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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, February 24

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Ingredient Tue Apr 20 2010

Burrata alla Giapponese

It looks like the out-of-this-world tofu imported from Japan is a thing of the past at Mitsuwa these days. Since the beginning of the year, we've been to the Arlington Heights market 4-5 times, but have never seen the tofu in stock. While my wallet may be happy about this, it is quite distressing to my yearning palate. Yes, we still have the great tofu made on the premises at H Mart, but I must say, it doesn't come quite as close to the heavenly flavors and textures of the Otokomae series of tofu.

So, naturally, I've been looking for alternatives in unexpected corners. One was discovered recently, hiding in the dairy case at Trader Joe's. Tofu alternative in a dairy case, you might ask? Yes, is my emphatic answer. See, the thing about the Otokomae tofu is that it is extremely creamy and full-flavored--almost like... well, fresh cheese. In this case, that fresh cheese is burrata.

Burrata is a cousin of the famous mozzarella, with a firm, mozzarella outer shell that contains rich, creamy innards. When cut, a heavenly mixture of mozzarella and cream oozes out. It being from Italy, burrata is usually served with one (or a combination) of the usual suspects: olive oil, tomato, prosciutto, and so on. However, when paired with a freshly squeezed sesame oil (also available at H Mart) and a dash of soy sauce, burrata can taste remarkably like a high-end tofu. If I compared this Japanified burrata to mass-produced tofu served the same way, I'd say burrata wins. Give it a try! (Brief recipe follows.)


1 TJ's Burrata (or a medium-sized ball of Mozzarella)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
freshly ground black pepper

Drizzle the Burrata with soy sauce and sesame oil, and ground some black pepper on top. You only need a little bit of the soy sauce and sesame oil, just to give the cheese a whiff of oriental goodness.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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