> Recipes > Tofu

Chilled silken tofu with crispy shallots

by Hungry Female
Chilled silken tofu with crispy shallots

Chilled silken tofu with crispy shallots

PT15M

Why not try?

In the UK, tofu or soya bean curd is often seen as a substitute for meat, finding its way into burgers, salads and even English-style breakfasts as a token vegetarian option. Whilst I am genuinely intrigued to see how tofu is used in the West and am pleased it has found its way into mainstream eating culture, this is far from how the Chinese view and treat it.

I love tofu. Firm and silken are only two of the many forms and textures that this white soya bean product comes in. Tofu produces a delicate yet crunchy outer layer when fried. Tofu skin can be kept and dried becoming rippled and slightly chewy. This type of tofu is wonderful when tossed with meat and vegetables. Tofu puffs (deep-fried tofu with a puffy pillowy texture) can be stuffed with almost any ingredient to make a small sandwich that looks similar to a Momofuku bun. Tofu can also be eaten sweet – tofu flower is a widespread Southern Chinese dessert made from very silken tofu that has been chilled and drizzled with sugary ginger syrup or molasses.

The Chinese honour tofu in its own right, never as a substitute. Being a ‘yin’ or ‘cooling’ ingredient (Yin as in Yin and Yang, the Chinese concept of duality and balance) it is used to counter heavier, richer foods in a meal. Tofu is a canvas for almost any flavour, a typical Chinese menu would feature tofu as a key component alongside meat, vegetables and seafood.

If you would like to try tofu in a typical Chinese way, try making chilled tofu with crunchy shallows – one of my favourite tofu recipes that I have enjoyed since I was a child. Silken tofu is regarded as a higher grade tofu and is best eaten chilled. The crunchy shallots create a crisp, sweet contrast to the milky, smooth goodness below.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

1
Begin by making the crispy shallots. Pour enough vegetable oil into a small saucepan so that it is 1cm deep, and place over a medium heat. To test the heat of the oil, sprinkle in a couple of breadcrumbs, if they immediately sizzle and turn golden brown it is ready
2
Fry the shallots in batches to ensure they don’t overcrowd the pan. Watch them carefully, they need to be just golden. Any browner and they will taste bitter
3
Drain the shallots on kitchen paper and reserve the oil. Leave the shallots to cool down
4
Place the chilled tofu on a serving plate, draining off any liquid from its packet. Combine the oyster sauce, light soy, sugar and sesame oil together in a bowl, then stir in 1 tablespoon of the reserved shallot oil
5
Pour the sauce over the tofu, and top with crunchy shallots and chopped spring onions. Enjoy with steamed rice and other sumptuous Chinese dishes
 

Want more recipes like this delivered to your inbox?

Sign up to our newsletter now and we'll send you a hand-picked round-up of the best seasonal recipes and features from the best chefs each week.

Thanks for subscribing

We'll only contact you around once per week with the best recipes and features. You can unsubscribe at any time.

 

Comments ()

Chilled silken tofu with crispy shallots

 
Order by
...   ...

(Editing)

>

This comment was edited

Please enter text

Comments must be less than characters

This comment has been deleted

Report this comment

Please state your report in the space below

Please enter text

Reports must be less than 750 characters

loading

>

Please enter text

Comments must be less than characters

(Editing)

>

This comment was edited

Please enter text

Comments must be less than characters

This comment has been deleted

Report this comment

Please state your report in the space below

Please enter text

Reports must be less than 750 characters

loading

>

Please enter text

Comments must be less than characters

Be the first to leave a comment on this page...
...   ...