Every tofu has a silver lining

chef cooking vietnamese food in hanoi street

For over 2000 years we’ve had an obsession with the soy milk wonder food known as tofu. First created in China, it became popular throughout Asia and of course, now the world. There was a time in Japan when this luxury food could only be eaten on special occasions, but today it’s accessible to everyone and for a local food experience it’s hard to top ordering fresh tofu from markets and street food vendors, as Heather Scott discovered in Vietnam…

“All travel anywhere is a culinary experience. Whether it be mung bean ice cream in China, choking on hot mochi in Japan, millions of masala dosas in India. Pepito au chocolat in Paris, round seasame-covered bread and cans of beans in Greece. I could go on, but I already digress.

The fondest food memory from my travels was in Vietnam, as a vegetarian. In addition to little glasses of the most exquisite yoghurt from street sellers, baguettes and the yummiest noodles, was the tofu. At new moon and full moon, Buddhists observe 3 days of vegetarianism.

In the markets in Dalat, we found that everything in the market was strictly vegetarian. The only problem was which stall to choose! That done, we were faced with a towering mountain of scores of different kinds of tofu cooked every posible way and in every possible incarnation.

We asked to have a bit of everything and sat down on low stools to a huge bowl of steaming noodles, soup and mountains of tofu, all for the equivalent of a couple of dollars. What a heavenly country!”

Want to know how to make your own tofu? Check out this delicious recipe and short video from our Intrepid Foodies, The Perennial Plate.

* photo by David Green – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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