Tofu, with its rare combination of high protein, low fat and zero cholesterol, is the near ideal food for the health-conscious crowd. It is also an inconvenient truth that tofu is bland and sometimes downright boring.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In Asian countries such as China and Japan, where tofu is a stable food, people have been cooking up appetizing tofu dishes for thousands of years.
Here in the U.S., tomato and meat sauce is poplar. So why don’t we let the east meet the west and inject some life in the good old but otherwise bland and boring tofu products?
“Simple” is the key to this dish; and “Healthy” is its benefit. Of course, “Delicious” is what brings people to the table.
You can get the ingredients pretty much at any supermarkets, though you generally get better value at Asian food markets. The preparation time varies, but you can get it done in as little as half an hour.
I always advocate flexibility in home-cooked meals. Nothing has to be exact, that is. So use your imagination, use alternatives wherever you see fit, and more intriguingly, surprise yourself and your guests!
Now, this recipe is far from perfect for everyone. So I sincerely welcome any questions, comments and suggestions. Please drop a few lines in the “Comments” section, and I will be very happy to respond.
Things You’ll Need:
* Tofu, firm or medium, 1 pack (16 – 19 oz)
* Ground chicken, turkey or beef, 1 lb
* Diced or crushed tomatoes, 1 can (28 oz)
* Fresh scallions, 1 small bunch
* Fresh garlic, 4 – 5 cloves
* Soy sauce
* Cornstarch or all-purpose flour
* Oyster sauce (optional)
* Cooking oil
Thoroughly wash scallions, cut to 2 – 3 in. length;
Peel garlic, smash or dice.
Dice tofu to desired bite size.
In small bowl, make gravy by mixing 3 tsp. salt, 2 tbsp. sugar, 3 tbsp. soy sauce, 3 tbsp. cornstarch or all purpose flour, 1 tsp. oyster sauce (optional), 3 tsp. cooking oil and set aside.
Heat wok or large pan; add garlic and 2 tbsp. cooking oil, stir with spatula until garlic turns golden.
Add ground meat in wok, spread evenly and form a thin layer;
Flip meat in 3 minutes; continue for additional 3 minute;
Stir and break apart meat until brown.
Add tofu, stir and cover for 1 minute.
Add diced or crushed tomatoes, stir and cover until boiling.
Remove cover and add scallions and gravy mixture in small bowl; rinse small bowl with small amount of water and add to wok; stir until gravy thickens;
Serve hot with rice, for four to six.
Tips & Warnings
* For novice, non-stick pan recommended;
* Use high heat at all time;
* Do not under-cook ground meat;
* Cooking pan extremely hot while heating oil and garlic.