Making tofu at home
The first part of this recipe is like making tofu at home yourself! How exciting! The first time I saw this package (actually in Japanese) in a shop I picked it up immediately without second thoughts, and placed it into my shopping basket.:))
Although the package says that the mix inside should be used for making firm tofu, I did something a bit different and used it to prepare a very traditional Chinese recipe — Tofu nao .
‘Dofu nao’ is actually the northern Chinese name for it (in the south, I think it is called ‘dofu hua’). Tofu nao is a very common part of Chinese breakfast , and it is normally sold in the markets as ready to eat. However, my mum normally likes making it at home for dinner.
The making of Tofu nao involves just turning the soy milk from liquid form to a more solid form using a “firming agent”. The result is, however, not quite solid but rather very soft (like steamed eggs). And depending on what flavor you like, you can make different kinds of soup to pour on the tofu; so, when eating, you can combine soup and tofu. In northern China, we normally make it savory, where in the south, it can be sweet.
Normally soy milk can be home made or powdered. However, the soya milk sold in a carton or a ‘can’ is not good for this recipe. Next, the firming agent is very important. ( lu shui is the one normally sold in China), I haven’t found anything similar in the UK, so this package with the firming agent is really the easiest thing to use. This tofu package is sold in many Japanese and Chinese supermarkets.
The recipe: Chinese tofu nao
There are two steps for making this – making the tofu, and making the sauce for pouring on top of it. In northeast Chinese recipes, egg soup or black fungus soup are quite popular for this. In this recipe I just simply made the soup with egg only. Here it goes.
A pack of tofu mix,
egg, oil, salt, sesame oil.
Making the tofu
I mostly follow the instructions on the package.
1) Empty the soya powder sachet in a deep sauce pan, and add in around 0.8l cold water.
2) Bring water to boiling, and keep on stirring the powder in water.
After 3 minutes boiling, turn off the fire, and add the ‘firming’ agent into the soya liquid.
3) Stir well, and transfer the liquid to a deep edged plate.
4) Cover with kitchen foil for about 10 minutes.
Making the sauce:
1) In a heated wok, pour in 2-3 tablespoons of oil.
2) When the oil is hot, pour in cold water -half of the amount of water in the soya liquid.
3) Meanwhile, break two eggs, whisk well.
4) When the water is boiling, pour in the eggs, and stir a big to prevent the eggs form together. (You can also add in corn flour for thickness).
5) Add in 1 teaspoon of salt, vegetable/mushroom essence (optional), stir well.
6) Turn off the fire, add couple of drop of sesame oil.
Pour the egg “soup” on top of the tofu nao. When eating, take the spoon to grab from the bottom of the plate, so you should have a piece of soft tofu with the sauce altogether in the mouth.
Traditionally, it is good to have Chinese bread with it, otherwise, boiled rice is also good.