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)
· 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
- 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.
- Mix prawn mince thoroughly with salt, sugar and ½ tsp cornstarch. Set aside for 20 minutes to rest.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove carefully from wok or pot and drain any fluid pooling around the cooked tofu. Scatter with spring onions, if using.
- 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.