You may or may not recall my San Francisco post from 3-23-13 where I described how we purchased yuba wraps from the Tofu Yu stand at the Marin farmers market. Since it was impractical to fly back to San Francisco to get another package whenever I wanted, I had to figure out how to reconstruct something similar at home to satisfy my cravings. Whenever I eat yuba, I want to eat it again soon after. I love its chewy texture.
I raided our freezer and found a package of frozen yuba, and a package (for better or worse — probably worse) of fake ham that we'd purchased at two different Asian markets. The ham didn't contain wheat but was probably not gluten-free, but I used it anyway.
This was the first time I used frozen yuba sheets and didn't know what to expect. Previously I'd only had access to yuba that had been tightly rolled into long, 1-inch diameter tubes, and dried. I would soak the tubes in water until they softened, then cook them in soups or stews.
The four, flat sheets of yuba in the package I defrosted were something entirely different. They were enormous. To use them, I folded them in half, then kind of followed the rolling directions from a recipe on the Vegetarian Times Web site. I sort of followed their ingredient list, too, using green beans, carrots, scallions and vegan ham, but I made an Asian-influenced tomato-based sauce to spread inside and on the top. It wasn't hard at all (maybe a little awkward rolling the sheets) but the results were amazing.
Writing about the sauce brings me to something I'd like to confess. Back on 11-23-10, I wrote a rather sarcastic post about our first ever excursion to Costco on a "guest night." I said I didn't think we'd be joining Costco any time soon. Sigh. Well, we did join, and now go there at least once a month. Costco has been increasing their organic offerings on a regular basis, and there are things we buy there to have on hand, as well as things we buy just to eat. For example, they now sell six-can packs of organic beans, large cartons of Mary's Crackers (a personal weakness), organic frozen corn and frozen fruit, various organic fresh fruit and vegetable choices, chia seeds, hemp hearts, big jars of olives, etc. Last night we got organic baby kale, organic spinach, organic broccolini and organic cherries. And lately, we've been buying glass jars of organic crushed tomatoes. The tomatoes are really good, though if they didn't contain salt I'd like them even better. They are very thick, with very little liquid. And, they come in cool jars that look like canning jars. I use the jars to store stuff in the pantry, and also to drink smoothies from.
As for the sauce I made for the yuba rolls — it was created on the fly from whatever ingredients seemed like a good idea at the time — my favorite way to cook. I think of the flavor I want, then figure out what I need to add to create it. Into the VitaMix went tomatoes, ginger, garlic, granulated onion, five-spice-powder, rice vinegar, a little agave and Chinese red pepper. (Maybe other things that I'm forgetting.)
After the rolls were cooked, I sliced them into one-inch pieces to serve, and the finished rolls were a big burst of mouth pleasure. Next time I might use only veggies, or possibly add some soy curls, since the ham was a one-time indulgence.
In case you're unfamiliar with yuba, it's made by simmering soymilk and skimming off the sheets of skin that form on the top. It can be found fresh, frozen or dried, in Asian markets and tofu shops.
Food Should Taste Good now GMO
Another item I used to occasionally buy at Costco was Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips. The chips have been my go-to chips for parties, or just when I felt like having a chip or two. They've appeared on my blog a dozen times as I made dips, spreads, nachos, whatever. In the past, the chips were made by a small company, and were GF, organic, non-GMO, etc. etc. I was staring at a small bag of chips the other day thinking something about the package didn't seem right, when I realized the word "organic" was missing from the label. Then I couldn't find a non-GMO statement on the bag. After googling the subject, I learned that General Mills bought the company in Feb. 2012, and is now producing them as part of their "natural" line. Ha! In my humble opinion, genetically engineered foods are not natural. This is a perfect example of why we have to read labels and ask questions even when we've been using a product for years. Maybe I'll just eat celery and carrot sticks instead of chips. Bummer.
UPDATE: FSTG chips are now carrying a non-GMO mark on the package. Perhaps General Mills realized that their customers care about the food they eat. I'm not sure if the chips are again made from organic ingredients, but at least they are non-GMO.