Fish Fragrant Tofu Chinese tofu recipe

fish fragrant tofu

I’ve mentioned so many benefits of tofu in my previous blog post and here is another tofu recipe that I want to share with you today.

“Fish fragrant tofu” (魚香豆腐) is one of many famous dishes from Sichuan cuisine. It has “fish” in the name of it but without fish in this dish. It’s called “fish fragrant” because the ingredients for this dish are usually used when cooking fish but people use it for cook tofu, eggplant and other dishes.

There is a story about this fish fragrant dish. A long time ago in Sichuan, there was a family who were really serious when It came to cooking fish. They will use ginger, spring onion, garlic, mince, chilli bean sauce and other ingredients to cook with fish. One day, the lady of this family didn’t want to waste the ingredients so she used the ingredients to cook another dish. She was however realy nervous that it wouldn’t taste nice and her husband wouldn’t like it.

Her husband came home while she was thinking about what she should explain to her husband later about this dish. Her husband was so hungry from work he didn’t wait for dinner to start and literally just took a few bites of this dish. He asked his wife: ”Oh, this dish is the most tasty dish that I ever had in my life, how did you do it?” She told him how she cooked it and they gave the name of this dish “fish fragrant fry (魚香炒)”. This is how “fish fragrant” this name came from.

People who are vegetarian can also cook this dish but just without using any mince. You can adjust the amount of chilli and chilli bean sauce if you prefer your food more or less spicy.

As people who follow my Facebook page will know, I recently bought a pink knife bag. I really like anything that’s pink and when I saw this bag online I just had to buy it! Here are some of photos of my new pink knife bag.

Credit: All photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

pink knife bag
pink knife bag
pink knife bag

Don’t you think this is the cutest knife bag ever!

 

Fish Fragrant Tofu Chinese tofu recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes tofu around 692g, I bought it from a regular supermarket
  • 1 spring onion chop finely. I used half for the sauce and the other half for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 2 slices ginger chop finely
  • 1 chili chop finely
  • 100 g beef or pork mince I used beef mince in this dish

Seasonings

  • 1 tbsp chili bean sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 drops sesame oil approximately
  • 1 cup water

Marinade for mince

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches white pepper powder approximately

Instructions

  1. Marinade mince with sugar, soy sauce, salt and white pepper powder for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the packaging from the tofu and cut it into 1.5 cm thick pieces.
  3. Heat a wok with 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry the spring onion, garlic, ginger and chilli for 30 seconds.
  4. Add mince into the wok and keep stir-frying it until the mince is cooked.
  5. Add chilli bean sauce to stir-fry it for 30 seconds. Add rest of the seasonings into wok and bring it to boil.
  6. Add tofu into wok and gently push them into seasonings and turn the gas power to the lowest and simmer it for 10 minutes.
  7. Place the tofu onto a plate and pour some sauce on top. Sprinkle the rest of the chopped spring onion on top and it’s ready to serve.

 

Stir Fried Pickled Bamboo shoot with chili beef mince

Stir Fried Pickled Bamboo shoot with chili beef mince

Stir-fry pickled bamboo shoot with chilli beef mince is one of my favourite dishes that my grandma cooks. Every time I go back to Taiwan I always ask grandma cook this dish for me which she does and I really love.

Grandma is a very traditional Chinese and Taiwanese mother and grandma. Kitchen is her stage and she is the queen of kitchen. She will kick you out if you try to cook in her kitchen and her happiness comes from her children or grand children’s compliments about her food. So, I especially taught my husband to say: “I love you grandma, your food is delicious” when we went back to Taiwan.

She is original from Guangdong (Canton), China. So all the dishes she has cooked for her family are always influenced by Cantonese cuisine. She and my grandfather are two of the best chefs in my heart. She is also my role model for my old and retired life. She is always full of energy, enthusiasm and has a real passion for life. She’s been through a lot of really bad moments in her life but she always stays such a strong, happy person and rarely complains about her life. She is also the busiest old retired lady I’ve ever met in my life. She learnt (patchy) English, how to swim, play the erhu fiddle, ballroom dance, join the chorus, become a member of women’s Federation meeting and much much and more. She also has so many friends who always invite her shopping and have tea together. Even she is that busy she still manages to look after us. Whenever we come home she always prepares the tastiest dinner imaginable. I wish when I get old I can be just like her.

I was so excited to see they sell this pickled bamboo shoot in my local Chinese supermarket. I even called grandma on Skype to show her it. I know how to cook bamboo shoots just like grandma but I still ask for it when I go home and somehow it tastes so much better.

