Hot and Sour Soup

Recipe adapted from Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook
Recipe adapted from Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook

2 medium pork chops, or 2 chicken thighs, partially frozen (to facilitate slicing), de-boned and cut into slivers – divided use
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari, if you need to be wheat-free) (see note)
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Bring 5 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add a couple of tablespoons of the sliced pork chops/chicken and lower heat to a simmer. Let cook ~20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. In a bowl, coat the rest of the meat with soy sauce and cornstarch, and set aside.

Tree Ears, dried
Tree Ears, dried

1/4 cup dried tree ears
1/4 cup dried lily buds
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 dried Chinese red pepper (optional — for use later in the recipe)

Tree Ears after soaking
Tree Ears after soaking

Soak the above in separate bowls, in freshly-boiled water, about 20 minutes or until they have softened and expanded.
When soft, remove tough parts from tree ears and stems from mushrooms, and slice everything thinly.

Dried Lily Buds
Dried Lily Buds

1 12-oz package firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch julienne, or 1/2-inch cubes (do not use if avoiding soy)
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 scallions, sliced thinly

Everything sliced up and ready to go.
Everything sliced up and ready to go.

Add tree ears, lily buds, mushrooms and tofu to the soup, along with seasonings. Cook gently for 5 minutes, then add scallions and the rest of the meat. Cook 10 minutes more.

2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional black pepper for serving

While soup is simmering, combine cornstarch and water in another bowl. Beat eggs gently.

Bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Add sliced hot red pepper if using. When boiling, add cornstarch and water mixture and stir until lightly thickened. Turn off heat and immediately pour in beaten eggs in a thin, slow stream, stirring with a fork in a clockwise direction. Stir in black pepper.

Serve hot, with additional vinegar and pepper on the side so diners can adjust the flavors to their taste.

As you can see, I have not mastered the art of pouring the eggs in as they don’t show up as silky, distinct threads in the soup. I know there *is* an art to doing it, because I was able to do it once before. I still need to figure out what I did right. 🙂

Note: Salt could be substituted any time soy sauce or tamari is called for in this blog, just realize that the color and flavor of the finished dish would be very different from the original.

This recipe can easily be converted to a vegetarian/meatless one, simply by omitting the pork/chicken.

Thai-Flavored Stir Fry

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 Thai chilies or 1 Serrano chili, sliced thinly (deseed if you want less heat)
1 1/2 tablespoons grated gingerroot
1 12-oz package cremini mushrooms, or Baby Bellas, or 1 cup shiitakes, sliced thin (discard stems if using shiitake)
1 large bunch broccoli, cut into florets, stem peeled and sliced thin or reserved for another use
2 large carrots, sliced thinly
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 14-oz can regular or light coconut milk
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes (can also be deep-fried or pan-fried before adding to recipe)
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
salt to taste
leaves from sprig of Thai basil, chopped
juice of half a lime

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Stir-fry 2 minutes. Add turmeric, mushrooms, broccoli and carrot. Stir-fry 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, tofu, water, and fish sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Adjust seasoning Add basil and lime juice. Stir one more time and serve. Yummy over brown rice.


I like this with some HEAT, however my kids don’t. When using the peppers I either add it to my dish, or have a small portion in another skillet to which I add it. Or, if you want some controlled heat, put the peppers in a tea bag and secure it to the side of the skillet. Take it out when the dish is as hot as you like it to be.

Two Sides Yellow

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1 16-oz package firm or extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
oil for pan-frying or deep-frying
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek), or to taste
1/2 cup chopped green onions/scallions
1/4 cup soy sauce (if using Kikkoman, undiluted is fine; if using a Chinese brand dilute with a couple of tablespoons of water to tone down the saltiness if desired)
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

In a wok or large skillet, pan- or deep-fry tofu cubes in oil (preheated for a few minutes) — in batches to avoid crowding — over medium-high heat until golden, 7-10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard oil except for one tablespoon. Return to heat. Add garlic and chili paste, stirring, about 10 seconds. Add green onions/scallions and tofu cubes. Stir briefly, about 1 minute, then add soy sauce and sugar. Stir another minute or two to coat tofu cubes with the sauce. Serve hot over rice. Serves 3-4.

