Following our last recipe post Stir Fry Shredded Cabbage, let’s ride the wave of tasty vegetarian recipes.
Tofu is probably vegetarians’ best friend. However, the vegetarian tofu dishes I tried so far in vegetarian/vegan restaurants are disappointing. They generally fall flat of taste, and carry a stiff and plaster felt texture. This is not the way to eat tofu.
If you know vegetarian restaurants with good tofu dishes, please suggest to me in the comments! :)
To learn how to cook tofu, why don’t we turn to the country where tofu is originated from?
There is such a wide span of Chinese tofu recipes, ranging from the light clear tasted Cold plate - Tofu with Chives, to the hot and spicy Mapo Tofu. We also uses very different types of tofu in different tofu recipes. Someday, I will write a collection of the best Chinese tofu recipes.
Crispy & Juicy Tofu Recipe: The Home-coming Braised Tofu
Today, I’d like to present the homecoming Braised Tofu recipe into the spotlight.
This crispy yet juicy tofu is simply my favourite Chinese tofu recipe, probably because this is my grandma’s signature dish. Featured with a thin crispy outside layer, while the inside remains tender soft. And the flavours! You will not call tofu tasteless after this recipe.
Tips for Cooking Tofu
Well, I should also be cautious about building up your expectations, because tofu is not an easy ingredient to handle. It’s fragile, varies a lot in texture depending on which supplier you’ve got, and it comes with a certain bean flavour which not everybody likes.
To prep you up for this crispy and juicy Chinese tofu recipe, I have 3 tips to offer.
1. Find the right tofu. There are 3 main types of tofu in the Chinese supermarket in Den Haag where I live. Hard Tofu, Soft Tofu, and Silk Tofu. Soft tofu is the type that we are going for in this recipe.
The hard tofu and soft tofu look really similar, thus you’ll have to tell from the packaging. Silk tofu is too soft for frying and manipulations, while the hard tofu doesn’t have the tenderness that soft tofu offers.
2. Add enough salt. My grandma always say:” If the tofu is not salty, even the dogs don’t want to bite it.” (I always thought it’s a Chinese saying, but I googled and found out that it just came from my grandma... 😃) To put it into scientific theory, salt helps with the flavouring process for the tofu. The water in the tofu comes out, and the braising sauce goes back in.
3. Be gentle and maybe cut the tofu into bigger pieces. We all know how fragile tofu are. It can break in a blink. So be extra gentle and patient when dealing with the tofu. If you are really inexperienced in flipping tofu, then rather cut the tofu into bigger pieces, so that after a few breaking, they still stay in considerable shapes.
This concludes the prelude for the crispy and juicy tofu recipe: The Home-Coming Braised Tofu.
You can download the detailed recipe at the end of the post.
Download the detailed Recipe: Braised Tofu
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