Originally posted January 13th, 2013
I had some silken tofu in the fridge. I’ve never really looked into what you could do with soft tofu other than maybe use it in smoothies and vegan pie-fillings… I am a fan of soft tofu when it comes to Malaysian style curries and such, so to fill my Sunday afternoon as well as my tummy, I decided to do some sort of silken tofu wok thing.
Other things I had in the fridge: aubergine, courgette, cucumber, mushrooms, ginger and red chillies. Add to that, from the cupboard: garlic, toasted sesame oil and noodles. Something hot and sweet, with the aubergine turning all smooth and velvety was what I had in mind. But what to do with the tofu?
Thank the culinary gods for other bloggers! http://omnivore-almostveg.blogspot.fi/2012/05/pan-fried-silken-tofu-with-ginger-lime.html
I’d never thought of cutting soft tofu into cubes and coating them lightly with flour. I didn’t have corn flour, which obviously would have been ideal. But I had some fine, plain flour, so I went with that.
I started with sesame oil in a pan, added ginger, one chilli and one clove of garlic, all chopped up. Once the oil was hot and infusing all the gorgeous flavours, I added the aubergine bits. After a while I added the courgette and sliced mushrooms. After frying them a bit, I added a dash of fish sauce and a dollop of sweet soy sauce. Hoping for some acidity, but with no lime juice to hand, I poured in a tiny amount of apple vinegar. Yes, apple vinegar. And to balance it out, some muscovado sugar.
As this was going on, I’d put the block of soft tofu to drain on top of some kitchen paper. I then cut it in squares and carefully took each piece of tofu and rolled it in flour. I then took the veggies out of the pan and left them to wait on a plate. I placed the tofu squares in the pan instead and added a bit of sesame oil. They quickly started frying. When I was happy with the colour, I added the veggies back, adding sliced cucumber and chopped, fresh coriander – and poured some more sweet soy sauce on top.
I’d cooked some basic noodles and added those to the pan, tossing everything around a bit. And that was that.
Ingredients for one person:
toasted sesame oil
a small piece of ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 small chilli
1 packet of soft tofu (300 gr)
a bit of cucumber
sweet soy sauce
something acidic (lime juice or some sweet type of vinegar)
Verdict: Coating the tofu with flour is a good idea. I would recommend using corn flour, which has more flavour and a nice texture to it, when fried… Plain flour worked ok and the tofu squares didn’t break or get too messed up, but I suspect corn flour would have been even better. As for the rest of the dish, I think aubergine with sweet soy sauce and chilli is always wonderful, and adding some cucumber really balanced out the hotness nicely. Some acid and sugar are good too, and I was surprised how the apple vinegar wasn’t such a bad idea. The aubergine really soaked up all the spices and sauce and became dark and caramelized. Yummy! And I really think this experiment gave me faith to try stuff with silken tofu in the future…