Tuesday, 27 July 2010

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Chinese Stir-Fry Tofu/Kinesisk Stegt Tofu/豆腐[dòu fǔ]


Recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia
Serves 4

Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
- 1 block of fresh or boxed tofu (soft or silken) cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup minced pork (3-7% fat)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 stalk spring onions (chopped into small rounds)
- 2 TBS cooking oil
- ¼ cup frozen de-shelled shrimps (optional)
- 1 cup vegetables such as broccoli florets or peas or 1 red/green bell pepper chopped (optional)
- 1 egg (optional)

Brown Sauce:
- 1 TBS oyster sauce
- 1 TBS shaoxing wine
- 1/2 TBS soya sauce
- 3 TBS water
- 1 TBS ground oatmeal (to thicken the sauce)
- 1/2 tsp Chinese sesame oil
- 2 dashes pepper

Directions:
1. Cook, blanch or steam broccoli and put aside (optional)

2. Heat up a wok and add cooking oil.

3. When the oil is heated, add garlic and stir-fry until light brown.

4. Add in the ground pork and stir-fry to break the ground pork into smaller lumps, then follow by shrimps and tofu.

5. Do a quick stir and add the brown sauce mixture.

6. Gently stir-fry the tofu and bring the sauce to boil. Add the broccoli, peas or red/green bell peppers and chopped spring onions, do a few quick stirs. If you want, crack in an egg at this stage and stir until it is cooked, dish out and serve immediately with brown rice.

Nutritional Value:
Tofu is a very good source of manganese, iron and protein. In addition, tofu is a good source of selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, copper, calcium and magnesium. When the curdling agent used to make tofu is calcium salt, the tofu is an excellent source of calcium. Tofu is known as a cholesterol-lowering food, along with other heart and health benefits.

Fish aren't the only good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Tofu provides 14.4% of the daily value for these especially beneficial fats in just 4 ounces.

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Additional Information:
Tofu was first used in China around 200 B.C. Legend has it that it was discovered by accident when a Chinese cook added the seaweed nigari to a pot of soybean milk, causing it to curdle; the result was tofu. Tofu is sometimes called "the cheese of Asia" or “soya cheese”. Traditionally, the curdling agent used to make tofu is nigari, a compound found in natural ocean water, or calcium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral. Curds also can be produced by acidic foods like lemon juice or vinegar.

I managed to rush and buy some grocery and made this dish for dinner after work. Daddy and J love it. Daddy usually does not like tofu, as he finds it plain and tasteless, but I guess the oyster sauce helped. But J loves it. I didn’t believe that fetus actually can taste what the mother eats, but now I am beginning to believe it. J loves all the food I love including rather spicy food such as pepper, but doesn’t like the food that Daddy likes such as yogurt or cheese. Could it be that he got used to my food since he was in my tummy?

When planning J’s menu, my goal is to have a green vegetable and an orange vegetable every day. Thus, be it Chinese or European dish, I evaluate it on its nutritional value. I make sure that this dish is very nutritious and balanced by adding in the vegetables such as broccoli, peas or red pepper bell, although this dish would taste as good without it. I usually like to add broccoli, but if I don’t have time, I will just pour in some frozen peas straight out from the freezer. This recipe uses oatmeal as thickener instead of the usual cornstarch. On “egg” days – 3 times a week for J, I will also crack in an egg. And finally, of course, you get the protein from the tofu.

Traditionally, this Chinese dish is cooked with minced pork, but if you don't eat pork, you can also substitute it with minced chicken or minced beef.


Cooking Chinese dishes in Denmark definitely is not cheap and tofu is still considered to be rare or a delicacy in Denmark – at least to me. I bought this organic tofu from the health store near my place, since as a working mom, I don’t have time to go to Chinatown to get the tofu. This tofu alone cost 36 DKK or 8.50 SGD, but it saves me time. All in, this home-cooked dish probably cost me around 10 – 12 SGD. I wish I am now in Singapore, and would be able to buy affordable tofu to my heart content!

Sharing my Chinese cultural heritage with our son definitely comes with a high (financial) price, but what better way to share it with J than through the Singaporean way – through food and the stomach! We have counted the cost, and paid the price… (and will be paying for the next 20 years!). It also makes me count my blessings to God that we can afford to put food - and specifically Chinese food - on the table. And what about my dream leather mulberry bag? It certainly does look further and further away from my reachability now! But I have no regrets :-)

References:
http://rasamalaysia.com/home-style-tofu-recipe/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=111

http://www.soyfoods.com/soyfoodsdescriptions/tofu.html

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