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Toad Food and Measle Soup

March 14, 2009

blogpaadtofuI will try just about anything once.  There are a few exceptions to this rule.  I don’t think I’d ever eat an insect (especially a live one) and the idea of tripe or pigs feet does not entice me at all (though if you challenged me I might not back down).  While on a fall trip to New York,  I was feeling particularly adventurous (as were my dining partners) and ordered a smorgasbord of duck heart, lamb tongue, beef thyroid and bone marrow.  I don’t think gooey bone marrow will EVER pass these lips again,  but at least I can say I tried (being well lubricated on wine always helps with the food bravado)

Before we go any further, let me put your fears to rest. I am not about to impart a recipe for Toad Food or Measle Soup.  Luckily, I don’t believe there is any such thing.  The title of this post actually refers to Toad Food and Measle Soup, a book I fondly remember from my childhood.  It was about a little boy named Leo who’s mom is experimenting with vegetarian cooking.  Leo’s impression of tofu left a longstanding impression on me and I was hesitant to try tofu until just a few years ago.  I am now making up for lost time.

The best thing about tofu is it’s versatility.  I will absorb the flavor of whatever you cook with this and is available in a variety of textures to suit the dish it is being paired with.  Soft tofu is great for soups, such as Hot and Sour  and firm tofu is perfect for stir frys. 

Here is a recipe from Healthy Eating for Your Heart for Pa-ad Tofu.  This vegetarian stir-fried rice noodle dish is thai in flavor.  It is super quick, easy, flavorful and healthy!  All ingredients can be sourced from asian grocers.


Pa-ad Tofu

(serves 4)

11oz vermicelli rice noodles

1 tbsp peanut oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1 red chili, thinly sliced

11 oz chinese broccoli, trimmed and chopped into pieces

3 1/2 oz bean sprouts

2 tbsp chopped pickled white radish

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 oz soy sauce

1 tbsp sweet chili sauce

4 green onions, shredded

 6 oz firm tofu

2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves

2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts (or cashews)

freshly ground black pepper


1.  Place the rice noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water , leave to soften and then drain them well.

2.  In a wok, heat the peanut oil, add the garlic, ginger and chili and stir fry to 1 minute

3.  Add the broccoli, bean sprouts and radish and cook for a further minute.  Add the sugar, soy and chilli sauces and toss well together.

4.  Throw in the spring onions, tofu, coriander and peanuts.  Season with black pepper and serve.

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