Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Avocados and Spicy Tofu Bowls fried in Carsick Cars, Brain Failure, Geeks and Chaniwa

I spent a lot of time watching television during the World Series (only to be disappointed in the end) and was surprised to see that almost every commercial break including some sort of plug for Hass Avocados. Never before had I seen the avocado pushed so much. Most of the time I'm immune to advertising, I know what the ploy is, but in this instance I actually began to crave avocados. I'd like to suggest that it was because of the time of year and not the commercials but the subconscious can do some amazing things without you knowing it.

Around this same time I came across an article that ranked the top ten most poisonous people food for animals. I was surprised to find avocados on the list. I made sure to keep my dog, Alistair, away as I was cooking.

My favorite avocado recipe was one I adapted from Vegetarian Times. It was an Asian fusion dish that included avocado, tofu, yogurt and rice. I give you, my recipe of the week.

Spicy Tofu Bowl-Adapted From Vegetarian Times, October 2006
(printable version)

For the Tofu:
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1/4 cup of Thai Chile Garlic Sauce
-2 Tbs. Sesame Oil
-1 block extra firm tofu, frozen then thawed
-5 green onions
-1/4 Cup of nonfat plain yogurt
-2 Tbs. Lime Juice

-1/4 cup soy sauce
-2 Tbs. Lime Juice
-1 Tbs. minced ginger
-1 tsp. Thai Chile Garlic Sauce
-2 cups arborio rice
-4 1/2 cups of spinach
-10 baby carrots, whole
-1 avocado, peeled, sliced and kept away from your pets

1. To make the Tofu. Whisk together soy sauce, Thai Chile Garlic Sauce, and sesame oil. Heat wok. Dip the tofu into the soy sauce mixture. Cook until browned (about ten minutes). Cool. Add green onions, yogurt, lime juice to the soy sauce mixture. Toss with tofu.

2. To make the salad: Combine the soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, and Thai Chile Garlic Sauce. Put the cooked rice into bowls, top with spinach and diced carrots. Add the tofu and soy sauce mixture. Stir well. Top with avocados.

To go along with my Asian fusion dish I enjoyed a soundtrack made up of artists from the Far East. The first two tracks come from Chinese Indie Rockers Carsick Cars. A few years ago these guys performed some European shows opening for Sonic Youth. Recently they were spotted in the US with fellow Chinese bands PK-14 and Xiao He. Unfortunately Florida wasn't one of their destinations. Word is they will be back in the spring of 2010 so we'll have to hope we can catch them then. Below are two tracks from their second album You can listen, You can talk. Thanks to BrooklynVegan for the tracks.

Carsick Cars-You can listen, you can talk

Carsick Cars-Zhong Nan Hai

The next track was also from a Chinese band, Brain Failure. "A box on the broken ball" is a release from last year that features Chuck D. I saw these guys by accident about six years ago and have been following them closely ever since. When I think Asia, Brain Failure is first to come to mind.

Tokyo's Geeks released their debut album, Magical Vox Paranoia (purchase here), in October. "Newworldism" is the first track on the album. Look for these guys as a showcasing band at next year's SXSW (Carsick Cars will also be there).

An older Japanese punk band that I love is Chaniwa. The split EP they put out years ago with FYP is a mighty fine piece of pop punk work. My favorite track "Little Dog" fit the soundtrack of the evening very well. Here's a video for "Little Dog", the quality is very low but the infectious nature of Chaniwa's songwriting shines through ever so slightly.

Have a great holiday for those who will be celebrating tomorrow.