with rice or noodles?Before you read further, this particular recipe got left in the draft section and I forgot all about it. So publishing it today, hope you enjoy it.
In the month of February our Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari hosted an essay writing competition for students from the ages 11+. This is an annual event, but each year brings its own surprises. What impressed me was that this year most of the students had lovely handwriting which is a miracle considering that lots of school work is done on computers these days. However, I noticed that all of them printed the letters and none wrote in joint handwriting. Does this mean that schools no longer teach the children cursive writing? Isn't joint writing or cursive writing faster? While taking a round to check out what the students were doing and if they needed anything, I noticed one student had a calculator on his desk. I asked him what he was doing with the calculator as this was not a math contest. He replied that he was calculating the number of words he had written! Baffled I walked away as, though the requirement was a set number of words, we didn't expect him to take that literally. However, these events bring a sense of joy and satisfaction to my heart as it shows that reading, handwriting and creativity still exists in many schools. I can't wait for the teachers to hand us the essays back, and members of the Club can read the most interesting ones. I love reading all of them.
Now lets get to the recipe for today. After making the tofu salad, still had some tofu leftover. I had this delicious vegetables with tofu at the Bangkok restaurant in Nairobi. Wanting to have only tofu with either rice or noodles, I decided to spicy tofu. I would not have bothered to fry it but hubby dear requested that I fry the tofu to give it a bite texture. I use to make this dish sometimes in Bangalore for lunch. I would have it on its own. Try this recipe out and add vegetables if you wish. Adjust the spices according to your taste.Ran out coriander and spring onion to garnish, but please use some greens.
Serves 4 - 6
400g regular tofu (approx. 2½ cups of cubed tofu)
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp coarse pepper powder
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp white wine or rice vinegar
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp chilli sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce (dark)
4 tbsp minced red onion
¼ - ½ tsp salt
½ tsp five spice powder
1 cup water
For the tofu:
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp cornflour
oil for deep frying
Five spice powder :
1 star anise
2 tsp szechuan peppercorns
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp whole cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
Preparation of the spice powder:
- Lightly roast the spices on a pan over medium heat.
- Let the mixture cool down a bit.
- Grind into a powder using a spice or coffee mill.
- Store the spice powder in an airtight container.
Preparation of the tofu:
- Spread out the tofu cubes on a tray or plate. Sprinkle the salt, soy sauce(light) and cornflour over it. Gently toss it so that the cubes get lightly coated with the cornflour.
- Heat oil for frying in a wok, pan or kadai over medium heat.
- When it is hot, add the tofu cubes a few at a time.
- Fry them till they appear light golden in colour.
- Remove the tofu cubes from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and put them on a kitchen towel so that the extra oil get absorbed.
- Mix water and cornflour in a small jug or bowl.
- Add vinegar, soy sauce, honey and chilli sauce to the cornflour mixture.
- Heat both the oils in a wide pan over medium heat.
- Stir fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli paste for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the cornflour mixture and stir till the sauce becomes a bit thick.
- Add the fried tofu cubes.
- Add salt if necessary, five spice powder and pepper.
- Garnish with chopped spring onion, coriander or flat parsley and serve with rice or noodles.
- Add vegetables of your choice if you like. Baby corn, pepper, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms etc. Stir fry it along with the onion, ginger and garlic before adding the sauce.
- Handle the tofu gently otherwise it will break up.
- Can roast the tofu cubes in little oil in a non stick pan instead of frying it.
- Adjust the spices according to your taste.
You may want to check out the following:
|stir fry noodles with vegetables|
|enoki mushroom and mache salad|