Can you imagine freezing tofu and deep frying it to be used as a substitute for tortilla chips? How about making a creamy mushroom soup using tofu instead of cream? Or using tofu as a ricotta cheese substitute?
Last month, I attended a pop-up media tasting event with Christina of East Bay Dish and Grace of San Francisco Food for Pulmuone USA and Wildwood Organic Food, an all-natural food products company headquartered in Fullerton, California.
Chef Tim Luym of The Attic in San Mateo was put up to the challenge of using Pulmuone and Wildwood products, such as meatless crumbles, chicken patties and tofu, and transforming them into tasty dishes that can be made by anyone at home. Let me tell you that he is one hell of a inspiring chef. The 11 dishes he made take not only creativity, but skills to make the flavors work well together.
Katsu Slider Sandwich with Miso Yuzu Tofu Mayo
The crispy and breaded teriyaki chicken-protein patty (Fit Patties) was juicy, tender, and flavorful. The yuzu cole slaw had a nice citrus taste, crisp and refreshing.
Onederful "Cream" of Mushroom Soup
While nothing can replace cream, an interesting substitute is blending in tofu to the mix. In this mushroom soup, it worked really well and is pretty tasty. It's a bit more grainy and earthy in comparison to an actual cream base soup. I can see this working well with other puree type soups, like butternut squash.
Gluten & Dairy Free Bechamel and Vegetarian Lasagna
Tim made a basic lasagna, using Onederful Tofu as a ricotta cheese substitute, Wildwood Meatless Crumbles to replace meat, and rice noodles instead of lasagna pasta. It was made so well that you couldn't even tell that there was no meat in it. I didn't even notice the difference in noodles. If you're looking for a vegetarian option, this may be worth making.
Of all the tastings, this was my favorite of the night. Everyone was amazed at the different ways Wildwood products were being used in every component. Chef Tim Luym turned Onederful Tofu into crunchy chips by freezing it and frying it. The "refried black beans" were actually Wildwood Black Lentil SpreaDip. The "eggs" were made of their firm waterpack tofu and the "meat" was made with Mexican-inspired Wildwood Meatless Crumbles.
Eggless "Chawan Mushi"
While this was the most beautifully presented dish, I wasn't a fan of the egg foam-like taste or texture made using Onederful Tofu. I've never had anything like this before, so I'm not sure how it's supposed to really taste.
Shrimp Wonton Soup
The wonton soup was done nicely. The broth was flavorful and clean, the Wildwood Onederful Tofu was delightful and firm, and the wonton dumpling, filled with shrimp and Wildwood Meatless Meatballs, was tasty.
Mandu Dumplings with Kimchee X.O. Sauce
The "meat"-filled dumpling was made with Monterey Gourmet Foods Chicken Mandu Dumplings and Wildwood Flavored Tofu (Szechuan).
Char Siu BBQ Pork Chow Faux Fun
This unique little bite resembled a steamed rice roll filled with bbq pork, a dish you can typically find at a dim sum restaurant. The "char siu" was made using Wildwood Flavored Tofu (Mongolian), cooked in ketchup, hoisin, shao xing rice wine, and five spice.
Pork Free Vietnamese Egg Rolls
This was my favorite item of all three options on the plate. The Vietnamese flavors were represented nicely using Wildwood Shiitake Burger and Wildwood Flavored Tofu (Indian Curry). The roll was very crispy and was accompanied by a vegetarian nuoc cham dipping sauce.
Onederful Ma Po Tofu
This dish was made using a combination of Wildwood Onederful Tofu and Meatless Crumbles (Italian-inspired). I wasn't a fan of how the meatless crumbles were used in this because the Italian herbs were a bit overpowering.
Ube "Purple Yam" Tapioca with Bread Pudding
The last dish served for the night was this wonderful Filipino-inspired sweet bread pudding. I loved the doughy-texture and the ube flavor. The coconut cream is wonderful and simply made using Wildwood Soymilk, Wildwood Onederful Tofu, coconut, ube powder, tapioca pearls and sugar. You can bet that I'll be making these at home!
Chef Tim Luym did a great job of highlighting these products in a simple yet inspiring way. While I left the event still slightly hungry, I was happy to gain all this new knowledge to incorporate in my own kitchen at home. Now that I have been introduced to Pulmuone and Wildwood, I am really excited to try out more of their products.
Pulmuone sent me about 30 lbs worth of food to cook with, so I'll be spending the next few weeks reviewing their products and making tasty dishes with what they've given me. I'll be sure to share some of the successful recipes, so stay tuned.
Thanks for the "Onederful" products and for having me at the tasting event, Pulmuone!