Credit: All photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

pickled bamboo shoot

 

Stir Fried Pickled Bamboo shoot with chili beef mince

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 400 g pickled bamboo shoot
  • 100 g beef mince
  • 2 chilies (optional), chop roughly
  • 1 piece ginger chop finely

Marinade for beef mince

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp potato starch or corn flour
  • 1/4 tsp rice wine

Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. 1. Soak the bamboo shoot in water for 15 minutes and drain it. Rinse it with water and leave it to dry.
  2. 2. Cut the bamboo shoot into the size as photo shows.
  3. 3. Marinade the beef mince with marinade.
  4. 4. Heat the wok with a little bit oil to fry the bamboo shoot first until the surface looks slightly golden brown. Place it on a plate and leave it aside.
  5. 5. Heat the wok with 1 tablespoon oil and stir fry the mince for 30 seconds and add chilli, keep stir fry until the mince is cooked.
  6. 6. Add bamboo shoot and stir fry for a couple minutes. Add seasonings and check the seasonings before plate it up.

Recipe Notes

* This dish should taste a little bit sour and a little bit spicy. It’s great when served with rice. (I always have 2 big bowls of rice with this dish)

 

Steamed Tofu with prawn

steamed tofu with prawn

Yesterday I went to the supermarket opposite my house, Sainsbury’s, and was really happy to find that they are now selling tofu. One of my favourite things to cook with but one of the more inconvenient things is Tofu, inconvenient as it means I have to go to the Chinese supermarket. Tofu is one of the greatest things to come out of Chinese cuisine. It’s incredibly health and has high protein, vitamins, calcium and minerals but it’s also low in calories, sodium and fat.

Research has also shown that tofu is great for combating heart disease and is good for ladies when they’re going through their menopause.

So, with all those great benefits, why can’t we buy tofu in every supermarket in the UK? I think it’s because people don’t know how to cook tofu or they had bad experiences with a tofu dish that has been cooked incorrectly. For example, my husband was talking to his colleagues and they said when they tried to cook tofu it turned into a sloppy mess. Cooked properly it should keep it’s shape and texture.

Tofu is a very common ingredient in Chinese and Taiwanese cooking. We cook Tofu in many different cooking ways including stir-fry, pan fry, steam, stew, deep fry and more.

So, here is my recipe for my tofu dish today. It’s called “steamed tofu with prawn”. The preparation time for this dish is around 20 minutes. It’s quick to make, simple, healthy and cooked without any oil at all. How great is that?! Next time people who try to call Chinese food unhealthy might start thinking again. People in western society often think Chinese food is about sweet and sour, prawn toasts, msg, fat etc but in actual fact good Chinese food is nothing like this.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

steamed tofu with prawn

 

Steamed Tofu with prawn

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 250 g prawn
  • 500 g tofu
  • 1 piece ginger chop finely

Seasonings for prawns

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder

Seasonings for sauce

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 stock cube
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp potato powder

Instructions

  1. Take out the tofu from package and dry it. Sprinkle a couple pinches of salt on the tofu and leave for a couple minutes.
  2. Cut the tofu into 1 cm thick pieces.  Use a cookie cutter to cut the tofu and use a teaspoon to dig a small hole in central of tofu.
  3. Use a food processor to process the prawn with all the seasonings.
  4. Roll the prawn mixture from step 3 into a small ball and put in the central of tofu.
  5. Steam the tofu with full power for 10 minutes.
  6. Mix all the seasonings for sauce in a small saucepan and bring it to boil. You must stir it occasionally while it cook.
  7. Pour appropriate among of sauce on top of tofu and ready to serve.

 

Stir Fry Lamb with BBQ Sauce

edinburgh snow

Edinburgh has been snowing for five days now. The snow has affected most public transport and people are really struggling to drive into Edinburgh from outside. I feel really thankful that I live fairly close to work as the roads between my workplace and home haven’t been affected too much, but some of my poor colleagues have had to walk a couple hours or more to get home. I feel terribly sorry for them.

edinburgh snow

Even though the snow has caused a lot of inconvenience in my life I’m still really excited about snow. In Taiwan, snow only happens on the top of mountains and not that often. But funnily, my colleagues like to remind me not to touch yellow snow as they know as soon as I see snow I’ll go out and play in it. As a note the temperature in Edinburgh as I’m writing this blog post is -6C but I talked to my parents earlier today and it was 24C. I’m jealous!

edinburgh snow
edinburgh snow

Another exciting thing has come along with the snow. Just today I received an invitation from Ricefield Arts and Cultural Centre in Glasgow to do a few speeches as part of the Chinese New Year Festival in Glasgow. I’m really excited but also nervous about this.The event runs for a month from February 2011 but I must start thinking about topics for my speech. Please leave me a comment if you want to know any food related things about Chinese New Year or if you have any questions about what we eat and why we eat it. This could really help me with the talks.In my last post I talked about day light issues so I’ve decided to start making some stir-fry and soup type dishes. Today I have prepared and cooked stir-fry lamb with Chinese bbq sauce. This tasty, healthy and simple stir-fry dish can be prepared and cooked in around 15 minutes. I used “water spinach” as the vegetable with this dish but you can also use cabbage, brocolli or any other kind of green vegetables to replace water spinch if it’s difficult for you to go to a Chinese supermarket. The amount of chilli you need in this recipe is entirely a personal choice. If you want it spicy add a lot but if you like your dishes less spicy adjust accordingly.

Credits: Snow photos were taken by myself and all other photos were taken by: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

stir fry lamb with bbq sauce

A lot of the dishes Chris and I eat at home have chilli in them both because of flavour but also because they help to warm us up.

chinese hot pot lamb
chinese water spinach

 

Stir Fry Lamb with BBQ Sauce

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 250 g lamb sliced thin (you can find it in Chinese supermarkets, usually sold for hot pots)
  • 250 g water spinach cut into 3cm lengthways
  • 1 whole chili cut into thin slices
  • 3 cloves garlic chop finely

Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp potato starch or corn flour
  • 1 tbsp Chinese bbq sauce

Instructions

  1. 1. Marinade lamb with soy sauce, sugar and potato starch.
  2. 2. Wash the water spinach and drain away the water. Cut it into 3 cm long slices.
  3. 3. Heat a wok with 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry the lamb first and add the garlic and chilli. Stir fry it for 30 seconds and add the BBQ sauce. Stir-fry it for a couple minutes.
  4. 4. Add water spinach and use salt to season the whole dish. Stir-fry it until the water spinach is cooked. Stir in some potato starch water (just ¼ teaspoon potato starch or corn flour mix with 2 tablespoon water) and cook for another 30 second and it’s ready to serve.

 

Cantonese Roast Crackling Pork

cantonese roast crackling pork

Recently I’ve been seriously struggling with daylight. I planned to cook three dishes this week but with the sun now starting to go down around 2:30pm I can’t do a lot of photography after I have finished cooking. This is really annoying me! It’s very hard to take nice food photos without natural or studio lighting and I’m definitely not an early bird person on my days off. As a note I work from 9am typically until 12am-1am, once customers have ordered their final desserts. I’m not a wealthy person who can spend a couple thousand pounds on studio lighting and I’m not a housewife so time is limited.

So, rant over. Now I’m thinking about new ideas for my blog. Sometimes life’s difficulties are a good thing and it’s made me think about preparing quicker dishes to cook. Some of the most simple dishes are the tastiest.

I had a chat with one of my colleages the other day at work. She told me she really likes my blog but a lot of the dishes have too many ingredients and involve too much preparation. This conversation made me think a lot. I really value everyone’s opinion of food and what they like to learn or see from my blog, it gives me new ideas and a new point of view to my cooking.

Here is my latest recipe. This ideas of this roast crackling pork is from one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in the UK called “Imperial Palace”. Everytime I go there I want to eat this dish and it makes me keep coming back. So, I decided to give it a go. In the end it’s turned out not too bad.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

 

Cantonese Roast Crackling Pork

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 850 g pork belly
  • 3 spring onions cut into 3cm lengthways
  • 3 slices ginger

Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • Soy sauce a small but no exact amount
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

Instructions

  1. Wash the pork belly and cook in boiling water with spring onion and ginger. Cook pork belly for 5 minutes and prod a skewer inside pork. If no blood comes out it’s cooked. Soak in cold water immediately and dry it with a clean tea towel or napkin.
  2. Use a dry frying pan to sauté the Sichuan pepper until the aroma comes out. Then use a pestle and mortar to grind the Sichuan peppers into a powder.
  3. Prod the skin part with a skewer or the tool that I have pictured in this post. I bought this tool from local Chinese supermarket for about £5.
  4. Brush the soy sauce on every side of pork belly. Mix all the seasonings together evenly and gently rub the seasonings on pork belly. Leave the pork belly marinade for 2 hours.
  5. Tin foil wrap the side and bottom of the pork belly. Only leave the skin part unwrap. Put the pork belly on the middle oven shelf. Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees and roast for 20~30 minutes.
  6. Take out the pork and brush a thin layer of oil. Roast in oven (temperature 180 degree C) for another 20 minutes.