For our inaugural Tofu Disruption event, we served bites of tofu laab at our welcome reception. The shrimp complemented the tactile texture of the tofu, and the tartness and crunch of the quince nicely complements the mixture.
2 blocks Hodo Firm Tofu (or if you can, get your hands on some of our medium tofu, that offers a great consistency -available at SF Sat Farmers’ Mkt – Saturdays at CUESA)
1 lb small shrimp, peeled, blanched and diced (omit for vegan)
2 quinces, peeled, poached and diced small
Water to cover
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
5 kaffir lime leaves, vein removed, chiffonade
1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
1 cup green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup mint leaves, chiffonade
1/2 cup Vietnamese cilantro leaves, chiffonade
4 Tablespoons fish sauce, substitute with soy sauce for vegan version
6 Tablespoons palm sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
4 Fresno red chilies, seeded and chopped finely
2 limes, zest and juice
2 Tablespoon toasted rice powder (from 3 Tablespoons glutinous rice)
Chicharron (from 4505 Meats)
Drain and pat dry tofu. Crumble into pea-sized pieces.
Prepare the shrimp: Bring a heavily salted pot of water to boil. Remove from heat, add shrimp and stir. After a few minutes, check to see if shrimp is pink, then remove and transfer to a bowl of iced salted water. Drain and pat dry. Dice.
Prepare the quince: Peel and dice quince small and drop into a pot of water with lemon juice. Add sugar, and bring to a simmer and boil till quince is tender. Remove from heat, shock in cold water. Drain and pat dry.
Preparing the dressing: Whisk together lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and till the sugar is dissolved. Then mix in fresno, lime zest and garlic. Set aside.
Preparing the toasted rice: Dry-fry the glutinous rice (without any oil) under medium heat till golden brown. Remove, let cool slightly and grind into a powder with a spice mill, or a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
Assembly: Mix in the rice powder, herb mixture, shrimp, quince and dressing tofu and toss to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes for the flavor to come together. Serve with a piece of chicharron.