Some people love tofu, some absolutely hate it. I belong to the tofu loving camp. What's not to like? Some don't like it's simple taste and brand it as bland. It is this simple fresh taste that makes it desirable and so versatile. It can blend in well with most dishes to add bulk, texture and nutrients.
Being Asians, we eat tofu as often as we can. The simplest way to cook it is to cut it into cubes, let it sit on kitchen paper to dry out the excess water, and fry. This can be dipped in sauces or added to stir fries.
This recipe takes the basic fried tofu a notch higher by adding extra ingredients to mashed tofu and frying them. Although delicious on their own, they are served on stir fried mixed vegetables. The sauce enhances the flavour of the puffs.
This is a much simplified version of the traditional Chinese dish called pipa tofu. Pipa tofu are tofu puffs much like the ones I made here but usually with a lot more ingredients. They are moulded on Chinese spoons so that they end up shaped like the Chinese string instrument called pipa. The simple ingredients make it a perfect side dish for an everyday dinner or a dinner party.
Ingredients for the tofu puffs:
200 gms. tofu
1 medium egg
2 tbsps. of corn flour
2 tbsps. green parts of spring onions, cut into thin rounds
80 gms. roughly chopped raw prawns
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
cooking oil for shallow frying
Mash the tofu with a fork. Transfer to a strainer to remove excess water.
In a mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (except for the cooking oil) with the tofu.
Heat up enough oil for shallow frying in a pan.
You will need a heatproof Chinese spoon to shape the tofu puffs.
When the oil is hot, dip the Chinese spoon in the hot oil. Fill the spoon with the mixture then invert into the hot oil. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and puffed.
This mixture will make 10-12 puffs.
Ingredients for the stir fry:
1 1/2 tbsps. oil
1 carrot, sliced thinly, on the diagonal
1 tsp. chopped garlic
about 8 pcs. asparagus tips, cut into 1 1/2" length, on the slant
75 gms. oyster mushrooms
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 1/2 tsp. corn flour dispersed in 1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
Heat up a clean wok. When hot, add the oil.
Add the carrot slices and stir fry on high heat for about 1 minute or until the carrot changes to a lighter colour.
Add in the chopped garlic and asparagus and stir fry again for 2 minutes.
Add in the oyster mushrooms and oyster sauce and fry for another minute.
Lastly, add the sesame oil and the corn flour dispersed in water while stirring. Cook until the sauce is thickened.
Transfer to a serving dish and top with the fried tofu puffs. Serve hot.
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