Cherries, especially the tart variety, are receiving a great deal of attention these days in the athletic world due to their ability to mitigate pain after exercise. This little fruit is packed full of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are important to the health of your vision. They are also, interestingly enough, a good source of the calming antioxidant, melatonin.
I use a great deal of fruit and vegetable juices in my cooking to impart both flavor and nutrients to our food, so when Cheribundi approached us and asked if we’d try out their cherry juice, we eagerly agreed. This sauce, coupled with the yuba, was savory and sweet, tangy and lip-smacking good. In short, it had umami. The slaw, absolutely necessary for any mustardy Carolina-style barbecue-sauced dish, was the perfect fresh and raw accompaniment.
Pulled Yuba in a Cherry Barbecue Sauce with Sesame Slaw
1 cup tart cherry juice [I used Cheribundi's Tru Cherry juice.]
½ cup dried sour cherries
¼ cup yellow mustard
¼ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
3 T tomato paste
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper
6 oz dried bean curd sheets [1 package]
Add a drizzle of peanut oil to a pan and heat over medium. Add the tomato paste and spread around the pan to caramelize and rid the paste of the tinned flavor. Add the remaining ingredients, except the yuba and dried cherries, and bring to a low simmer. Cook for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
While the sauce is simmering, soak the sheets of yuba in hot tap water to hydrate. Once pliable, drain and roll into a tight bundle. Cut into small shreds across the roll.
Add the shredded yuba and dried cherries to the sauce. Mix well to incorporate and set aside to marinate. The longer you leave it, the more flavor the yuba will absorb. To serve, simply return to the heat and warm through. I served this sandwich-style on a toasted ciabatta bun.
snow pea pods, julienned
red bell pepper, julienned
golden beet, shaved with a vegetable peeler
fresh lemon juice and zest
dark sesame oil
black sesame seeds
I did not include amounts because it depends upon how much you wish to make. I simply added equal portions of each fruit and vegetable ingredient and then used a 2:1 ratio of tahini to lemon juice as the dressing with a few drops of dark sesame oil added. Season with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. Garnish with sesame seeds.