“The Thing with Tofu”

We had a thing with tofu for dinner tonight! It involved…
1 package of firm tofu, 1 capsicum, 1 red onion, 6 button mushrooms, a small handful of sugar snap peas, most of a bunch of silverbeet, and teriyaki sauce (Equal parts mirin, soy sauce and brown sugar).

The tofu was sliced, wrapped in paper towels, and squished for about 40 minutes. Then diced and marinated in the teriyaki sauce until the rest of the veges were prepped.
The capsicum, onion and mushrooms were sliced thinly; and the sugar snap peas and the silverbeet were chopped a little more chunky.
I heated a wide pan with a coating of peanut oil; and browned off the tofu. Next, the capsicum and onion were added until mostly done. At this point, the remaining teriyaki sauce was added to the pan. Next, add the mushrooms and sugar snap peas; and when those are almost done, add the silverbeet and continue cooking until just wilted.

And that’s it (:

One of the great mysteries of our time

It is really cold in Wellington at the moment. It’s really cold in our kitchen, which brings us to the so called great mystery of our time. Oil. More to the point, the difference between oils at cold temperatures.

Sitting on the bench, there are three bottles of oil. Olive, sesame and peanut. The olive and sesame oils are in opaque containers, and as such are hard to observe. The peanut oil, on the other hand, is in a clear glass bottle. At the moment, the contents of said bottle are an opaque shade of yellow; not dissimilar to lemon juice (And since the others are in opaque containers, it’s, well, hard to tell).

Sitting in the cupboard, there is the rest of the peanut oil in a clear plastic bottle; which has also turned to the colour and opacity of lemon juice. However, also lurking in the cupboard are three small bottles of flavoured oil (lemon, chilli and garlic from prenzel); and another larger bottle of basil infused olive oil. The flavoured oils, are all transparent.

So the mystery is this: are the flavoured oils clear because they are flavoured, or because their base oil is chemically different in some way which allows the oils to stay clear at lower temperatures?

My hunch, is that there is some kind of inverse relationship between smoke point and “turn opaque in cold” point. If I was more dedicated to science (and if the kitchen wasn’t so cold that oil was turning opaque), I’d experiment (: