Two Tofus, Two Ways
Growing up, my mom would make this cold tofu dish. We ate it with rice and it was so easy to eat, so soft and silky and really tasty. When I left home, this was one dish I tried to recreate. I’ve made it enough now that I’ve forgotten my mom’s version (I think she used to add Thai bird chillies and chopped dried shrimp in her version) and they’re truly my own.
I just made it recently for lunch and between Nate and I, we finished that block up in no time at all.
Cold Tofu topped with Fried Shallots and Garlic in an Oyster-Soy Sauce
1 14-16 oz block of silken tofu
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large or 4 small shallots, halved and sliced
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
3 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp kicap manis or thick soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
half bunch of green onions, diced
- Run a knife along the edges of the tofu tub and turn tofu over onto a plate.
- Heat up a small frying pan. Add vegetable oil and heat on med heat.
- Add sliced shallots and fry till light golden brown.
- Add garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and kicap manis. Stir around. Lower heat a little and watch that the sauce doesn’t burn.
- Throw in most of the green onions, saving 3 Tbsp for garnish. Remove from heat.
- Drain whatever water has come out of the tofu. Now, pour the shallot-garlic sauce over the top of the dish and garnish with remaining green onions.
Along with that dish, I also pan-fried some egg tofu. I’ve always loved this style of egg tofu in Malaysia. There, they were normally deep-fried and then braised or sauced over other vegetables and meats. For the longest time, I could never find these tubes anywhere in the US. But recently, they started showing up at the 99 Ranch Markets. I swooped up 4 tubes of them at my last visit. If you can get them, you have to give them a try.
Cooking them is really simple. I normally slice them into half-inch rounds and throw them on a non-stick pan with a little bit of oil. After 3-4 mins on med-high heat, I flip them on the other side and fry the other side till they are golden brown too. They are so tasty, you could eat them like that.
But if you want to boost their flavor even more, just make a little sauce of 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 3 tsp soy sauce, dash of white pepper, 4 tbsp water and 1 tsp cornstarch. Mix that together, turn the heat down to med-low and throw it into the pan with the tofu and gently fold. If the sauce gets too thick, just add a little bit more water. Dish up and enjoy!