No. 7: Bean Curd in Green Scallion Sauce at Hunan House
Cubed soft tofu bathed in green sauce -- what could be more elemental?
Who doesn't like tofu? Vegans love it. Carnivores love it. The creaminess is incomparable, and it serves as a splendid earth-friendly source of protein, too.
Most Chinese restaurants are tofu-friendly, though some -- and we're thinking of Sichuan ones -- insist on mixing it with meat-based sauces or (as in ma po bean curd), larding it with actual ground pork or ground beef.
Best to keep it in the vegetarian canon, as in this recipe at Flushing's Hunan House. Wobbly and creamy cubes of tofu are deposited on the plate, sluiced with a salty scallion sauce, and garnished with shredded carrots, to make an arresting orange-green color scheme.
The flavor is memorably mild, and looking around us at the other tables in the restaurant recently, we realized that the dish had a further function: staunching the burn of the hot stuff on the menu.
Hunan House 13740 Northern Boulevard Flushing, Queens 718-353-1808
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