Tofu (豆腐) is pronounced almost the same as what it’s in Mandarin – dòu fǔ. Those days we used to get them in the wet morning market, wrapped in paper and now I get them from the local supermarket wrapped in plastic.
Tofu is high in protein, which is a good substitute for the poorer Chinese who could not afford to have meat in their daily meal. I remember my grandfather told us that when he was a kid, they only got to eat meat once or twice a year, mainly during Chinese new year and his birthday if he is lucky. How lucky we are today.
There are many types of tofu in the supermarket these days, the tofu for this dish uses silken tofu which usually comes in rectangular shape, white in colour. If you are not sure which type to buy, look for the one that says “suitable for steaming”.
Ingredients (for 2 although I can eat the whole thing myself!):
- 1 block of tofu, removed from packaging with care
- 100 gram minced meat (chicken, pork or beef, whatever suits you) – marinate for 15 minutes with 1 tablespoon of soy, 1/2 tablespoon of dark soy, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, some grounded white pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 2 cloves garlic – roughly chopped
- 1/2 an onion – roughly chopped (you need only about a tablespoon full of chopped onion)
- 2 stalks spring onions/scallions – cut about 5mm in length, separate the white bottom for cooking and green top for garnishing
- 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
- 1 small cup of water
Steam the tofu on medium – high heat for 10 minutes. While waiting for the tofu to be ready, heat up a pan/wok with cooking oil. Add the chopped garlic and onion, stir fry for 15 seconds, add the minced meat. Keep stir frying till the meat is about 90% cooked, add a small cup of water, 1/2 tablespoon of dark soy and the spring onions. Bring the sauce to boil and turn off the heat when meat is cooked.
When the tofu is ready, drain the water away pour the sauce over and garnish with the green part of the spring onions. I like the texture and taste contrast between tofu and the minced meat, serve as side dish with white rice.