Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cucumber Wrapped Tofu with Dipping Sauce

Today at the grocery I was surprised to find small, pickling-sized cucumbers… mini cucumbers, available in December! Checking the label I found they were grown in Delta, BC greenhouse, perhaps in one of those multi-paned buildings we motor by enroute to the boat. Does that make them local vegetables, even if not quite not seasonal???

Acres of new commercial greenhouses keep popping up along our route from Seattle to the Tsawwassan Ferry Terminal.  Delta, B.C., located just north edge of the USA-Canada border, has long been known for its year-round "greenhouse grown in B.C." tomatoes. Lately we have noticed more and more of these structures along Highway I-5 on the Washington State side of the border. I wonder if all of this glass-enclosed acreage is used exclusively for vegetables or is some space dedicated to flowers? Just curious, I might need to check this out in the future.

Hmmmm, what to do with these mini cukes? We enjoy Quick Bread and Butter Pickles, and Japanese Sunomono Salad was another possibility. Easy decision, a package of six little veggies offered the opportunity to enjoy familiar recipes and still try something new. That something new was Cucumber Wrapped Tofu with Dipping Sauce. Well, new to me, though I'm certain there is a recipe online somewhere. I played with the notion of quick-pickled, sunomono dressed, cucumber noodles combined with tofu for a more filling dish. This was cute packaging, but the appeal was much more than visual. The tofu bundles' light, bright flavor was an instant hit at lunch today, and would work equally well as an appetizer or a bento box addition. Two thumbs up on this versatile dish - it's a keeper. Below is the procedure I followed rather than a list of specific measures, so experiment and enjoy.

Cucumber Wrapped Tofu with Dipping Sauce

Small pickling cucumbers, or an English seedless cuke

seasoned rice vinegar
sesame oil
sesame seeds
hot pepper flakes

a package of extra firm tofu

low sodium soy sauce

Ponzu sauce
Seasoned rice vinegar

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to cut long cucumber ribbons and toss them with a sunomono-style dressing. 
  2. Sprinkle soy sauce over long batons of firm tofu and wrap them with the cucumber ribbons. 
  3. Serve with a dipping sauce mix of Ponzu and seasoned rice vinegar to add one more flavor note to the party.    

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