Travel Photo Thursday — June 7th, 2012 — Traveling Taste Buds

Posted by on Jun 7, 2012 in Travel Photo Thursday, Uncategorized | 30 comments

Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday. Food prices here in Korea have skyrocketed of late, so its time to find an outdoor market close to home. I did just that last night; purchased my weeks vegetables at a fraction of the cost, when compared to the supermarket. I also bought a block of Korean firm tofu. I hated tofu until I started living in Korea, but now it’s one of my favorites. Why? Korean tofu has a much different texture than what I was used to in Canada (mushy), and I have learned to cook with it. Plus, my traveling taste buds have simply changed! Last night I had a simple dish of fried tofu; quick, easy, tasty, and so healthy!

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Tofu in the pan…cooks very quickly. I cooked mine in a bit of canola oil. A pair of tongs makes it easy to turn the tofu over. You only want to cook until golden brown; no more than 2 minutes on each side.

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Cooked tofu served with soy sauce and gochuchang (red pepper paste), for dipping.

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Fried tofu is a side dish (banchan) commonly served with Korean barbecue. However, it makes for a light and inexpensive meal when you aren’t too hungry. The dipping sauces I used were very simple, straight out of the fridge. The usual dipping sauce takes a little more prep. If you’re interested here is a great post at Beyond Kimchee ,showing and telling you everything you need to know to make this easy and healthy Korean dish.

Has traveling changed your taste buds?

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30 Comments

  1. The pictures look a bit deceiving to me. They looked like some sort of pastry at first =) I’m not a fan of tofu but I may need to look for tofu at Koreatown in LA just to compare its texture. Yes, traveling has changed my tastebuds. I was a picky eater until I started traveling. I’m willing to try out local foods now for the experience and to show my kids that it’s okay to try out new things. Thanks for the tips, Nancie!
    Mary recently posted…Touring Torcello Island, ItalyMy Profile

    • Be sure to get the firm tofu, very different from the mushy stuff I tried (and hated) when I was home in Canada.

  2. Haven’t managed to like tofu yet. But then, it’s mostly been mushy.
    Sophie recently posted…The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – the real NarniaMy Profile

    • Come to Korea and try the firm. You will be amazed :)

  3. I don’t think that I have even eaten tofu let alone cooked it but my 8 year old has been bugging to have it at home ever since she made some at a cooking camp. I may have to give it a go. Yours looks quite tasty – I actually thought that it looked like shortbread. I have always been a bit of a picky eater but I do make an attempt to try new things in order to encourage the kids to try unfamiliar foods as well.

  4. I’m not sure where you shopped, but any good Asian market will have firm tofu even here in Canada. I’ve never tried Korean so I’m not sure if there are any other differences.

    Soft tofu can be really good. If cooked properly (i.e. with lots of oil in a rocket hot wok) it should be firm on the outside and silky soft on the inside. It really shouldn’t be mushy unless it’s made in soup. The tofu itself is mostly for texture and the flavor depends entirely on the sauce or seasoning.
    Average Traveller recently posted…Hong Kong Comfort Food: Macaroni SoupMy Profile

    • Ryan, I’m from Halifax and when I left in late 2000 there weren’t any Asian markets to speak of. We did have a small Asian community, which has grown to include a small Korean community. However, I have never (and I was home just last year) come across an Asian market in Halifax of any size. I’m not saying you might not be able to get the firm tofu now, but you would have know where to look. At well under a million people, Halifax doesn’t have the Asian immigrants to warrant the large Asian markets that you can find in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal (and maybe even Calgary).

  5. I made tofu burgers years ago and nearly died. Texture was horrible. It took me decades to get over that experience. I now buy silken Tofu and make a banana chocolate pudding. That hides the tofu quite nicely and makes it very palatable.
    I;ll have to be brave and try Korean tofu one of these days.
    Leigh recently posted…Photos from Hiking the Kerry Way in IrelandMy Profile

    • You will be surprised and pleasantly so (I think) :)

  6. I agree with Sophie. I don’t like tofu, but I have never had firm tofu. Maybe someday.
    Jessica recently posted…Pimp My Oil PumpMy Profile

  7. the photos look tasty, but I just can’t get behind tofu! I wish I could- I know how great it is for you!
    jade recently posted…Summer Traditions Nashville: Arrington Vineyards WineMy Profile

  8. Yum! As a vegetarian, tofu is a lifesaver for me, and I eat it a few times a week. The texture can definitely be an acquired taste. Your post reminded me of a Korean restaurant here in Utah called “Tofu.” They have the most delicious offerings! Travel has really broadened my culinary horizons, but I always struggle with meat-related issues wherever I go :-)
    Andi at The Particular Traveler recently posted…Travel Tip: Take the City Tour!My Profile

  9. I like tofu and would love to eat the snack you prepared. My stepmother is Indonesian and fries tofu often, always eating it with yummy sauces.

