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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Five Quick Asian Dishes: Two Tofus, Two Ways

We've been nominated to win a prize in the "Protein Rich" contest being held on The Art of Cooking Indian Food! Our recipe for Tri-Tip Roast on the WSM is one of fifteen being voted on by readers for the prize of a $20 gift card. Out of all the many non-meat entries and chicken entries, I believe ours is the only beef entry. (Which is not surprising, considering the contest is being held on an Indian food blog ;-) )

I am asking you, my loyal readers, to head over to and vote for the Tri-Tip Roast on WSM entry in the reader poll, by August 10. We might not have as good a chance as "Jamaican Jerk Seasoned Tempeh Sandwich" or "Grits and Daal Adai" but let's see if the cow can represent!

If I had known the competition was going to be like this, I might have put up this tofu post instead of the tri-tip post. In any case, I offer this dish as another quick Asian dish that can be prepared in 15 minutes or less, in honor of Jaden's birthday:

Two Tofus, Two Ways

cold silken tofu 2

Growing up, my mom would make this cold tofu dish. We ate it with rice and it was so easy to eat, so soft and silky and really tasty. When I left home, this was one dish I tried to recreate. I’ve made it enough now that I’ve forgotten my mom’s version (I think she used to add Thai bird chillies and chopped dried shrimp in her version) and they’re truly my own.

I just made it recently for lunch and between Nate and I, we finished that block up in no time at all.

Cold Tofu topped with Fried Shallots and Garlic in an Oyster-Soy Sauce

1 14-16 oz block of silken tofu
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large or 4 small shallots, halved and sliced
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
3 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp kicap manis or thick soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
half bunch of green onions, diced


  1. Run a knife along the edges of the tofu tub and turn tofu over onto a plate.

  2. Heat up a small frying pan. Add vegetable oil and heat on med heat.

  3. Add sliced shallots and fry till light golden brown.

  4. Add garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.

  5. Add sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and kicap manis. Stir around. Lower heat a little and watch that the sauce doesn’t burn.

  6. Throw in most of the green onions, saving 3 Tbsp for garnish. Remove from heat.

  7. Drain whatever water has come out of the tofu. Now, pour the shallot-garlic sauce over the top of the dish and garnish with remaining green onions.

cold silken tofu

Along with that dish, I also pan-fried some egg tofu. I’ve always loved this style of egg tofu in Malaysia. There, they were normally deep-fried and then braised or sauced over other vegetables and meats. For the longest time, I could never find these tubes anywhere in the US. But recently, they started showing up at the 99 Ranch Markets. I swooped up 4 tubes of them at my last visit. If you can get them, you have to give them a try.

mandarin egg tofu

Cooking them is really simple. I normally slice them into half-inch rounds and throw them on a non-stick pan with a little bit of oil. After 3-4 mins on med-high heat, I flip them on the other side and fry the other side till they are golden brown too. They are so tasty, you could eat them like that.

cold silken tofu 2

But if you want to boost their flavor even more, just make a little sauce of 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 3 tsp soy sauce, dash of white pepper, 4 tbsp water and 1 tsp cornstarch. Mix that together, turn the heat down to med-low and throw it into the pan with the tofu and gently fold. If the sauce gets too thick, just add a little bit more water. Dish up and enjoy!

Cheers, Annie

Five Quick Asian Dishes Series:

"1-4-7" Steamed Eggs
Two Tofus, Two Ways
Mustard Potatoes
Stir-Fried Beef with Ginger and Egg
Steamed Shiitake Mushrooms with Bok Choy and Fatt Choy

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TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

"...but let's see if the cow can represent!"

LOL. Voted! =)

Esi said...

The shallot sauce sounds to die for!!

Sid Khullar said...

This is amazing. You've given me a few idea now! Thanks.


Nate @ House of Annie said...

@TS - Thanks for voting!

@Esi - You'll never eat plain tofu again!

@Sid - Take the idea and run! Just make sure to credit us later. LOL

Jen said...

I think the closest Ranch 99 to me is about 10 miles away in Cupertino, CA. I've been meaning to make the trip over there for quite some time now, and the egg tofu might just be the catalyst that it takes to get me off my duff...

-Jen (

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Jen - You could go crazy in the Ranch!

Anonymous said...

YES! EGG TOFU! that stuff is the BEST.

and I voted!

Anonymous said...

I love egg tofu but can't find it anywhere around here in the DC area!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I've never had egg tofu ( I think)! I feel so deprived. Time to go yell at my mom.

Jude said...

Cool presentation. Never had egg tofu but I'm sure I'll like it.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Daniel - You're so right. It's got really nice flavor.

Thanks for voting! :-)

@carmencooks - There's got to be an Asian grocery around where you can find products from China and Taiwan, right? I would hope so.

@Jessica - why would you want to yell at your mom for?

@Jude - If you can find it, try out this recipe!

Jenster said...

Hi, Annie. I just discovered your blog recently and am enjoying catching up on current as well as older entries.

I will definitely have to try your cold tofu recipe. One question: If you don't serve it with the fried egg tofu, would you eat it with rice or just on its own?

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Jenster - welcome! I'd eat it with rice.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the dish and tips. In fact, I have been trying to look for the egg tofu and couldn't find them... Next time when I go to 99 Ranch, I'll take a closer look for that tofu.

By the way, love your blog!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Elena - I hope you find them so you can try out this dish, and the steamed tofu with ground pork and shrimp one too.

foodtravelblog said...

Hi, I tried your recipe and add some enoki and shiitake mushroom. It was so good. Thanks for sharing :))

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@foodtravelblog - you're welcome. We love mushrooms too!