a repost of a recipe I wrote at aboutweblogs.com/asianfood now aka noodlesandrice.com

Sesame Seed-Crusted Tofu Bites

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1 16-oz pkg extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
vegetable oil for deep-frying, I used safflower

Your choice of sauce for dipping: Thai chili sauce is good, as is plum sauce or peanut sauce or a mix of soy sauce-sugar-sesame oil

In a bowl, combine sesame seeds, cornstarch, flour, and sugar. Toss tofu cubes gently in the mixture to coat. Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, drop in tofu cubes gently, and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels, and serve warm with dipping sauce. My kids eat this with rice or noodles, but they’re great for appetizers as well!

Pan-Fried Tofu with Caramelized Sauce

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This Japanese tofu dish is a modern rendition that I found in “Japanese Cooking” by Kazuko and Fukuoka (published by Barnes and Noble) — the combination, surprisingly (to me), works, especially the the use of butter and garlic chips. Two thumbs up from my kids. I’ve adapted it to suit our measurements here (US).

1 16-oz package extra-firm tofu, drained, wrapped in paper towels and weighted down with something heavy to remove excess moisture — prepare this about half an hour before cooking

For marinating:
1/4 cup chopped scallions
5 tablespoons sake
5 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
5 tablespoons mirin

2 large cloves of garlic, sliced thin lengthwise
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4 inch “pats”

Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes after draining, and marinate for 15 minutes, folding occasionally to distribute flavors.

When ready to cook, drain tofu, reserving marinade. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Add garlic slices and stir-fry until golden; remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Add 2 butter pats to the oil, then the tofu cubes. Fry tofu until a nice golden brown and crisp on the edges/sides, about 5-8 minutes on each side. Add the reserved marinade and fold gently. Remove from heat. To serve in the Japanese manner, arrange tofu cubes on a plate. Pour a bit of the sauce over, and top with a pat of butter and a few garlic chips. (The butter melted before I could take a pic!)

Het Phat Tao-Huu (Mushrooms with Tofu)

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1 16-oz package firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes

For marinating:

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 teaspoons thin soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced ginger

For the sauce:
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (you can use a combination of your favorites, I used shiitake here)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
chopped hot red pepper (which I didn’t use because they didn’t want it spicy today)

Marinate tofu cubes in the sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper and ginger for half an hour, stirring every now and then to redistribute flavors.

Mix stock with soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until just beginning to color. Add mushrooms, increase heat to high, and stir-fry 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms are just cooked through. Give the stock mixture another stir and add to the skillet, stirring. Decrease heat to medium and gently fold in tofu cubes until well-coated with the sauce. Adjust seasonings and serve hot, sprinkled with scallions and hot red pepper.

Note: vegetable or other stock may be substituted for the chicken stock

Ma Paw Dau Fu

Originally posted at NoodlesandRice.com (now BlissTree)

Ma Paw Dau Fu

1664 days ago by Stef | 1 comment |

1 pound ground pork or turkey
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
2 teaspoons sugar
1 16-oz tofu block, diced
3 tablespoons garlic
1 tablespoon ginger
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes in oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot broad bean paste
1/3 cup dried tree ears, soaked in hot water, then rinsed, drained and chopped finely
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped scallions / green onions
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon toasted and ground Szechwan peppercorns
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Vietnamese Fried Bean Curd in Tomato Sauce: Tua Hu Sot Cha

Originally posted at NoodlesandRice.com (now BlissTree)

Vietnamese Fried Bean Curd in Tomato Sauce: Tua Hu Sot Cha
1899 days ago by Stef

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1-lb. block extra-firm tofu, cut in half lengthwise, then in half again crosswise

For the sauce:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup water
4 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Fresh coriander for garnishing

Prepare sauce: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until just beginning to turn golden. Add tomatoes and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add water, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, tomato paste, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for about 3 minutes. Keep warm.

In a frying pan heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add bean curd and fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn gently and brown on the other side. Drain on paper towels.

Transfer to serving dish, napped with the tomato sauce. Garnish with coriander.

Based on Wendy Hutton’s recipe in Green Mangoes and Lemon Grass: Southeast Asia’s Best Recipes from Bangkok to Bali.