As most of you know, my love of cooking started in the kitchen with my mom. As a child, I would always be in the kitchen with her soaking up all the intricacies that it took to make a certain dish. My mom taught me a lot of basic skills in the kitchen and she also taught me a lot of traditional Chinese recipes that she watched her mom (my grandmother) make in the kitchen.
I’m starting a short new series called, “Sunday’s with Mom” merely for me. I honestly don’t believe anyone will make the recipe that I’ll be posting within these series – not because they aren’t delicious (they are), but because they’re somewhat time-consuming, as a lot of Chinese dishes are. And there are a bunch of ingredients that aren’t familiar and not something you’d keep in the pantry. I would love it, of course, if you made one of these recipes within the series but I know it’s a slim chance.
So why am I even posting these? Like I said, it’s mainly for me. I want these recipes as an online memory book for my future family. Once my parents are gone, I won’t have my mom telling me how to make anything. I want these recipes to pass down to my children and I want a recollection of how to make these beloved childhood dishes of mine. All the recipes in this series are childhood recipes my mom would make all the time for my brother and I and I want to treasure them. I’m sharing these because maybe you’ll want to try some of the dishes I had as a child or maybe you want to try something new in the kitchen. Whatever the intention, I hope you enjoy this series as much as I did writing it.
My mom always made the most delicious sauces to go with meats and side dishes. Getting together with her to make a lot of our childhood dishes was so nostalgic but it was also somewhat hard because she doesn’t write down anything :) I understand where she’s coming from, though, because that’s how I am in the kitchen if I’m not cooking for the blog or cookbook. A splash of this here, a pinch of that there. As I followed my mom around in the kitchen, I had to keep reminding her she needed to measure ingredients out so I could document it. Haha, it’s seriously one of the biggest challenges! I really do hate measuring!
Anyway, so this stuffed tofu recipe was one of our childhood dishes. It is a bit time-consuming to make as you have to carefully ‘carve’ out the center of the tofu and then stuff it with the pork mixture and dredge it in flour and then pan-fry it. I mean, the results are obviously awesome but if you’re short on time and/or just coming home from work, I would definitely save this as a dish for the weekend.
Sunday’s with Mom: Stuffed Tofu
- 1 pound (454 g) medium firm tofu, has to be medium firm or firm…soft will crumble!
For the filling
- ½ pound (227 g) ground pork
- 1 scallion, diced
- 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the coating
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup (31 g) all-purpose flour
For the sauce
- 3 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 large pieces of ginger, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Shiitake mushrooms
- ⅔ cup (121 g) frozen veggies, thawed
- 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cup (237 ml) water
- 2 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- Begin by prepping your tofu to be stuffed. Cut your tofu into thick, 2-inch squares. Using a melon baller or a spoon, carve out the center of the tofu, being very careful not to go all the way through the other side! Set aside. (You can keep the carved out tofu center and use them in the dish, too)
- For the pork filling, mix together all ingredients for the filling with your hands or spatula.
- Using about a tablespoon or more of filling, roll into a ball and gently press into the center of the tofu. Repeat until all tofu is filled and filling is mostly used up (see note below).
- In two separate bowls, add egg in one and flour in the other. Carefully cover the tofu in the egg then dredge it in flour on both sides. Repeat until all is covered lightly in flour.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan. Carefully place the tofu into the skillet and cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate. It won’t be thoroughly cooked through but you’ll cook it through later.
- In the same skillet, add scallions, ginger, garlic, mushrooms and frozen (thawed) veggies. Saute for 2-3 minutes then add the liquids. Let simmer for 2 minutes then add the tofu back into the sauce. Allow mixture to simmer for 7-10 minutes, or until pork is completely cooked through. I encourage flipping the tofu throughout the cooking process.
- Once done cooking, plate the tofu first then pour sauce all over the top!
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