We Hate Tofu and We Ate Tofu, We Hate Tofu and We Ate Tofu, We Hate Tofu and We Ate Tofu, We are the Tofu Haters.

Sunday 5/12/2004

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Diary and Notes

English football fans may recognise today's title. It's normally not about tofu, but Manchester United: "We hate Man U and we hate Man U..." (or sometimes Arsenal, Bristol City, The Red Lion etc... but mostly Man U.) At Man City (a real football team, not one of your multi-billion pound money spinners with no heart and Jonny-come-lately fans who quit as soon as their team doesn't win the Premiership), we don't sing such crass songs, but break out into a glorious and tuneful rendition of Blue Moon, whilst our team sails to another victory over Middlesborough (playing this evening) to allow us to climb higher up the league table and leapfrog Charlton, Portsmouth and Bolton in a single bound. All together now: 'Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone...'

Footballing chitter chatter aside, the title is true on both accounts, firstly, that I hate tofu and secondly, that I ate tofu.

OK, so tofu isn't the worst thing on the planet, it's nowhere near as disgusting as say cauliflower or tripe, but I don't really like the stuff. It has almost no taste of its own and texturally lies somewhere between brains and mucus. It is also one of those things that veggy fascists and vegan terrorists try to claim as the greatest invention of the culinary world and offer such dodgy evidence as "Oh but just think of the subtle delicacy of true Japanese food. We had some whilst on a weekend theatre visit to the Stratford, it was delightful. And Porsche, wasn't that soup just divine? With little lotus flowers and carrots cut into the shapes of dragons. I think one was Shen-Lung, haw, haw, haw etc..."

I'm sure you all know exactly what I mean.

But, my culinary freundin, this is the last day of vegetarian week and I decided to have tofu just to show a bit of crazy solidarity with the bean eaters and turnip crunchers of the world. So it's tofu day and I'm not afraid. The only problem is, how do I make it taste more exciting than the fried brown blocks of slime, that Chinese takeways serve in Britain?

"Hot and sour soup." the voice of a friendly Chinese dragon whispered on the wind and I knew it spoke wisdom and truth. It's the future of tofu. When this tasty little recipe hits the streets no one will every have steamed tofu with black bean sauce again. It was simple, bursting with flavour and almost kept me full enough until bedtime (when I had another unfortunate incident - no, I didn't wet the bed, I had to have a snack).

So my tofu was good and satisfying as all food should be. I made a massive batch, ate all the noodles, tofu and vegetables and had some of the liquid left over. This I've put in a jar in the fridge, it might come in useful later in the week.

A word on soup base. These are the little packets that come with noodles. You can put them in or leave them out. If you leave them out you might want to use stock or a pinch of MSG instead. They are however quite authentic. Also, this soup is called HOT and SOUR and that's what it should be. Make sure you put in loads of fresh chillis, ginger and lime juice. Be brave, the dragons of the Orient watch over you and protect you.

Cake Blog

Schweinöhren: Or a pigs ear in English. It's two pastry whirls joined together and dipped in chocolate. Not bad.


  • Hot and Sour Tofu Noodle Soup


  • Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Chillis, Carrot, Courgette, Mushrooms, Soya Sauce, Fresh Lime Juice, Chinese Five Spice Powder, Lemon Grass, Tofu, Vegetable Soup Base, White Pepper, Fresh Coriander, Noodles.


  • Firstly a confession, I don't actually have any white pepper. Normally I would, but I just haven't bought any since I've been in Germany. I used black pepper instead.
  • To make the soup: Cut the onion, carrot and courgette into very thin strips. Slice the mushrooms. Slice the garlic into wafer thin pieces and cut the ginger and chillis into very fine strips. Cut the ends off the lemon grass, peel away any dry outer leaves and bash the lemon grass very hard (lets the oil out when it cooks). Chop the tofu into cubes. Put everything except the coriander and noodles in a big pan, pour over water and bubble away (with the lid on the pan) for 1/2 an hour. Add the noodles to the pan. Chop the coriander. After the noodles are soft, serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander on top.