Nothing to it…

My girl and I bought this…

Smooth tofu

…for our steamboat dinner that night of the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) or the Zhōngqiū Jié, also known as the Mooncake Festival on 15th last but the mum decided not to include it as there were simply too many things already for us to finish…and yes, true enough, we didn’t manage to eat everything.

My girl likes these that we can buy at our local supermarkets a lot more than our own Sibu-made ones sold at the wet market in town. They are softer and silkier and smoother…and they definitely will not have that smoky smell that we may get sometimes with our own tofu when they do not make it well.

I guess everyone would know by now my beta noire – how I just can’t stand seeing thing sitting idle in the fridge for too long so I just had to take it out and cook it. Incidentally, it says on the pack to “keep freeze 2°C – 5°C” [SIC] but I see them all the time at the supermarkets on the slightly chilled shelves and not in the freezer. Is it that cold or cold enough the way they are displayed?

Anyway, I did not feel like having soup that day so I decided to do it like how they do it in the restaurants…

Tofu with minced meat & salted fish
*Archive photo*

– with minced meat and salted fish but of course, mine would be very much simpler, I guess. Nothing to it, really! These were the ingredients that I prepared for use…

Ingredients

I did not have any salted fish in the house so I substituted it with ikan bilis (dried anchovies) that I fried till golden brown…

Fried ikan bilis

…and then crushed it all up with my batu lesung (mortar and pestle).

Using the same oil, I fried the ginger slices before throwing in the sliced chili and minced meat and then I added dark soy sauce and a bit of sugar to counter-balance the salty taste and finally, I added the crushed fried ikan bilis before pouring everything over the tofu that I had taken out and placed on a plate.

I steamed it for a while as I was not too sure about having the tofu cold and once done, I garnished it with some chopped spring onions…

Tofu with minced meat & ikan bilis 1

…and served.

Yes, it was very nice…

Tofu with minced meat and ikan bilis 2

…but no, it was not like those at the restaurants. For one thing, the ikan bilis did not taste anything like salted fish but it was nice in its own way and perhaps, I could have added some thinly-sliced dried shitake mushroom as well. I am pretty sure we have some somewhere in the house.

Ok, now that I’ve got the tofu out of the way, let’s see what else I can find sitting in the fridge…

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Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

12 thoughts on “Nothing to it…”

  1. Hehehehe, you just like to clear out the food in your fridge. It is a good habit. Don’t let the food sit there for too long until you need to throw it away. My family always eat this tofu cold out of the packaging without steaming it. Your tofu dish looks tasty. Did you eat it yourself or with your family?

    Yes, the whole family had this for dinner that evening. I guess it went down well with the two ladies but of course, ikan bilis is not salted fish – would have been much nicer with the latter.

  2. Sometimes, the simplest food is the best.

    In my younger days, my roommate was going out with a highly paid IT guy who lived in Manchester. Each time he came down to London, he always took his GF to a fancy French restaurant. Guess what his favourite food was? Pig cheeks and ears.

    Not fond of the ears because of the thin white thing in it, the bone or whatever, not sure if I ever had the cheeks but I love the tongue, done char siew style – available at those stalls with everything on toothpicks, you just pick and eat – we call those roadside cocktails.

    Sometimes, there is beauty in simplicity…and generally, Chinese cooking is simple unlike Malay, nyonya or Thai, for instance. One look at the list of ingredients would be enough to put me off cooking any of their dishes already.

    1. The ‘bony’ substance in the ear is cartilage. It shapes the ear.

      Sometimes, there is beauty in simplicity. Quite!

      It’s hard and puts me off eating pig’s ears but many love it, I know!

  3. **High 5**…I also can’t see things idling in the fridge for too long. I like soft tofu steam this way. Usually I steam with minced meat, sweet cai poh & mushroom. Can substitute with Japanese tofu too, equally good. Yummy!!!

    Ok, will try that next time, chop the chai poh till fine – I think I had that somewhere before. We are not all that fond of Japanese tofu – my girl especially, she does not like the egg smell.

    Japanese tofu

  4. I tried this way once with my soft tofu once in Sibu. Nice but not what I expected. Somehow those served in restaurant tasted better.

    I seldom buy toufu because could not keep them that long. I only buy when I really need to cook it.

    Everything, best to buy when you want to cook it and cook it right away. That is why I keep nagging my missus – always buying and hoarding. There is a shop in the next lane, round the corner from my house and there are markets close by too, no need to go to the big one in town – we can always go and buy and cook right away as soon as we get home, no need to keep stuffing the freezer and the fridge.

    The ones at the restaurants have a lot of msg and you eat it as soon as it is served – piping hot and they serve it on a hot plate…so that is why theirs may seem nicer.

  5. The word they should have used is “keep refrigerated at 2-5C”. Freezers are normally kept at minus 4 degrees C and we know water turns to ice at zero degrees C. We certainly do not want the tofu to be frozen

    Yes, refrigerated is the word. My point is – is it that cold on those open display shelves even though it is a little bit chilled? I am sure 2°C – 5°C is much colder than that.

  6. I love your version. I’m often at a loss when it comes to knowing how to prepare tofu.

    Easy, just pour oyster sauce over it and garnish with chopped springs onions…and sliced chili if you are thus inclined. You can eat the tofu cold or you can steam it a bit first, if you wish. Very nice too, served this way.

  7. Very nice what you did with the taufoo. I dare not eat without steaming the taufoo. Feels weird to eat straight from the box!

    We’re two of a kind then. That was why I had it steamed instead of just pouring the meat over it and serving it like that.

  8. Don’t think i seen this brand of tofu over at the supermarket here…

    Made in Selangor, West Malaysia – not here. I guess you have other better brands there, made in Singapore?

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