Tofu Kimchi Eggs Benedict

Shipping is hard. 

Like when you’ve “finished” your term paper, but you still have to add page numbers (but not on page 1!), do a bibliography, and scrub the footnotes for grammar and idiocy.  Like when you’ve “finished” your code, but you still have to push all the pixels into place, run beta tests, and fix bugs - soo many bugs.  Like when you’re “ready” to walk out the door, but you still have to check the weather, put on a scarf, find your keys, and make sure your scarf matches your shoes.  Then drive back down the street to make sure the garage is closed (always is).

Shipping is hard.

I always mess up some mundane detail!
(Shoulda set up a test environment, fool)
photo credit

Because I know this fact, I almost always give the benefit of the doubt to things that have shipped.  If an idea was conceived of, deemed worthy of being brought forth into reality, and run through even the most basic of sanity checks (“Honey, do you think I’m pulling off these red boots?”), then how bad can it be?  I mean, if something manages to navigate the perilous trail between inspiration and fruition, at worst it’s gonna be “not-quite-my-taste-but-I-can-see-why-you-might-like-it.”  N’est-ce pas?

So when I went to brunch this Sunday and saw “Tofu Kimchi Eggs Benedict” on the menu, my first thought was “sounds gross and weird,” but my second thought was “must taste way better than it sounds.”  I mean, someone cooked this, wrote a description of it, and printed it on the menu.  They sat around figuring out how much it should cost and what to serve on the side.  How bad could it be?

Answer: Bad.

Imagine an oily slab of fried tofu in place of the English muffin, and a slop of kimchi instead of the canadian bacon.  It’s problematic because the tofu and poached egg are too similar in texture, and the kimchi adds to the mushiness of it all.  You need the English muffin and the meat/vegetable to soak up the goop.  Accept no only adequate substitutes.

I should have known better.  Eggs are gross, and eggs benedict tastes good only because the other layers overcome the egg.  Under no circumstances should I have expected the egg to be the miracle worker that makes fried tofu and kimchi taste good. 

But… how did this even end up on the menu?  How?  Only 2 scenarios come to mind.  Scenario 1: Chef is a maleficent dictator with weird taste buds and no tolerance for dissent.  Scenario 2: Chef is also Grandma and her taste buds are dead but nobody has the heart to tell her.  But maybe I owe them more credit… Scenario 3: Chef is a capitalist and knows the likes of Maryann will order the weird sounding thing, so he puts it on the menu regardless of probable gag reflexes.

Really, I should have known better.  My logic-meets-optimism-meets-curiosity approach also led me to order a stout float at my favorite place (never do this), and shrimp and banana spring rolls at my second favorite place (sounds insane, tastes even worse).

I started this post earlier today, and had planned to end it with an uplifting tale about how Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day today provided such abundant deliciousness that all past anti-deliciousnesses were washed away.  But alas, curiosity reared its ugly head and I ordered Schweddy Balls – “Fair Trade vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum loaded with fudge covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls.” 

This was merely “good” on the “dessert” scale, but “below average” on the “ice cream” scale.  I had hoped the malt balls would compensate for the rum and vanilla, known agents of anti-delish. 

Nope.   Next time I get strawberry.

138 Thoughts on “Tofu Kimchi Eggs Benedict

  1. 1. Tofu is gross, everyone knows this.
    2. Kimchi is gross, I know you know this because I saw your face after you had some recently.
    3. Eggs aren’t gross to everyone, but you were aware that they are gross to you.

    Conclusion: you are a fool for ordering that. Even Ruchir, who is very adventurous with new foods (I mean, he ate a cockroach for pete’s sake), knows to apply discretion when looking at food combinations. Individual foods – yes, you should try them all. But don’t feel tempted to try some freakish mash up of foods, especially when you already know that you don’t like each individual component! This probably ended up on the menu because someone out there who loves tofu, loves eggs, and loves kimchi decided to put them all together – you are not that person so don’t order it.

    Also you are on crack if you think that rum and vanilla are “agents of anti-delish.” Perhaps you got what you deserved.

    • Actually I like tofu in cubed marinated form, though not usually in fried steak form.

      I’m always on the lookout for instances of “the sum is greater than the parts,” I guess. I know this exists because I’ve had a gin and tonic, which I can only explain as some pretty surprising wizardy.

      So I think you’re saying that we have Scenario 1 going on here. Possibly Scenario 2 as well, because it looked like it might be a family operation. Probably Scenario 3 as well, because I did order it and fork over $10.

      Or maybe it was Scenario 4: A sudden tofu and kimchi harvest rolled through town, and now there’s all this excess that needs to be used up!

      • Well it’s not exactly like Scenario 1 because this chef in my head actually like those foods and thinks others might like them too! He may have weird taste buds according to you but he is certainly not a maleficent dictator with no tolerance for dissent since there are plenty of other foods on the menu that people could order. As for Scenario 2 – you may assume that whoever concocted this thing must have dead taste buds, but I would assume the same of whoever thinks that vanilla and rum are agents of anti-delish (you).

        Regarding getting bored with food, perhaps you need to branch out more with food but that doesn’t necessarily mean odd mishmashes. We had a friend that we had a weekly weird fruit tasting session with. Some of the fruits we tasted (some weird and others not so weird but this person had never had any of them): lychee, dragon fruit, star fruit, persimmon, cactus pear, custard apple, korea melon, rambutan, yellow dates, … and several more that I can’t think of right now.

        Gin and tonics and Tequila sunrises are well established and in a totally different league than tofu kimchi eggs benedict. Stick to the first league and you can be adventurous without barfing.

        • I like to think this was Scenario 5: Someone lost a bet.

          I don’t actually mind taking a risk ordering because the next meal is always just around the corner! There’s never an end to eating. #firstworldproblems

  2. So, what’s your hit/miss ratio? You must get enough good new dishes to keep on trying right?

    • It’s not all that often that I encounter brave new combos, so I almost always try them when I do (unless it has bones, pickles, or olives in it). When I think something is going to be bad though, it usually is. But at least it’s new, which is more than I can say for 99% of the food I encounter! Sometimes I wish I could take a vacation from eating, because I get so bored with food.

      Gin and Tonics and Tequila Sunrises were surprisingly good though, so that keeps hope alive!

  3. Pingback: Pass it forward | Mad-Eye Maryann

  4. I was living in Seattle about nine years ago this was my first ever desgin job for Headbone Interactive, and I had just moved there. I was pulling lots of really late nights to cover for my grotesque inefficiency.Anyhoo walking home (staying with a co-worker on Capitol Hill) after dark one night I stopped at a funky little greasy spoon diner and had a really awesome Indian chili thing. I was the only patron (almost closing time) so I’m chatting to the owner/cook and somehow it comes into the conversation that it’s a VEGAN CAFE.Me: Whoa, you mean that thing I just ate which was so awesome was VEGAN?!! Him: It *is* possible, you know. Anyway nine years later Jenny was a vegan when we met. She eats cheese and yogurt and ice cream now, and I hardly ever eat meat. What are we gonna feed the kid I wonder?

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