Monday, July 18, 2011

Spicy Chinese Tofu 鱼香豆腐

Tofu in its raw original form isn't nice, even us vegans can't deny that - but sure, neither is a potato.  And just like the humble potato, tofu tastes best fried, or even better, deep-fried!  This wee dish was one of my absolute favourites in China, where amazing tofu dishes flow from kitchens 24/7 - the Chinese know their tofu.

Once again though I'm afraid it calls for a few slightly obscure ingredients, and I apologise, I really do.  But thankfully they can all be easily bought at most Asian grocery stores, no sweat.  To get your forgiveness even faster I've even added a link to Wai Yee Hong Online Asian Store so you can see exactly what need to buy. You're welcome.  

Spicy Chinese Tofu   鱼香豆腐


1 packet firm tofu
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 spring onions, white and green bits chopped
½ green pepper, cut into chunks (optional)
4-5 Chinese dried mushrooms, reconstituted and chopped (optional)
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs regular soy bean paste
1 tbs spicy soy bean paste
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp corn flour


Slice the tofu into strips, fry in deep oil until golden brown and set aside.

Heat some oil in a wok and when add both bean pastes and fry for a few minutes.

Add in the soy sauce, vinegar and about half a cup of water and mix.

Mix in the sugar, salt, garlic and spring onions.

Add the tofu and let boil for a few minutes.

Mix the corn flour with about 3 tbsp of water and add a few spoon fulls to the tofu - within a minute the mixture should have thickened and will be ready to plate up.

Sprinkle with spring onions and serve with rice.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dried Tofu, Celery & Peanuts 芹菜豆干花生米

Ah dried tofu, an odd kind of food really, it's like sweet little squares of edible rubber.  Despite that sounding rather unappetizing, it is surprisingly far from it. Add some Chinese spices, a few other marble sized editions and you have one challenging dish to get your chopsticks into!  Usually eaten at the start of a Chinese meal while you are waiting for the hot dishes to arrive, this little baby brings back fond memories of giant food halls, bustling waiters and ice cold beer.

Dried Tofu, Celery & Peanuts   芹菜豆干花生米 


1 cup raw peanuts
2 star anise
1 tsp Sichuan pepper corn powder (found in most Asian Grocery Stores)
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

5-6 squares of dried tofu, cut into small bite size pieces
4 sticks of celery, cut into small bite size pieces
2-3 large cloves of garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Sesame oil


Wash the peanuts and put them in a saucepan along with three times their amount in water.

Add the star anise, Sichuan pepper corn powder, salt, sugar and soy sauce, then bring to the boil and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed.  Drain the remaining liquid, remove the star anise and set aside.

Put the chopped celery and tofu into a pot of water and bring to the boil - let boil for about a minute then drain under cold water.

Mix the drained tofu, celery and peanuts together, then add the garlic, salt, sugar and a good few drops of sesame oil and mix it all together.

Let it sit for a while for the flavours to mix, serve at room temperature and let the chop stick fun commence!