Tofu or bean curd is one of the staple items in southern Chinese cooking, I ate them a lot when I was growing up because my mom always said “it is good for you!”, and that was the only reason I ate them.
To me tofu is like cottage cheese, it is good for you but it tastes bland and cannot stand alone on its own. It becomes a quest for me to find ways to make it more tasty. My mother in law only put it in soup, and that was the extent of its use in her cooking. But my mother likes to fried them, and then add them to a meat or tomato sauce, and they taste pretty good even though frying tofu is a little tricky, because as you cook them they tend to get watery, and thus make frying a little challenging. ( They tend to stick to the pan as I fry them!)
I found this recipe from the taste of Hong Kong website, and it sounds quite intriguing, for my own version I tweaked it slightly :I added one chopped chinese sausage to it to give some favor and one more egg to make the mixture hold better. The end result is pretty good, the next time I will give add a little punch to the cakes by adding some chili sauce or maybe even add some fish paste to it……..hmmm, it does have possibilities….
Here is the recipe according to the website:
- 2 pieces black mushroom
- 2 pieces hard tofu (bean curd)
- 2 eggs beaten
- 100g red carrot
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- a pinch of white pepper
- some chopped spring onion
1) Soak the mushrooms in water until soft. Remove stem and squeeze away all water.
2) Finely chop mushrooms and carrot. Fry them with 1 table-spoon oil over low heat for about 3 minutes.
3) Boil tofu for about 2 minutes. Dry it thoroughly and mash. Mix it well with other ingredients and seasonings.
4) Heat some oil in pan over low heat; use a table-spoon to get a portion of the tofu mixture into pan. Gently flatten out the mixture and cook for about 5 minutes until the bottom side is set. Then turn to another side and fry for another 5 minutes. Repeat making more cakes from the remaining mixture.
1) Have the cakes cooked as soon as the mixture is ready because water will seep out from tofu thus diluting the mixture. In case you find the cake is diluted and difficult to set, try add a little bit more of corn starch into the tofu mixture.
2) You may choose to steam (than to fry) the cake, just transfer the tofu mixture into a plate of minimum 3 cm height and even it out into equal height. Then cover the plate with foil and steam over medium heat for 8 minutes.
Ps: I found a few more interesting recipes for tofu in this site: