Friday, March 12, 2010

Stuffed Tofu and Chilli

My motivation for making this dish was to recreate ‘yong tau foo’, one of my favourite dishes to eat when I go out for Dim Sim, which is basically tofu stuffed with a prawn/pork mixture.

I am a big fan of tofu. If I am eating out at a Chinese restaurant I have to order a tofu dish.

Tofu is generally accused of being bland but you never eat it on its own. It has very little flavour or smell on its own but I think that’s the beauty of it because cooking tofu is about infusing it with flavour and making it into something really tasty. It has a great texture and absorbs flavours cooked into it really well. If anyone ever tells me that they think tofu is bland, I will tell them that they are not cooking it right. Tofu should not taste bland!

Kind of like bread you know, it’s pretty bland but you never just eat bread on its own (unless you are a poor arse uni student or traveling around Europe and can’t afford anything else to eat). You can spread some jam on bread or fill it with some meat and veges, or make it into something fancy like French bread or fairy bread.

To make my yong tau foo I bought some firm fried tofu and then made a filling mixture with around 40% minced pork and 60% minced prawn, and added in some finely diced spring onion, coriander stalk and carrot. Then I seasoned and flavoured the mixture with a little bit of the following:
•    salt
•    white pepper
•    shaoxing rice wine
•    oyster sauce
•    fish sauce
•    sesame oil
•    soy sauce
Then I used one egg white and a bit of cornflour to bind it all together.
Combine all the filling ingredients onto a chopping board and chop to mix together/mince and develop some elasticity (see photos from previous post on fish patty).

Put the filling mixture into a bowl, cover with glad wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.

I made a sauce for the tofu by lightly frying some garlic and ginger together in some peanut oil. Then I added in some chicken stock into the saucepan. Bring the sauce to boil and add in some soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, sugar and pepper to taste. Then thicken the sauce with some cornflour.

To make the stuffed tofu - slice the fried tofu in half and gently scoop some tofu out from the center. Spoon some of the filling on top of break tofu (be careful not to break the tofu!). Steam the tofu for 7 minutes and then remove the tofu from the steamer and carefully drain away any liquid. Pour the sauce over the tofu and continue steaming for another 3-5 minutes or until the meat is cooked.

Served garnished with coriander. 

If you would like a little heat, you can try stuffing some chillies.

Split and deseed some large chilli peppers and stuff them with some of the filling mixture. Steam the chillies for around 7 minutes until the filling is nearly cooked through. Finish off by frying in a an with some peanut oil until all sides of the chilli are golden brown, starting with the filled sides down.

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