This light, protein rich salad transforms Spotted Cow into something closer to a Munich Helles, but with obvious apple esters. It is amazing just how rich the beer seems as a result of this pairing.
Now, if you are ready to blow past this recipe because you have realized bean flower is a form of tofu, it is your loss. Fresh tofu is completely unlike the wiggly bland blocks you purchase at the store. It is rich, creamy, nutty and has a delicate umami note; there are few greater delights! The tofu is the center of this dish; the cabbage is a foundation a counter point and the sesame is there to reenforce the bean flower’s nuttiness. Bean flower is the unpressed cured, it is a fresh product, not something stocked on store shelves. Do yourself a favor and discover the joy of fresh tofu!
|Aroma: medium-low nutty beans, low toasted sesame, very low savory soy sauce|
|Flavor: medium-low sweet tofu with low nutty and milky notes, low toasted sesame, low cabbage has slight bitter vegetal note and water-like refreshing qualiy, tofu dominates. medium peanut-like savoriness of tofu and tamari linger with slow bitterness|
|Texture: creamy toful, crisp cabbage|
|Pairing: The beer seems richer and grainy with honey notes, medium apple ester balances, the bitterness becomes very very low against the salad; aftertaste is has a grainy sweetness, and low cabbage and sesame from salad reimergese. The creamy sweetness of bean flower is cut. The salad seems bright and new after a sip of beer and the bean flower is in more even balance with the cabbage flavor; toasted peanut flavors are at a medium level and dominate the after taste with a sweeter cabage note.|
Cabbage and Bean Flower Salad
If you do not want to render the soy milk yourself from dry beans, you can start at step #5 with 7 cups of fresh soy milk (not the self stable stuff on the warm shelf at grocery stores!) found in the refrigerator case at most Asian grocery stores. Gypsum can be found at home brew supply shops; epsom salt also works.
6 oz. dry soy beans
1.5 t gypsum
8.5 oz napa cabbage, sliced into thin rounds
1 t tamari (or soy sauce)
1 T sesame oil
1 t sesame seeds
1. Soaked soy beans for 6-12 hours (less at warmer temp, more at cooler temp).
2. Process soaked beans in blender on high for 2 minutes in 2 batches, each with 3 cups water. then pulse 1 cup of water to rinse belnder.
3. Transfer all liquid to 5-6 qt. stock pot, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat stirring constantly; it will start to feel slick while stirring and the foam will rise quickly as it approaches a boil.
4. Strain through cheese cloth lined strainer into 3-4 qt sauce pan. once drainded, fold cloth over solids and press with spoon to obtain more milk. place stainer over boil, open cloth and drizzle ½ cup cool water over solids and stir.
5. Bring milk in sauce pan to a simmer over medium-high heat stirring often. once solids are cool enough to handle, gather cloth and twist to squeeze out extra milk; add to milk already heating. Once you come to a simmer, turn heat to low and cook 5 minutes.
6. Turn heat off, and allow to cool 5 minutes, stirring a few times per minute to aid cooling and prevent film from forming.
7. Add 1.5 t gypsum to 2 oz boiling hot water, stir immediately.
8. Add gypsum solution to cooled soymilk and stir. Let rest two minutes and stir again.
9. After 10-12 minutes the protein should have curdled, separating from the yellowish whey. While waiting, rinse stainer and cheese cloth of solids, then line the stainer with cheese cloth.
10. Ladle curds gentle into strainer. then dip into a bowl of cool water; drain and they are ready to serve.
11. Add a few drops of oil to tamari and wisk to establish emulsion. Continue whisking while very slowly adding oil. It should become very thick.
12. Toast sesame seeds over medium heat for 3-6 minutes until golden and fragrent.
13. Toss cabbage with dressing.
14. Assemble on serving dishes: cabbage, then tofu the sprinkled with seeds.