Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fried Tofu, Chicken and Enoki Mushrooms with Sambal Oelek

This recipe was concocted and inspired by many a fried tofu meal enjoyed at Chinese restaurants. Sambal Oelek is a Singaporean spicy, chili sauce that sums up the daring, bold flavours characteristic of Thai, Malay and Indonesian cuisine. I had never before attempted crumbing tofu, but I thought it would hold it together and crisp the outside - and it did!

A truly fiery recipe it will leave you lips burning, yet still your taste buds will crave for more. Succulent chicken tenders contrast the crispy, crumbed exterior of the fried tofu and as you bite in the smooth, creamy and wobbly tofu you experience another dimension of texture.

Ingredients: 150 g Silken Tofu; 1 cup breadcrumbs; ½ egg beaten well; Sesame Oil to Fry; 200 g Chicken Tenders, halved or Chicken Breast cut in 2 inch strips; 100 g Enoki Mushrooms, an inch trimmed from bottom of the stalks; 1 tblsp Hoisin Sauce; 1 tblsp Ketap Manis; 2 tblsp Sambal Oelek*; Salt; Coriander, chopped to garnish

Method: Slice the tofu into one-inch by one-inch piece and lay on a plate. Lay out the breadcrumbs on a plate and set the beaten egg in a bowl next to the tofu and the breadcrumbs. Working carefully dip the tofu into the egg first, gently ensuring you don’t break it up. Then delicately roll the egged tofu in the bread crumbs and set aside. Heat a non-stick pan and when it is hot, almost smoking add enough oil to shallow fry, and drop the pieces of tofu into the pan, searing it off about a minute to two on each side until it is golden brown. Watch it closely as it can burn easily. Once golden, drain on paper towels.

In a smoking wok, add oil and sear the chicken pieces completely (not longer than 4-5 minutes as chicken will get tough and taste horrible.) As soon as the chicken is cooked through add the enoki mushrooms and stir fry for about a minute, following with the hoisin, ketap manis, sambal oelek and salt. Allow it to stay on the heat for nothing longer than another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, gently coat the fried tofu with some of the sauce from the pan and serve immediately with rice or thick noodles to absorb the spicy gravy, garnishing with chopped coriander.

*If you cannot find Sambal Oelek make your own:
Makes a small jar, and will keep for about a week.

Ingredients: 450 g red chillies; 120 g garlic, peeled and chopped; 120 g tender young ginger, peeled and chopped; 2 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced (white part only); 180 ml fluid ounces vinegar; 220 g sugar; salt, to taste;1 tblsp lime zest, chopped

Method: Blend the chillies, garlic, ginger and lemon grass in a food processor or mortar and pestle. While processing gradually add the vinegar. Place the pureed mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the salt and lime zest. Remove from the heat, cool and bottle in sterilised jars.
More recipes with tofu and Enoki?

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