Tofu is one of my favourite ingredients. It is so versatile and healthy. It has such a neutral taste that I can add any flavour I want to it. Most of the time I make vegetarian dishes with tofu but I also love pairing it with fish or meat as well. Today I am sharing two of my favourite spicy tofu dishes. You can reduce the amount of chilli as per your choice.
Spicy tofu with wood ear mushroom
Wood ear mushroom or black fungus has a crunchy texture which goes great with the soft tofu. You can use any other mushroom as well.
1 medium block of tofu (about 2½ cups) 1/3 cup black mushroom (dry) 1 capsicum 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (optional) 2 tbsp minced garlic 1 small onion 1 tbsp ginger, minced 3 dried red chilli 1/2 tsp chilli powder 1/4 cup oil
For the sauce:
2 tbsp soya sauce 1 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp rice vinegar 1 chicken bullion 1 tbsp corn flour 1 cup water. Chopped scallion and sesame seeds for garnishing
Pour hot water over the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl for 30 minutes to rehydrate. After the mushrooms are fully hydrated, wash them well and chop them roughly. Cut the tofu into small cubes. Chop the capsicum the same size as the tofu. Slice the dried chillies.
Dry toast the Sichuan peppercorns in a pan for a few minutes. Let it cool and grind it into a fine powder.
Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and set it aside.
Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, onion and sliced chillies. Cook for two minutes. Add the chili powder and the drained mushrooms. Stir for one minute.
Add the peppers. Cook for two minutes and then add the tofu. Mix gently this time, as tofu might break. Now add the sauce mix. Let it come to a boil. Sprinkle the Sichuan pepper and black pepper and stir to combine.
Serve hot with rice. Garnish with scallions and toasted sesame.
Note: Black fungus or wood ear mushroom is readily available at the Gulshan DCC 1 market, ground floor, where they sell all Chinese ingredients.
Thai tofu salad
2 cups of cubed tofu 2 carrots 2 small cucumber 1 small pack rice noodles or any noodles you like 1/4 cup toasted cashew or peanuts A hand full of chopped cilantro 2 tbsp soya sauce 1/2 tsp ginger paste For the pickling liquid: 2 tbsp vinegar 1 tbsp sugar 2 tsp salt 1/2 cup water
For the dressing:
2 tbsp fresh lime juice 3 green chilli 3 tbsp soya sauce 1 tbsp fish sauce 2 tbsp sugar 2 tsp cilantro stems, chopped
Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set it aside.
With a vegetable peeler, make thin slivers of carrots. Mix the pickling ingredients with it and set aside for one hour.
Cut the cucumbers in half and then slice them thinly. Boil the noodles as per your packet instruction and keep it cold.
Cut the tofu into small cubes and mix the ginger and two tablespoons soya sauce gently and set aside for 30 minutes. Heat two tablespoons oil in a wide frying pan and fry the tofu until it is light brown on all sides.
To serve the salad, place all the ingredients in a bowl as you like and serve the dressing on the side. Pour the dressing just before eating.