Wylie Dufresne Plays with Tofu

Miso Soup with Instant Tofu Noodles

Today, Wylie Dufresne was named the winner of the "House Foods Tofu Around the World Cook-off," in which four fairly big-name chefs had to prepare a sweet and savory tofu dish in just 25 minutes. Judges included Michael Romano, Peter Berley and Andrea Strong.

Dufresne made two typically science-fiction-ish creations: Miso Soup with Instant Tofu Noodles and Warm Tofu Custard with Caramelized Banana and Granola Sleeves. Who knew granola had sleeves?

The runners up:

Hirousu and Kuzumochi from Akinobu Suzuki of Sakagura

Crispy Tofu with Morels and Sweet Corn and Lemongrass and Basil Tofu Ice Cream with Tri-Star Strawberries and Salted Sesame from Erik Battes of Perry St. Café

Tofu in Carrozza and Tofu Panna Cotta from Edward Higgins of Insieme

The winning Dufresne recipes are after the jump, although you'll need to run down to the corner store for methyl cellulose in order to make them.

Miso Soup with Instant Tofu Noodles


INSTANT TOFU NOODLES 340 grams firm House brand tofu 150 grams water *6.1 grams methyl cellulose (Type A16M) Salt Toasted sesame oil

Bring water to a boil and shear in A16M and blend with tofu. Season with salt and sesame oil to taste and chill to 55°F. Once cool, place the mixture into a piping bag and use to fill individual squeeze bottles. Reserve in fridge until needed.

MISO SOUP 3 liters water 165 grams bonito flakes 55 grams kombu 30 grams red miso paste

Hold water and kombu at 140°F for one hour. Remove kombu and raise heat to 176°F and add the bonito flakes, turn off heat. Let the flakes soak for ten minutes and strain out the kombu and whisk in the miso paste.

TO SERVE 2 scallions, thinly sliced 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced and lightly sautéed

Warm four soup bowls and place some shiitake and scallion in each bowl. Ladle 4 ounces of soup into each bowl and serve with one of the tofu mixture squeeze bottles. Direct the diner to squeeze tofu into the soup and stir. Tofu noodles will form instantly.

* Methyl Cellulose forms a gel when heated and melts into liquid when cools. In general, its amount should be 1-1.5% of the rest of the ingredients. Methyl Cellulose can be ordered on www.le-sanctuaire.com.

Warm Tofu Custard with Caramelized Banana and Granola Sleeves


TOFU SLEEVES 350 grams firm House brand tofu 70 grams sugar 35 grams glucose powder

Blend the above three ingredients together and spread onto acetate sheets 3” x 41/2” and allow to air dry overnight.

BANANA GRANOLA 250 grams rolled oats 25 grams orange juice 35 grams brown sugar 12 grams honey Pinch salt 125 grams dried banana

Mix all of the above ingredients, except for the dried banana, together in a bowl and spread onto a baking tray. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes and allow to cool. Fold in the dried banana. Using a heat sealer, shape the tofu rectangles into packages and stuff with the granola and seal. Place in 125°F oven for six hours until crispy; reserve.

CARAMEL 250 grams milk *5 grams gellan gum (low acyl) 125 grams caramelized sugar 190 grams brown butter 1.5 grams salt 36 grams gelatin, bloomed

Shear gellan into milk and bring to a boil and place in a blender while running. Add the sugar, brown butter, bloomed gelatin, and the salt (in that order). Pour out onto a tray and allow to cool. Once cool, using a ring cutter punch out rounds to fit the bottom of four dessert bowls.

* Gellan gum can be also be ordered on www.le-sanctuaire.com.

TOFU CUSTARD 170 grams soft House brand tofu 30 grams sugar 75 grams A16 solution*

Blend the above ingredients together and reserve.

*A16 SOLUTION 200 grams water 1 gram methylcellulose (type A16)

Bring the water to a boil and shear in the A16, cool to 55°F.

TO SERVE 1 banana, thinly sliced 20 grams sugar

Sprinkle the sugar onto the banana slices and caramelize with a blow torch. Place a caramel disk into four dessert bowls and ladle 4 ounces of the tofu custard into each bowl. Wrap with plastic and bake at 200°F for fifteen minutes. Remove the plastic and top with caramelized bananas and place a tofu granola sleeve into each bowl and serve. Direct diners to crush the sleeve onto the custard and enjoy!

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