This is a question I get asked a lot: “How do you manage your time with so many things on your plate?”. My typical answer would be “Well, I don’t think about it, I just go about finishing my tasks and doing what I have to do to make myself happy.” The second most common question is: “How do you even have time to cook?”. This is simple: I cook complicated dishes when I have more time (admittedly sometimes I have to clear the schedule for cooking especially now with Plateculture, not complaining though), and when I don’t or when I don’t feel like it, my dishes are simple and usually take less than 30 minutes. I’m also more relaxed after I spend sometime in the kitchen, which is always a good thing. I was already cooking almost everyday when I was working full-time as a doctor and part-time singer. When there’s a will, there’s a way.
Well, that brings us to the recipe I’d like to share today: The humble steamed tofu. Tofu is usually not high on anyone’s list of favourite food, which is a shame seeing it’s a great source of protein and has cholesterol reducing properties. It also contains soy isoflavones which has been shown to be extremely beneficial for women (more on that in my upcoming post). Besides the nutritional benefits, it’s also a great vehicle for transporting flavours. Here I’ve used very simple toppings and seasonings to transform the blank canvas.
Apart from the short amount of time needed for this, the best thing is that everything is steamed and there is no need to fire up any frying pan. Which means the kitchen will remain relatively clean. I’m sure that’s a bonus for everyone.
Steamed Tofu with Minced Pork, Mushrooms and Salted Egg Yolk (serve 2)
1 block Smooth Tofu (also called Silken Tofu)
50g Minced Pork, marinated with light soy sauce, salt and pepper
3 Shitake Mushrooms, rehydrated and diced into small pieces
1 Salted Egg, steamed or boiled.
2 stalks Spring Onion, thinly chopped
1 tablespoon Shao Xing Wine
1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
Optional: Dried Shrimp and Fried shallots but kinda defeats the purpose of no frying.
Remove tofu from packaging and drain excess liquid.
Mix the seasoning with the minced pork and stir into a sticky paste, mixed in the chopped mushrooms. Then place the meat mixture on top of the tofu, lightly press it flat (be careful not to break the tofu). Drizzle Shao Xing Wine, Soy sauce on top and steam on high for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, steam the salted egg with rice. When it’s ready, cut in half and remove the egg yolk (you can use the egg white for other dishes). Break egg yolk into small pieces and place on top of the tofu when it’s ready, finish with sprinkle of spring onions and drizzle of sesame oil.
Pair this dish with another steamed vegetable dish (I steamed some choy sum with my rice too) and brown rice and you have yourself a very comforting and satisfying meal.
Granted, the salted egg yolk is probably not the healthiest thing on the plate but what it does is providing the much needed umaminess. To bring this dish to next level, you can even try adding century egg too (funky looking and slightly funky in taste but goes extremely well with tofu).
Do you like tofu? What is your favourite tofu dish?