Inspired by The Buddhist Chef’s Fried Tofu recipe, I thought I’d try cooking my tofu without pressing it. To say I was nervous was an understatement especially because I chose a night I had invited friends over to try my cooking (#brave). I then learned he never presses it, EVER. I must learn his secrets so it doesn’t turn into mush. On this occasion however, and to my relief, it worked and impressed my guests.
I always like to look at recipes for inspiration and follow loosely a) because I’m ADHD and get distracted way too easily and b) it’s way more fun that way!
I’ve wanted to make san choy bow for a while so I made that and needed something else to tie everything together so I whipped up a vermicelli noodle salad with spicy dressing. Yum!
Everything can be made ahead of time, so saves you running back and forth from the kitchen meaning you can actually enjoy your company. I started frying the tofu just before my guests said they would be here so it was cool enough to eat when they did.
Salt and Pepper Tofu
500g firm tofu, diced into 1.5 cm cubes
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
1/2 cup besan/chickpea flour
1 tsp bi carb soda
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2-3/4 cup soy milk
Rice bran oil for frying
Seasoning – Chinese 5 spice, salt + pepper
Juice of 1-2 limes
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 chilli, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- In a shallow bowl or dish, combine all of the ingredients, bare the tofu and whisk together until well combined, adding more milk if necessary.
- Heat enough oil in a wok to deep fry and bring up to heat. To check if its hot enough, use a wooden skewer, it will bubble when it’s hot enough.
- Coat tofu in batter and place in oil straight away, cook until golden brown (I did 2 batches). Remove and place on paper towel.
- In a large bowl, place 5 spice, salt and pepper and then toss tofu to coat. Best served immediately.
- For the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined, adjusting the flavours to balance, you may need more sweetness or saltiness depending on your preference.
San Choy Bow
3 portobello mushrooms, diced
4 white button mushrooms, diced
2 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 cup water chestnuts, diced
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons soy or tamari
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Thumb of fresh ginger finely grated
1 small chilli, finely sliced optional
Juice of 1 lime
Sesame seeds for garnish
Lettuce cups to serve
- Add oil to a large sauce pan and add carrots cook until they soften
- Add mushrooms, cook for a few more minutes
- Add ginger, garlic and chilli stir for a few more minutes until garlic is translucent
- Add water chestnuts and stir for a few more minutes, then add all of the other ingredients and stir well, remove from heat.
- Divide into lettuce cups to serve, garnish with sesame seeds and extra chilli.
Vermicelli noodle salad
Ingredients – all washed and finely sliced length ways
Raw snow peas, green beans, red capsicum, red cabbage
Vermicelli noodles, cooked as per instructions
Cashew chopped roughly for garnish
Dressing I used some of the dipping sauce for the tofu