Shan Tofu in New York

Shan tofu, named for its origins in the eastern Shan State of Myanmar, has a little kinship with its better-known East Asian cousin. It’s made not with soybeans but with chickpea flour that’s soaked overnight, drained and soaked again, then simmered, requiring constant churning until it turns into a dense congee.

Once chilled, it takes on a texture somewhere between bean curd and Chinese Liang Fen (mung bean noodles), with more spring than a slip. Then, cut it into strips and glosses it with tamarind paste, garlic oil, and fish sauce. Kaffir lime leaves gleam, dark as jade, shredded down to the width of pine needles.

If you ask for it, this salad — such a harmless word — will come armed with enough chile to annihilate conversation. Under the heat, the tofu itself is confoundingly cool.

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