Inaugural MoFo Post: Fun with Tatsoi!

Orange rectangular banner that says "Vegan MoFo" and "Vegan Month of Food 2011."

Let the food lovin’ begin – Vegan MoFo is here!

I don’t know about you all, but I’m extremely excited for a month of food blogs bursting at the proverbial seams with recipes, reviews, giveaways, photos, and general vegan awesomeness. Like the last two years I participated, I’m going full steam ahead and planning to post every day. I’ve got some great posts planned, like Recipe Showdowns  (where I’ll pit three recipes against one another), Muffin Mondays (a new muffin recipe every Monday!), and all sorts of other fun things. Heck, I might even finally use some of the awesome (yet overly ambitious) ideas I came up with last MoFo!

But I’m going to kick off MoFo with something much simpler than a big compendium of recipes or an ambitious multi-stage cooking experiment. Today I’m going to talk about tatsoi.

Close-up of the middle of a huge bunch of tatsoi.

Greenery!

This is tatsoi. Like its other leafy green cousins, it packs a nutritional punch, a wallop of vitamins, calcium, and beta carotenes. My co-op offered locally grown, organic tatsoi on sale for $1.79, and I couldn’t resist its beautiful green hue and leafy abundance. To give you a sense of how truly mammoth this head of tatsoi is, here’s a photo of Moria sitting next to it:

Photo of a small dog sitting next to a head of tatsoi, which is propped up against a balcony railing. The tatsoi reaches the dog's neck.

Moria and the Giant Tatsoi (a Roald Dahl knock-off novel?)

All that goodness for less than $2.00! Having never eaten tatsoi before, I decided to saute it with some mushrooms and garlic and serve it with tofu. First, I soaked about half the bundle in cold water, then gave it a vigorous spin in my salad spinner. After spinning, the leaves looked irresistibly verdant:

A large bowl of tatsoi leaves, shot from above.

After a spin cycle.

Before spinning my tatsoi, I’d marinated a few thick slabs of extra-firm tofu in a mixture of soy sauce, agave nectar, powdered ginger, and granulated garlic. As I prepped my tatsoi, I sauteed the tofu slices until they were just barely blackened on each side. I [very] loosely followed this recipe for the tatsoi, adding mushrooms and substituting sambal oelek for the curry paste. I also omitted the vegetable broth and soy sauce, because my greens didn’t need extra liquid. I sprinkled my cooked greens with sesame seeds, plated them with some raw tatsoi leaves, topped them with tofu, and ended up with this pretty plate:

Plate of sauteed greens topped with two thick slices of tofu and surrounded by a circle of raw leaves. A pair of chopsticks sits off to the side of the plate.

Tatsoi - it's what's for dinner.

This was really, really good. I wanted the tatsoi to play the star role in this one-time-only performance of “The Sun is Setting; Crap, Let Me Take a Quick Photo on My Balcony,” but I must admit that the tofu stole the show – it was perfectly cooked, a little chewy on the outside and creamy on the inside, with a fantastic subtle flavor. It complemented the tatsoi nicely; my greens were simple and tasty, and they gave a solid performance of their own. I loved that the raw leaves had just the tiniest bite to them, like a tamer version of mustard greens.

I can’t wait to use up the remaining half of my tatsoi! Have you had tatsoi before? How did you (or would you) prepare it?

I’ll leave you with an outtake from my balcony photo shoot – here’s Moria’s introduction to tatsoi:

In the foreground is a big bunch of tatsoi. Moria (a small brussels griffon/shih tzu mix) sniffs at them in the background.

Curious dog is curious.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

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13 thoughts on “Inaugural MoFo Post: Fun with Tatsoi!

  1. That plate to tofu and tatsoi looks sooo yummy!! I grew tatsoi in the garden this, and have been mainly harvesting the baby leaves for salad.

    Your MoFo ideas sound like fun!

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  2. Muffin Mondays sounds awesome! I’m looking forward to reading those recipes showdowns too – that’s a really good idea :)
    I’d never even heard of tatsoi! Is it like bok choy?

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  3. Wow, I’ve never had tatsoi before (okay, I’ve never even heard of it), but this would definitely be something I would buy if I ever do see it. All that green! Lovely meal choice too!

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  4. Pingback: Leaves & Roots Lemongrass Soup « la vida vegga

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