Over here, tofu is a healthy choice and one of the top recommended protein food for a vegetarian. Rarely do I hear people who are meat lovers will like tofu and people who eat tofu are usually vegetarians or have no idea that it is actually a soy product. On the contrary, in Asia, people eat both meat and tofu together! Usually the meat is stuffed into the tofu or the tofu is braised with meat and sauce poured over it.
These small cube tofu are available mostly in Asian markets, which are deep fried prior to packaging and must be re-cooked before eating. They are of a different texture than the more available white silken tofu and actually hollow inside and absorbs flavors easily. Their hollow inside makes them ideal for stuffing and when deep fried, they puff up and when braised they retain their coarse texture. For a healthier option, I pan fried these tofu.
This dish is good as a side dish or to be served as an Asian inspired appetizer. My kids are always enticed to eat deep fried stuffs with a dip of mayo or Dijon mustard on the side. I used minced beef for the stuffing but minced pork, chicken or fish can also be used. I put in some peas to make them more appetizing as beef darkens after pan frying and the tofu needed to be pan fried longer to get it crispy, since I skipped the deep frying process. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
350g minced beef
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp corn flour
salt & white pepper
2 dozen small deep fried tofu pouches
2 dozen peas
1)Snip a small hole on one side of the tofu.
2)Mix the minced beef with the ginger, sesame oil, corn flour, salt & white pepper in a bowl. Stir and mix it for 2 mins.
3)Take one small portion of this mixture and push it into the cavity of the tofu. This is best done with pinching fingers. Insert a pea on top. Continue with the rest.
4)Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a non stick frying pan.
5)Put in the tofu pouches, with the stuffed meat facing down. Turn down the heat to low and let it cook for 4 to 5 mins. Turn the tofu pouches with the meat filling facing up and let them cook further for 4 mins.
6)Drain the tofu on a piece of kitchen paper towel. Dish up and serve with baby tomatoes and mayo.
Makes: 2 dozens