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Sadly, my dim sum days are over. If we were living a Monty Python skit, the waiter would offer the day’s menu:

“We have gluten dumplings, gluten balls, gluten pancakes, glutinous gluten, wheat gluten, gluten hash, gluten sauce…”

“Have you got anything besides gluten?”

“Well, we have gluten buns, gluten blobs, gluten on gluten, soft tofu, gluten soup…”

What was that!? Soft tofu? Shyeaaah! This, peops, is the only dish remaining on the dim sum raster that we can eat. But it’s so damn good, it’s almost worth watching friends mow their glutenfest while you wait for the giant vat of tofu goodness to make its rounds. Here’s my take on the recipe so you can enjoy it at home, at will, glutenfest-free.

Naturally Gluten-Free: Warm Silken Tofu in Sweet Ginger Water

Silken Tofu in a Sweet Ginger Syrup

  • 1 package silken tofu
  • 2 c water
  • 2-4 T honey
  • 1 T fresh grated ginger

Pour water and honey into a small pan and heat over medium heat until honey dissolves. Empty contents of one silken tofu package into the pan. Grate ginger* and simmer on medium-low for 15ish minutes. When tofu is heated through, spoon out some tofu and pour enough syrup (like most Chinese desserts, this is no where near as sweet as what we think of as dessert, so it’s less syrupy, more watery) over the tofu to almost cover it. Serve warm. Have a little joygasm.

Now if I could only find a recipe for making homemade silken tofu, this would be insan-yah-good.

*do you know this trick? Wash your ginger root well (peel if you like, but I don’t bother) and stick it in a ziploc baggie in the freezer. When you need fresh ginger for a recipe, just pull it out of the freezer and grate it with a Microplane grater  – no need to defrost. You have fresh ginger at your fingertips whenever you want it, rather than letting it wilt and die in the fridge between gingery recipes… Niiiize.

Gluten-Free Ramen Noodles, Inspired by David Chang's Momofuku

My Momofuku cookbook came today and it is lighting a little fire under my overworked tush to get back in the kitchen and start creating once again. Of course, you’d be right to point out that the only ingredient he uses more than gluten is meat. What could a gfveghead possibly get out of a cookbook full of porky noodles? Well, saysme, a lot. Pickled melon, for example. Cabbage kimchi or cucumber kimchi. Ginger scallion sauce. Or slow-poached eggs.

Slow-poached eggs, you say? So what? Sooooo, Chang says if you cook eggs in the shell at a low enough heat for a long enough time, you produce a perfectly poached egg neatly contained in its own shell. No stringy white floaters in your egg-poaching water and no accidentally broken egg yolks. Imagine the surprise when you crack an egg over your ramen and instead of a raw, gooey mess a perfectly poached egg slithers out!? I am intrigued. Let’s give it a whirl!

Gluten-Free Ramen Noodles

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 1/4 cup cabbage kimchi, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 scallions
  • handful of stringbeans
  • 4 oz. shitake mushrooms, whole caps with the stems discarded*
  • 3 nests of mung bean thread noodles
  • 2 slow-poached eggs
  • hot chili oil
  • soft tofu
  • Egg-Poaching for Turtles: I categorized this as a quickie and one-dish wonder, but admittedly, the poached eggs complicate things. So feel free to leave them out, or do them the normal way (in a shallow fry pan with an inch of simmering water and a teaspoon of white vinegar). To make the poached eggs the slow way, you’ll need a steamer and a thermometer. Put 2 eggs in the steamer and cover with water. Put on medium heat until the water is between 140 and 145 degrees. The more water you have, the easier it will be to obtain and maintain this temperature over the course of the 40 minutes it takes to poach the eggs. Turn your attention to the soup at about the 25-30 minute mark.

    The quickie part: Put 8 cups of water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. While you’re waiting, chop your kimchi, garlic, scallions. Add the tamari to the water as well as the garlic, mushroom caps, and scallions. Put the mung bean noodles in the broth and turn the heat down to low. Check the noodles every couple of minutes for “doneness.” When they’re close, add the green beans and kimchi.

    The plating: Cut your silken tofu and place a few large cubes in each of your serving bowls. Ladle the soup and noodles over the tofu. Crack one poached egg on top of each bowl of noodles. Top with chili oil and serve.

    * I keep my mushroom stems in a ziploc bag in the freezer; when I’ve collected a full bag, I use them to make mushroom stock. Drooooool…