Tofu has always been my favourite food ingredient for cooking. I love how it can miraculously fit into a variety of recipes ranging from salad to dressing to entrée and more. Other than its versatility, tofu is also inexpensive and rich in protein. That’s why it’s a must-have item in my fridge.
Tofu, with its ability to absorb flavour, is best braised turning its seemingly bland taste into a rich-flavoured dish. After learning how to braise tofu, I have addicted to it ever since.
This braised tofu recipe that I learned from Truffle Rose’s (松露玫瑰） blog will produce a “chewy on the outside and soft on the inside” tofu. The tofu is cut into cubes, browned on all four sides and then braised in sauce.
I find that browning the tofu to be quite a challenge. During my first attempt, I didn’t heat up my pan long enough before putting in the tofu. As a result, the tofu was stuck on the pan and hard to be removed. Whew! It’s such a terrible mess! However, after some practices, I managed to perfect the skill. Hehe!
It’s important to choose firm, extra firm or pressed tofu for this recipe so that they won’t fall apart during braising. The braising sauce that I used was a combination of soy sauce, mirin, garlic and star anise. Though simple, it gives the tofu a delightful, lightly spiced flavour. If you like it spicy, throw in some chillies. For a more oriental flavour, you can season the tofu with a pinch of five spice powder.
I use corns and cucumbers to pair with the braised tofu. This adds a bit of sweetness and crunchiness to the dish, and at the same time, brightens up its look. There are endless combinations that you can experiment with this braised tofu recipe. If you need more ideas, check out this fabulous list showcasing different versions of braised tofu dishes cooked by the readers of Truffle Rose.
This dish can be served with rice or congee. If you chill it in the fridge, it will be a perfect cold side dish for this hot weather.
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