kruizing with kikukat

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fried Tofu with Chives

Another food that comes to mind when I think about what Mom cooked is fried tofu with chives.  It was something that was hurriedly made after a long day of work, and while it was something very simple, I recall being happy to see it on the table.

There are several keys to finding success when cooking this dish.  The first, and most important, is safety.  Like anything containing water, tofu will splatter when it meets the hot oil in a skillet.  A trick to minimizing your chances of being scalded is to slice the tofu and pack it on paper towels the day before you plan to cook it.  While this could definitely be done quickly just before cooking, allowing the tofu to drain overnight is preferable.

The second trick is to use garlic chives.  Garlic chives have flat blades, rather than cylindrical stalks.  Cut the chives in 1-inch pieces.  Any shorter, and they will get lost.  Any longer, and they will be cumbersome to eat (you might resemble a catfish at some point).

Because Mom was pressed for time, we usually just ate the fried tofu with a generous squirt of shoyu.  But if you can spare an extra 2 minutes, make the sauce.  The sauce will give people the impression you slaved all day!

click on recipe title for printable recipe
Mom's Fried Tofu

1 block tofu
handful garlic chives, cut in in 1" pieces
1 tbsp shoyu
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp shao hsing wine

Begin the night before by slicing tofu block in half.  Slice each half into 1/2" thick slices.  Pack slices between paper towels and refrigerate overnight.  Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet (no more than 1/4" deep).  While oil is heating, combine shoyu, oyster sauce, mirin and shao hsing wine in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Add tofu slices to heated oil in a single layer, frying in 2 batches if necessary.  Fry until tofu is golden brown and edges are crispy.  Turn over and fry other side in same manner.   Sprinkle chives over top of tofu, continuing to fry tofu until golden brown.  Remove tofu and any chives sticking to tofu to a serving platter.  Turn off heat, and carefully add sauce.  It will sizzle and sputter.  Allow to bubble for a minute, then pour over tofu slices.  Serve.

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