Monday, February 7, 2011

Shrimp stuffed tofu with black bean sauce

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I know I'm 4 days late, but...
Happy Chinese New Year!

And to celebrate the new year, I wanted to make a chinese dish. Well...not really. hehe. I've been seriously craving chinese food these past few days, especially shrimp stuffed tofu. What you need to know is, I always order the same three dishes when I go to chinese restaurants: wonton soup, cantonese chow mein and shrimp stuffed tofu with black bean sauce. I seldom deviate from these dishes. It may seem dull and monotonous on my part, but I can't help it. I always tell myself that I need to try new stuff, but when I'm staring at the menu and see the words "chow mein", all my brain (and tummy) is thinking is: "I must have that NOW!" lol. However, I've never been entirely satisfied with the shrimp stuffed tofu (and I've tried it at many restaurants). The shrimp filling doesn't taste much like shrimps. It seems as if the shrimp paste is made of 10% shrimps and 90% of a cheaper filler ingredient...like flour or something. Like they say, if you want a thing done well, do it yourself. So that's what I did! It came out great! It's awesome that the shrimp filling actually taste like shrimps! Now that I won't order this dish at the restaurant anymore, maybe it's time to choose a new favorite dish? ;)

In other news, I've been incredibly busy these past few days (which explains the lack of blog updates). Last Thursday, I had my third and last residency interview. Actually, it was during Chinese New Year! All three of my interviews went surprisingly well. I was calm, composed and charming. haha. I feel so relieved that they're finished though. Now I can relax, take it easy and continue cooking! :)

Shrimp stuffed tofu with black bean sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients
6 blocks of fried firm tofu (each block roughly 2″x 2″x 1.5″)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Shrimp filling:
12 medium sized raw shrimps (shells and tails removed and deveined), minced
1/4 cup chicken breast, minced
1 scallion, chopped, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch or tapioca starch
1 teaspoon sugar

Black bean sauce:
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fermented black bean paste (I used Lee Kum Kee black bean and garlic sauce)

Directions
Tip: If you decide to fry the tofu yourself, you will want to remove some of the water from the tofu before frying to avoid the oil from spattering. Lay out a thick layer of newspaper. Over the newspapers, place a layer of paper towels. Line the tofu pieces on the paper towel and finally, lay a paper towel on top of the tofu. Wait 15 minutes for the newspaper to absorb the water. Then the tofu is ready to be deep fried in vegetable oil.

1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together shrimp, chicken, 1/2 of the scallion, soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, salt, and sugar. Set aside.

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2. Cut tofu blocks diagonally to form triangles. Scoop some tofu out of the center with a spoon to form a pocket. Reserve scooped out tofu for future use.
3. Pack shrimp mixture into tofu.

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4. Heat oil in a large pan. Place each piece shrimp side down and over medium heat, cook until shrimp mixture is golden. Turn tofu onto one of its triangular sides. Add water, fermented bean paste, sugar and soy sauce in pan. Bring sauce to a boil, then turn down heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 4 minutes.
5. Turn tofu pieces over on other side and simmer for another 4 minutes or until cooked through. (Take a peek at the color of the shrimp through the sides.) Transfer tofu pieces onto a plate, leaving the sauce in the pan.
6. In a small bowl, dilute the cornstarch in 1/3 cup of cold water. Add cornstarch mixture to sauce to thicken it. Stir until you have a thick gravy-like consistency. Add remaining scallion. Pour sauce over tofu pieces. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

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Bon appetit!

2 comments:

Katherine said...

Huummmmm!!!! I want to try that! I lokks so goooooood!

Kathy said...

Come and I'll make you some! :)

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