I’m a lover of all things whipped: cream, ricotta, feta, cashew-sambal sauce. But it wasn’t until I found myself at Second Generation, a family-owned Asian-inspired restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square, that I came face to face with my new obsession, whipped tofu.
Siblings Vicki Kim and Edward Kim, along with their business partner, Nate Chung, became known on the Chicago scene for their beloved burger joint, Mini Mott. In October of 2022, they transitioned the space (and the burger) into Second Generation, where the menu reflects their heritage as second-generation Asian Americans with dishes like kalbi steak frites and kimchi potato hash.
I’ve gathered you here today to discuss a nourishing dish of heirloom grains, seasonal vegetables, almond dukkah, and the star, whipped tofu. In truth, I ordered this off the brunch menu to bring some roughage onto a table that otherwise boasted a chicken katsu sandwich and pork belly atop ginger congee. The vegetables ranged from rainbow carrots to golden beets to fragrant fennel, brightened by a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. But it was the whipped tofu of which I couldn’t stop myself from going back for another spoonful.
I could’ve sworn it was ricotta or feta, but I was grateful to chef Edward Kim, who shares my intolerance for dairy, that it was tofu. Kim wanted something creamy for the dish, but also wanted it to be totally vegan. The result is a satisfying yet light swoosh, and it’s easy enough to recreate at home.
Here’s how to make Whipped Tofu:
Crumble 1 (14-oz.) block of firm tofu into a blender or food processor. Add 6 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, and the zest of 1 medium lemon. Blend, scraping down as needed, until you reach a creamy, silky consistency, 1–2 minutes. If your mixture is still grainy, you can add more moisture (water or soy milk) or fat (extra-virgin olive oil), a spoonful at a time. Generously season with salt and pepper.
You can serve it anywhere you’d use ricotta or another spreadable cheese—with crudités, in a tomato salad, or like Second Generation, with roasted vegetables and chewy grains. We also give you permission to eat it right out of the food processor with a spoon.