This week, ATS educators took inspiration from Samin Nosrat’s book, “Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat”, showcasing these four essential cooking elements in a tasty tofu dish. Students learned that salt balances flavors, fat provides richness and texture, acid brightens things up, and heat transforms raw ingredients into a myriad of complex dishes. These are things our taste buds might be able to tell us easily, but having a vocabulary for what we’re tasting helps us understand the science happening behind the scenes.
This jerk tofu recipe can handle more or less seasoning, depending on your particular taste. Don’t forget the lime juice, though, as that will add the bright, zesty acidity that sets this meal apart from other tofu dishes. Because tofu is an excellent transformer, this week our educator, Tamar, and her students added a coat of corn starch combined with jerk seasoning to the tofu steaks and baked them in the oven. Tamar’s students loved these pseudo-chicken nuggets, saying they tasted just “like chicken”! To add another crunch to the plate, Tamar served the tofu-nuggets and salsa with some plantain chips.
We’d love to hear how you use salt, fat, acid and heat if making this recipe at home. Will you play with heat, like Tamar, and bake the tofu? Whatever you try, we hope it’s delicious, and can’t wait for another week of cooking!
NO-COOK Recipe: Date and Coconut Ladoos
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup desiccated (dried) coconut (plus extra for rolling)
- 1/4 sesame seeds
- 1/4 poppy seeds (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- Ghee or coconut oil for greasing (optional)
If the dates are too dry, you can soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes, then drain.
In a food processor, combine the dates, desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, and cardamom powder. Blend the mixture until it forms a sticky, uniform dough.
Grease your hands with a little ghee or coconut oil if the mixture is too sticky to roll.
Take small portions of the dough and roll them into round balls.
Roll the shaped balls in desiccated coconut, pressing lightly so that the coconut adheres to the surface. You can also roll them in poppy seeds for added texture (optional).
For best results, place the ladoos on a plate or tray and let them set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, to firm up. If you don’t have this time, ladoos can be served right away!
Until next time,
Team Allergic to Salad