  10. If I wasn’t allergic to soy I would totally give this a try.
    walkingon travels recently posted…Breakfast with a Side of Dessert at the Yellow Leaf Cupcake CompanyMy Profile

  11. Given the workers brought in to build the Western railway at the turn of the last century I’m just used to some Asian population in even the smallest of small towns in British Columbia. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how different things are on the other side of this giant country. The last time I was in Halifax was 1998 but I didn’t get out of the airport! I’m glad that you’ve found your taste for Tofu and your dish looks yummy!
    Average Traveller recently posted…Hong Kong Comfort Food: Macaroni SoupMy Profile

  12. Mmm, tofu! One of my favorite dishes… Unfortunately, like you, I cannot find good tofu at home, so I have to wait to go back to Japan (^_^)
    Muza-chan recently posted…A Japanese Song per Day: Chatmonchy – Koko Dake no HanashiMy Profile

  13. mmm…tried tofu for the first time in Vietnam…went off it after about 1 week.
    Denise recently posted…My favourite bits of London plus a Wimdu accommodation voucher giveawayMy Profile

  14. That’s interesting — do u happen to know what has caused food prices to skyrocket? Either way, food markets are good to go to and that tofu looks great ;) I love to eat it stir fried and then dump it in a curry =D
    latinAbroad Nomadic Translator recently posted…Travel bucket list ideas: Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, New ZealandMy Profile

  15. It’s encouraging to know that there are types of tofu that might be better than what I’ve tried in the past! You make is look pretty good.
    Cindy recently posted…Photo Thursday: Where Do They Teach You These Lines?My Profile

  16. I didn’t like tofu the first time I tried it, it was too bland and mushy. Then a friend introduced me to tofu shakes and I took a second look. I made it almost everyday — very filling! — until my taste buds screamed.
    A few years later, I had a dinner party and had to come up with something for a few vegetarian friends and found a jerk tofu vegetable stir fry that was a hit even for the non-vegans and made me go back to tofu. I usually get a medium firm tofu for cooking and a softer one for shakes. Then I discovered that soy doesn’t like me.

  17. I too haven’t found the joys of tofu. I have to say, your tofu did look delicious!
    Debbie Beardsley recently posted…The World of Violins in MittenwaldMy Profile

  18. Unlike my husband, who will try anything once, I am not an adventurous eater. HOWEVER, we do try to sample the local cuisine wherever we travel. It’s part of saying “we’ve been there”. I haven’t found a cuisine yet that doesn’t have a flavorful take on chicken or veggies. And, I like dessert in every language.
    Allison recently posted…Zion National Park for FamiliesMy Profile

  19. Yes, I like fried tofu, and I have no problem finding all varieties of Tofu in regular grocery stores in Tucson, AZ from firm to soft.
    Interesting question about travel changing taste buds. I think it probably has made me more aware of the endless variety of cheeses and the benefits of fresh, fresh fruits and veggies.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted…Travel Photos: Monet’s Gardens TravelMy Profile

  20. You mention going to markets, Nancie, and that’s exactly what many people do here in Chile for better prices than in the supermarket. It’s a tradition, too.

    Tofu is just so versatile, as well as being healthy. It looks just great here in your photos!
    Andrew Graeme Gould recently posted…New York, USA: Rainy day street shotMy Profile

  21. I’m not a fan of tofu, but you might be getting me to take a new look (or taste) of it. Looks pretty good!
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted…Capital Ideas for a Washington D.C. VisitMy Profile

  22. The key to tofu is in the marinade. I’ve had –and even made– some extremely good tofu dishes.
    Bob R recently posted…Clipped Wings and Anti-Fascists – Twelve Pics From my First (!) 100km Bike RideMy Profile

  23. I was also tricked. . .my mind saw a tasty pastry in that photo. Most interesting as always Nancie.
    Jackie Smith recently posted…TPThursday: A Sonoran SpringMy Profile

  24. Tofu: It’s the Other White Non-Meat!
    Dick Jordan recently posted…Travel Photo Thursday: “Peopling”Your Trip PhotosMy Profile

  25. I don’t know if I’ve ever had fried tofu before…. I’m familiar with the squishy kind though. :)
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted…A Spa Day at Glen Ivy Hot Springs – Corona, CaliforniaMy Profile

  26. How very interesting, my food club is having a Korean night and my dish will be a fried tofu appetizer with a spicy sauce, similar to this – yours looks delicious, thanks for sharing.
    noel recently posted…San Francisco – best views to take a pictureMy Profile

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