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Corn is a staple food in Peru, it’s been around since the time of the Inca’s. There are two main varieties, one that grows near the coast that has a slightly bland flavor, and one that grows in the mountains that has a sweeter flavor. Though I don’t typically eat much corn when I’m at home, we did eat quite a bit of it while we were there. It’s cheap, filling and plentiful which makes it such a relied upon crop. Fish too is a staple food in Peru, what with Peru having such a long coastline fish and seafood are abundant. Peruvian cuisine is an interesting blend of South American tradition, Inca influence, Spanish influence, with some Indian and Asian influences due to various waves of immigration over the years.

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For this recipe I used tofu in place of fish, and though it doesn’t have an overly fishy taste I think ti works really well here. I kept the tofu a little on the bland side because the corn puree has so much flavor. The planks of tofu make the perfect little scoops for eating up the corn. Though this is a relatively simple dish you’ll be immediately impressed by the powerful flavor punch!

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Peruvian Corn Puree with Fried Tofu 

2 tsp Olive Oil (or more as needed)
1 16oz Bag Frozen Yellow Corn thawed
2 ½ Cups Water (or more if needed)
½ Bunch Cilantro
1 Red Onion Diced
2 Vegan Chicken Bouillon Cubes
½ tsp Ground Cumin
½ tsp Smoked Salt
1-2 tsp Sriracha
1 lb Extra Firm Tofu drained and pressed for 1 hour.
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Kelp or Dulse flakes if desired
Lime Juice and extra Sriracha to serve

– Place the thawed corn in a high-speed blender with 1 cup of water and blend on medium for a few seconds until you have a chunky puree.

– Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until nice and golden. Add the cumin, smoked salt, bouillon cubes, sriracha and a ½ cup of water. Whisk together and simmer for 2 minutes or until bouillon cubes have dissolved.

– Add the corn puree to the pan with the onions and spices and stir to combine.

– Blend the cilantro and the remaining 1 cup of water together on high, until completely smooth. Add the cilantro mixture to the pan and stir to combine with the corn. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for salt and heat and adjust seasoning as needed.

– Divide the corn puree among serving bowls, wipe out the pan and fry your tofu.

– Heat the remaining oil in your pan over medium high heat.

– Slice your slab of Tofu into 3 pieces. Slice each piece into 3 more pieces so you have 9 planks of tofu.

– Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season with sea salt, pepper and either kelp or dulse.

– Dredge each plank of tofu through the flour until it’s coated on all sides.

– Carefully place each plank of tofu into the hot pan and fry until golden brown on each side. About 5-6 minutes a side. Make sure to flip at least once, to prevent burning or sticking.

– Serve each bowl of Corn Puree topped with a few planks of tofu, a drizzle of lime juice, and a bit of extra sriracha if you like things spicy. Enjoy!

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