September 12, 2013

tofu & mince little pillows of flavor

4 months?

really... has it been 4 months?


after that long cold winter, and spring that just didn t seem to happen, all of a sudden we had hot hot days of summer, which somehow passed in a blur, and now we re back into that normal rhythm of life again.

so i m back, with a little recipe that ll make your heart sing, well, it did mine, because this is a recipe you can play around with, but i stuck to the Chinese flavorings just to keep it simple.

inspired by a picture i saw on Facebook, i just thought i d have a go, and came up with this combo:



300 gr silken firm tofu
300 gr fine grind pork mince
1 tablespoon of dried shrimp, soaked (if you don t have dried shrimp, not to worry, it s not essential)
10 French string beans, finely chopped into rings
2 spring onions, finely chopped into rings
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce (that s a Thai chili sauce, hot hot hot, but you could use 1 tablespoon of really very finely chopped fresh red chili)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablepoon mirin
1 tablespoon of xiao hsing rice wine
1 clove garlic, grated
1 thumbsize piece of ginger, grated
a seriously good grinding of black pepper
vegetable oil, for frying


1. in a bowl, mix all the ingredients together except the string beans, spring onions and cornflour until it is almost a smooth paste
2. mix in the string beans and spring onions and combine well
3. if it seems too wet, add cornflour until it holds together and you think you ll be able to make quenelles out of them
4. heat up about a centimeter of the oil in a thick-bottomed frying pan
5. shape your quenelles and drop them gently in the hot oil
6. don t move the quenelles around! be patient, wait until they release from the bottom of the pan, you ll feel that after about 4 minutes they will have a golden crust and you know you ll be able to turn them so you can fry the other side... be gentle, they are very fragile
7. also, don t crowd the pan! take your time, they don t need to be hot, you can serve them warm

i served these with rice and some stir-fried pak-choi, but should you decide to change the flavoring, i m sure you could go for a Thai vibe by adding some green or red Thai curry paste instead of the sesame oil and the rice wine, or go Moroccan with some lemon tagine paste perhaps?

happy eating!