manchurian tofu
(photographed by james piper) 

there! i said it! i love you even in your most basic forms, although i’ll admit it took me a while to get there. but it was super easy to love you in the hands of your masters, carved into strips of chinese mock meats or pure bean curd fried and braised by japanese cooking gurus.

in fact, most ingredients that people love, even bacon or chocolate, need the coaxing of experts and the stove before becoming the stuff of cravings. i think many people that don’t like tofu or have flat out aversions to tofu just haven’t had tofu prepared properly. great silken pieces fried to a crisp on the outside, clinging to, say, a spicy manchurian sauce (as above), yielding to teeth or chopsticks with ease, but retaining a texture like no other. any texture you could dream of, i might add, and any flavour you could want.

but some of my friends have yet to have these experiences and remain skeptical so the tofu challenge of 2010 is on! stay tuned for more.