Sweet Corn-Smoked New Orleans East Tofu Boudin, by Chef Eric Labouchere at Martinique Bistro
Martinique Bistro writes: "We all love boudin… Between the texture, the smoke and the spice, it stands out as an iconic Louisiana bite. We have had the pleasure of blazing through Cajun country on a boudin tour that took us from LaPlace to Mamou, from gas stations to slaughterhouses, and so many character filled stops in between. Sure didn’t come across boudin like this… At Martinique Bistro, we pride ourselves on our offerings to the hungry vegetarian eaters of New Orleans and beyond, and Chef wanted to give them a veggie version of this swine and game lover favorite. Chef had successfully played with mushroom and eggplant boudins, and with sweet corn popping so delicious it was a natural choice to tackle next. The farmers collective of Vietnamese growers in New Orleans East (VEGGI) has been fabricating awesome firm tofu for close to a year, and we thought it would be perfect to lend a creamy texture to the boudin, normally derived from livers. We boudin enthusiasts here at Martinique feel that all eaters deserve access to enjoy even our interpretation of this true heritage food."
1 lb firm tofu, hot smoked, ¼” cubes
3 cup fresh Louisiana corn kernels, 1 cup reserved
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 oz minced garlic
1 cup Louisiana trinity (onion, celery, green bell pepper), finely chopped
1 cup corn flour
2 eggs, just the whites
2 cup cooked popcorn rice
Salt & cayenne pepper to taste
¼ cup finely sliced green onions, white and green sections
- Get your smoker going with the woodchips of your preference (we prefer apple and hickory). Pat tofu as dry as possible, place on oiled rack in smoker over medium smoke for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely, dice into ¼” cubes.
- Sweat the onion in vegetable oil until tender and translucent. Add 2 cups corn kernels, minced garlic, sauté 2 minutes. Transfer to food processor, puree until smooth as possible.
- Sweat the trinity in vegetable oil until tender and translucent. Remove excess fat, cool and reserve.
- In large bowl, combine corn mixture, corn flour, cooked rice (room temperature) and trinity. Mix to bind. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold whites into boudin mix. Season with salt and cayenne, fold in green onions and diced tofu. Chill mixture in refrigerator for two hours.
- Boudin may be shaped into balls or rolled in plastic wrap in cylinder logs. Balls may be fried lightly dredged in corn flour, ‘links’ should be gently poached in plastic wrap in simmering water until completely firm, then shocked in a chilled water bath. Once completely cool, unwrap to gently panfry as you would a normal commercial sausage.
They serve this boudin with braised mustard greens and a jalapeno aioli, but it is absolutely delicious with your favorite creole mustard, and an ice cold NOLA Hopitoulas.
Martinique Bistro is located Uptown on Magazine Street.