Wednesday, February 02, 2005

taho, dow-foo-fuh, soft bean curd with sugar syrup and tapioca pearls

sassy's recent post on the taho vendor (magtataho) touched off a wave of nostalgia for the favorite sweet treat of our youth, when our elders warned us of the dangers of buying from itinerant hawkers, but which we sneakily enjoyed felt good to disobey.
here it is one of the offerings in the good dimsum places in Boston's Chinatown, a bit different with the absence of the pearls and the light sugar syrup (sometimes steeped with ginger or lemongrass). i usually am so full after a dimsum brunch that i have been taking the "dow foo fuh" for granted, though husband usually lets the kids and i indulge in a take home treat for later.
here's the idea that's been brewing in my head for years, finally come to fruition as a mild palliative to homesickness...not the real thing but close enough? my teenage #1son has vivid memories of it (he had taho as a four year old) and he pronounced this "GOOD, mom."

silken tofu


boil a pot of water (about 8 to 1 ratio, water to pearls). add the tapioca pearls and boil for about 25 minutes for the large size, stirring occasionally. put a lid on and turn off the burner, and let it stand at least 15 minutes. it should be completely translucent.

put the palm sugar cubes (substitute dark brown sugar, but the palm sugar has a smokey molasses-y flavor that i prefer) in a pot with water and turn on the heat to medium. let it come to a boil and stir until dissolved. let the water reduce into a thin syrup.
set the block of silken tofu on to a platter and shave off serving size pieces gently into a bowl. drizzle the "arnibal" syrup and tumble the sago pearls on top.

please note: i've been corrected by my "in-house Cantonese expert"... it's "dow foo(tofu) fuh (flour)" (rhymes with duh) so when you flag down the dimsum ladies you'll say it right.
i hope.