu gives soybeans some much needed love. Punctuated with gorgeous images, the cookbook breaks down everything you need to know about tofu, from making it yourself to the various styles and uses in different cuisines. Goodbye, drab associations. Hello, full-flavored revelation."
—Tasting Table National, "Soy Genius", 3/28/12
"Nguyen presents tofu recipes through a dazzling array of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and other cuisines that are approachable and easy for the home cook."
—Garrett McCord, Huffington Post, "The Soy Sensation," 3/28/12
“A fantastic fresh take on an ingredient that is, frankly, overlooked far too frequently.”
—Eater National, 3/2/12
“A keeper. . . If you're still reading this with the same "I must make that!" enthusiasm we felt as we flipped through Asian Tofu, then yes, this is a must-have book.”
—LA Weekly's Squid Ink blog, Cookbook of the Week, 3/1/12
“Serious tofu lovers (and that includes me) will be amazed by the recipes and lore in Andrea Nguyen’s masterful new book. Those more skeptical will become immediate converts to one of the world’s most elemental, versatile, and delicious foods.”
—James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur and author of Cradle of Flavor
“Andrea Nguyen’s exquisite book restores tofu to its proper place—one based on deep craft, elegance, and imagination. Here is tofu in its Asian context where it is deeply appreciated for its goodness, not the promises for health we Westerners have endowed it with. An altogether gorgeous work, Asian Tofu not only answers whatever questions you might have about tofu, but is graced with the author’s adventures on the tofu trail.”
—Deborah Madison, author of This Can’t Be Tofu! and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
“Andrea Nguyen has done it again, taking another subject that crosses many cultural lines—and can be a touch intimidating—and demystifying it, making one immediately want to try these techniques and recipes. The Homemade Tofu Tutorial at the beginning is inspiring and worth the price of admission alone.”
—David Kinch, chef-owner of Manresa restaurant
“This book is worth buying just for the glorious Tofu Chicken Meatballs in Lemongrass Broth. But it is full of other tofu wonders from up and down the East Asian coast such as Soft Tofu and Seafood Hotpot and Savory Tofu Pudding. It will find much use on my shelf.”
—Madhur Jaffrey, actress, cookbook author, and TV journalist