CHEESY HOMEMADE CHEX MIX
Homemade Chex Mix (or Gardetto’s snack mix) can be created quickly and easily at home using this “cheesy” variant.
This, however, is not a recipe that calls for removing the flavor packets from mac n’ cheese boxes or dehydrating cheese into dust. (Although that’s a fine concept, I suppose).
Tofu fermented tofu is the key component in this vegan Chex mix.
I’d like you to stay with me, please.
WHAT IS FERMENTED TOFU?
Rice wine and other seasonings are combined with firm tofu to create a fermented product often referred to as fermented bean curd or tofu cheese.
The word “cheese” is the most important translation there. It does have a creamy cheese texture and a salty, mildly cheesy flavor.
It has occurred to me recently that we’ve all been undervaluing fermented tofu.
Cooking up our Stir-Fried Water Spinach with it is one of our favorite ways to enjoy the secret ingredient in our Vegan Asian Vegetable Stock.
However, I have the impression that its full potential has yet to be realized. This handmade “nutritional yeast” was prepared from dehydrated cubes of fermented tofu, pounded into a fine powder. It’s breathtaking. This idea was born from there.
Tofu fermented in white and red.
White and red forms of fermented tofu or “bean curd” are available. Using the white variety, which has a more delicate flavor, is what we do in this dish.
More spicy than sweet, the red bean curd pairs well with fatty meats like pork. It’s common for people to add a cube or two of the red fermented red bean curd to my dad’s Char Siu recipe (though we maintain it’s just as tasty!). Chinese Fried Ribs with Fermented Red Bean Curd have never failed to sell out as quickly as they were made! Think of it like a white versus a red wine comparison.
This application calls for white because the red is a tad too winey and powerful.
You may be a robot if you haven’t sifted through a bag of Chex Mix or other snack mix looking for specific pieces.
Whether it’s bagel chips or something else, everyone has a favorite. That’s a given, after all. Unfortunately, the white bagel chips have met their demise. Wiggly breadstick addict or corn Chex hoarder. Which are you?
Your favorite crackers (like oyster crackers would be adorable and tasty), pita chips, or sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or nuts could also be used in this recipe.
When it comes to making your own Chex mix, I strongly oppose the inclusion of nuts. It’s all yours when you make this at home!
- 4 tablespoons of white fermented bean curd, about 4 cubes
- 3 cups of corn Chex cereal
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons of onion powder
- 1 1/2 cup of unsalted pretzels
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 cup of wheat Chex cereal
- 1 cup of broken up sesame breadsticks
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- Make sure your oven is preheated at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour some of the fermented tofu into a bowl. The tofu will still have a grainy texture, but that’s fine; just use a whisk to break it down. Add the paprika, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt & pepper to taste. Whisk until emulsified and smooth.
- Chex cereals, pretzels, and breadsticks should be mixed together in a large bowl. To evenly coat the mixture, drizzle the marinade over it in three batches, swirling each time. On a baking sheet, spread the ingredients out.
- Stirring about every 15 minutes while baking at 250°F for 45 minutes.
- As soon as the oven has finished, remove the dish from the heat source (now is not the time to let them sit there while you do other things). Make sure to let them cool for at least 10 minutes before eating them—the seasoning blend makes them really spicy!
- Storage should be done at room temperature. A sealed container of this snack mix will keep it fresh for a few weeks.