Epicure Recipe Card #4: Tofu with Prawns & Snow Peas


When I first saw this recipe card, I assumed it was for a stir-fry of prawns, snow peas and tofu. Admittedly this is not a combination I would think of cooking but the beauty of these recipe cards is that they make me cook things that perhaps I wouldn’t normally do. On closer reading it turns out the tofu is meant to be steamed with the prawns and the snow peas steamed separately, before the lot are served together. This is a little unusual as far as Cantonese home cooking practices are concerned, so I decide to make a one-plate steamed dish instead.

This is something which my mother has never made at home but we have ordered it when eating out. It is a contrast of tastes and textures and quite delicate in presentation. You will need a pot or wok wider than your steaming plate, and a steaming rack (available from Asian grocers) or a shallow upturned bowl on which to sit the plate so that it doesn’t touch the water whilst cooking. This dish is an ideal choice for when you want to serve up something impressive looking which is low on effort.


Steamed Tofu with Prawn Mince (百花蒸釀豆腐)
(adapted from a complimentary Lee Kum Kee recipe booklet)

Ingredients:
·         300g block of firm tofu
·         200g prawn meat, minced (either by repeatedly chopping until sticky, or using a food processor)
·         pinch of salt
·         ½ tsp caster sugar
·         1½ tsp corn/potato starch
·         1 tbs sliced spring onions (optional)
·         1-2 tbs vegetable oil
·         3-4 tbs light soy sauce

Method:
  1. Cut tofu into 8 pieces by splitting across into 2 layers then chopping each into 4. Arrange in a single layer on a heatproof plate that can be used for steaming. Set aside.
  2. Mix prawn mince thoroughly with salt, sugar and ½ tsp cornstarch. Set aside for 20 minutes to rest.
  3. Place steaming rack or upturned bowl into work or pot and fill with water until just under the level of the steaming rack or bowl. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
  4. Drain any liquid which has pooled from the tofu and pat dry the top surface with paper towel. Sprinkle the remaining cornstarch over the top. Divide prawn mixture roughly into 8 portions and place flattened rounds on top of each tofu square. Carefully transfer the plate to the waiting pot or wok and steam with the lid on for roughly 10 minutes.
  5. Remove carefully from wok or pot and drain any fluid pooling around the cooked tofu. Scatter with spring onions, if using.
  6. Heat oil in a small saucepan until almost smoking then spoon over the top of the prawn-topped tofu, before drizzling with the soy sauce. Serve immediately.
 happy cooking!

11 comments:

  1. I love this dish in restaurants but I always thought it was too hard to make at home. Great work!

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  2. I love this dish. The silkiness of the tofu complements the prawns very well.

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  3. Yum! I love clean and fresh flavours like these. Looks fantastic :)

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  4. I prefer your version to the recipe card. Looks fantastic and seems simple, like that combination.

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  5. definitely prefer your version - it actually looks so much tastier!

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  6. so simple, and i love tofu!

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  7. Oooh! I'm going to make this for dinner soon. :D Good idea making it a one plate steamed dish.

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  8. I have this obsession with Tofu at the moment. This is one of my favourite tofu dishes. now I can make it at home. Your version look a lot better than the card. That's for sure.

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  9. I really need to make this dish again soon. One of my fav!

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  10. Would you believe that I haven't had Tofu proper? It scares me, somehow. I have invented a recipe which I'm sure will have me loving it, just haven't cooked it yet :-)

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  11. Hey Belle, that's what I always thought too! Turns out it's quite easy to replicate at home - just need to balance the plate carefully when removing after cooking.

    Hey Ellie, the firm cooked prawn meat is quite nice contrasted with the soft silky tofu, isn't it?

    Hey Lily, definitely agree that the flavours are really clean.

    Hey Sara, thanks! I chose to do something completely different from the recipe card...as usual =p

    Hey Panda, thanks! I think my version's more Chinese, that's all.

    Hey Betty, incredibly simple but impressive!

    Hey Agnes, so easy as a one-plate dish - add a plate of vegies and dinner's done!

    Hey Kath, thank you! I'm sure the recipe card version is nice but I just chose to do a lazier one-plate thing =p

    Hey Anh, it's so good when you're in the mood for something that doesn't require much chewing!

    Hey Kitchen Butterfly, tofu can be an acquired texture if you've not grown up with it. I'd suggest starting with deep-fried tofu puffs, then move onto deep-fried fresh tofu before plain tofu - only because the latter is the nuttiesst and therefore the most 'tofu' in taste. Best of luck!

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