Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Black Rice Tofu Cakes

I love used book stores.  It's like a treasure hunt.  Every time I pick up a used book, I wonder whose hands have held it and whose eyes have studied it. I usually head straight to the cookbook section and love seeing all the wrinkled pages and hand written recipe notes in the margins.  Last week, I scored big time at Aardvark Books with Louise Hagler's classic Tofu Cookery cookbook for only five bucks!  The first recipe that drew me in was her sweet and sour tofu balls.  I ended up adapting the recipe a little to create these savory little tofu cakes.

Makes about 16 small cakes
1 lb. firm tofu 
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup black rice, cooked (or brown rice)
2 tablespoons peanut butter 
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Oil for frying
  1. Using your hands, mash the tofu in large bowl. 
  2. Finely chop the onions and bell pepper. Add them to the mashed tofu.
  3. Add in the cooked black rice, peanut butter, tamari, and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (if it feels dry and crumbly, add more peanut butter and sesame oil)
  4. Form into 1½ inch balls and flatten a little. (see photo)
  5. Fry in a thin layer of oil until browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels. 
  6. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
I got lazy and left out the homemade sweet and sour sauce.  Instead, I turned to my favorite Korean gochujang sauce for dipping.  You can also make larger burger patties with this recipe.  I added the black rice for contrast, but these would also be fabulous with cooked quinoa instead of rice.  Yum!  I can't wait to try out more recipes from this cookbook.  It's truly a recipe gold mine and a pioneer resource for plant-based cooking.

Also, if you're in San Francisco or are ever in San Francisco, check out Aardvark Books.  They have an adorable resident cat that wanders the store and sleeps on their boxes of books.  :)