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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sweet Cold Tofu Treat

Okay it's getting hot and humid and the long dog days of summer are about to be upon us. Though ice cream is the one thing I love during the summer another great cold treat is something called "Tofu Flower" (Tofu fa) It's basically very smooth silken tofu in a sweet ginger sugar syrup. Normally they have this during dim sum hours and you really can't miss the cart. It's inside this huge rice cooker like steamer and if you're not quick it'll be all gone. They only seem to have a set amount so if you snooze you lose. Oh you can ask for more sugar syrup though sometimes they can get a bit cranky for giving it out =P

The tofu is very very smooth and can be served hot or cold. The intensity of the ginger syrup or sometimes sugar cane syrup can differ. I like mine light. Frankly the best places to get these tofu flower is from the street vendors or the old mom and pop shops that exclusive deal in tofu and the like. One of my favorite is a small hole in the wall on Grand Street crossing Bowery Street in Chinatown NYC. The food is very good and they've been there for years. Definitely got to try the bottled soy bean milk (sweetened) and the herbal tea drink. They're around 75 cents a good bottle. Seriously cannot get this stuff any cheaper in NYC. Though around rush hour and hot days and weekends they have a long line and run out of things quick >_<.

There use to be many places that specialize in tofu and fresh cooked noodles and lo mein cooked right on the spot. A few good ones remain like the one I mentioned above and another on Mott street across the street from the bubble tea places. I'll try to get photos and actual cards of the place so if you ever visit NYC you should go to these hidden gems. They sometimes seem a bit dingy and unkempt but the food is generally cheaper and tastes much better then the fast processed food at large restaurants.

As for people who cannot readily get it. I think there are ready or almost ready made packages of tofu flower in stores but it's going to be hard to find unless there's an Asian specialty store somewhere.

Until next time... what kind of desserts do you cool down with?


Pili said...

Damn, you've made me wish I could try it!
If only the only Japanese restaurant around here would have it! Cause I know it won't be in any of the Chinese ones... *sigh*

Kathy said...

That sounds wonderful. I just had some key lime pie. Mmmmmmmm! Yum!

Rosebud Collection said...

This really sounds different..
Bet it is tasty.