Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Recipe of the Day: Tofu Pouch with Minced Pork and Sugar Snap Pea

There were still 13 pieces of the Japanese deep fried bean curd pouches ('aburage') left over from the little can of which I used 2 for yesterday's Bento. Typical of all Japanese products, the more compactible the better, hence I once again found myself digging into the can which was tinier than the usual tuna in can! After the 5th one, I was almost cursing the Japanese and yet I realised I am getting my $3.50 worth for a total of 15 hollow pouches all ready to be experimented by me, knowing that 1 or 2 mistakes still leave me with plenty to survive dinnertime!

This time I stuffed them up with minced pork and sugar snap peas. Don't ask me where I got the idea as every evening comes, my mind is already blank with the kids meltdowns and a dwindling brain power just tells me that the more simple the better. Call it East meets East, I pan fried the beautiful stuffed tofu pouches the same way as the Chinese makes pot stickers, a drizzle of oil to bring out the usual aromatic potion of garlic, scallion and shallots with added water sizzling away and a pan lid that contained all the steam that cooks the meat without a single drop of additional oil... a calming thought after all those sinful puff pastries from Sunday.

While Japanese cooking emphasizes on techniques of cuts, presentations and slow cooking, the Chinese culinary skills can be so opposite with the need to prepare the meal fast and let the ingredients do all the work of meddling together to make the best taste. Blending both ways brings out the best of all dishes and the idea of incorporating both meat and vegetable in one, or maybe two bites in a healthy steamed soy made tofu pouch makes one feel so damn health conscious without working too hard on it! As the aburagee was slightly sweet itself, I made the sauce/gravy from red Miso paste to give it a tinge of saltiness. The tofu itself absorbed the taste of the gravy and the pork was juicy and moist, complemented with the crunch effect of the sugar snap pea. All 13 pieces gone missing within 10 mins and that is what I call a stuffed and satisfying meal.


1 can Japanese deep fried tofu pouches/Aburage (15)
350g minced pork, seasoned with salt & pepper

25 to 30 sugar snap peas
Minced garlic (3 cloves)
Minced shallot (1)
1 tbsp of Red Miso Paste
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch with 4 tsp water added

1)Stuff the tofu pouches with minced pork and 2 sugar snap pea each. Heat a drizzle of cooking oil in frying pan. Take a pinch from the mixture of minced garlic, scallion and scallion and fry for 45 seconds.
2)Arrange the tofu pouches on top of the mixture and with medium heat, let sit for 3 minutes.
3)Add 5 tbsp of water into pan and let the content sizzle and cover with pan lid and lower the heat and let it steam for 10 minutes.
4)Meanwhile, in another pan, heat oil and fry the remaining mixture of garlic, shallot and scallions together with the miso paste. Add in pepper and sesame oil and 3 tbsp of water. Let it cook for 3 minutes and add in the cornstarch mixture, stirring till thick.
5)Pour into the tofu pouches and simmer further for 3 minutes.
6)Serve and garnish with scallion.

Serves: 3 persons

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