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.
Among the most popular is one that pares tofu with beef, spice it up with a favorite hot sauce and you have a good dinner.
“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)
* Beef flank steak or tender loin, 1 lb
* Fresh scallions, 1 small bunch
* Fresh garlic, 4 – 5 cloves
* Soy sauce
* Cornstarch or all-purpose flour
* Oyster sauce (optional)
* Cooking oil
* Cooking wine (optional)
* Your favorite chili paste
Thoroughly wash scallions, cut to 2 – 3 in. length;
Peel garlic, smash or dice;
Thoroughly clean beef, slice across grain to desired bite size;
In large bowl, marinade diced beef with 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. sugar, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tbsp. cornstarch or all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. cooking oil and set aside;
In small bowl, mix 2 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. sugar, 3 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tbsp. cornstarch or all purpose flour, 1 tsp. oyster sauce (optional), 2 tsp. cooking oil, 2 tbsp. chili paste and set aside;
Heat wok or large pan; add garlic and 2 tbsp. cooking oil, spread with spatula until garlic turns golden;
Add beef in wok, spread evenly and form a thin layer;
Flip beef in 2 minutes; continue for additional 1 minute;
Add tofu, stir and cover for 1 minute;
Uncover and stir again, then cover for additional 1 minute;
Remove cover and add scallions and mixture in small bowl; rinse small bowl with 2 tbsp. cooking wine or 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 over-cook beef;
* Use cooking wine for additional favoring.
* Cooking pan extremely hot while heating oil and garlic.