|Japanese tofu and broccoli|
The hotel we stay is in a residential area of Verona. When we make our way to city centre everyday, we need to go through a few streets with a local cinema, a few local primary and middle schools, and a convent where we can often see some monks and nuns walking passing by. However, it is surprisingly quite, apart from when school finishes, or a movie time starts or finishes, it is difficult to hear noise. — I don’t know, probably just me, I think the sun is so shining and warm, lighting up every single corner, if there is some noise, it is covered by the sun.
Well, it is the quite time of the day, lunch time followed by a siesta. I feel that I could almost hear the breath from each window, and imagine how everyone let themselves relax in their comfortable position. It feels like the world cannot be more peaceful then that, but, somehow, I am not totally relaxed, probably feeling the sun is very close, it causes a little tense, or probably simply because I have been purposely conscious about the route, after all, we don’t want to get completely lost, especially we already planned our route.
After passing all the schools, we are walking on the narrow pavement, close to the somebody’s ground floor room, suddenly I hear the noise by a spatula touching a sauce pan, then I smell the food. — Suddenly, I relax — it makes
me instinctually pull myself back to China, walking in the street or yard at lunch time, that is what I could hear, and what I can smell, and what I can feel — I relax — as if it was the strings tightly held on the guitar, then suddenly, somebody’s finger touched it, it ‘looses’ a little bit, but comes out with beautiful musical sound.
Lunch time is China is like that, almost everywhere you walk, you can hear the sound of cooking, smell the food…
My husband asked me if I live in Italy, would my homesick get easier? — I think so, listening to this noise, yes, it would get better …
This dish is one of those I learned when I was having lunch with my friends… probably thirteen years ago. Yes, I still remember it, somehow, probably it was my first time trying Japanese tofu, and the first time trying this combination.
We call it Japanese tofu because it comes in a tube package, and it is super soft. It probably originated in Japan, and we definitely don’t have the same one in northeast China. It is soft, but better than silken tofu, which could not really be stir-fried without breaking it at all.
It is a very easy to make dish, the one thing is that since this ‘Japanese tofu’ is soft, in order to avoid breaking it, it needs to be lightly fried first. However, it does not taste ‘oily’ after being oil fried, only the very surface layer is firmer, inside is still soft — this is also one of the main differences between ‘Japanese tofu’ and traditional Chinese tofu.
Anyway, I could not think of any dish can be more healthy than this one. Tofu — good, broccoli — healthy…
One tube of Japanese tofu. (It is sold in many oriental supermarket. If you can not find it, normal fresh tofu also do.)
|Japanese tofu pack|
Broccoli, salt, oil, corn flour, light soy sauce, garlic. MSG/mushroom/Chicken/Vegetable essences (optional).
1) Tear the broccoli into small pieces, and quickly boil them in the water (add a little bit salt in the water). Then rinse in the cold water.
2) Chop two gloves of garlic into small piece, chop ‘tofu’ into round slices, around 1 1/2 cm thick.
|Chopping Japanese tofu|
3) Prepare corn flour and water mix.
1) In a heated wok, pour in oil. When oil is hot enough, place chopped tofu in the oil.
|Frying the tofu|
2) When both side of the tofu turns gold colour, remove them from the wok.
3) Pour the oil out, but remain around 2 tablespoons in the wok. Add chopped garlic in.
4) Add broccoli in the wok, stir fry it quickly, then add in around one cup of water.
|Stir frying broccoli|
5) Add lightly fried ‘Japanese tofu’.
6) Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of MSG/mushroom/Chicken/Vegetable essences (optional). Mix well with the ingredients. Try not to break the tofu. Lower down the fire, let it cook for at least three minute or more.
|Tofu and broccoli in wok|
7) Pour the corn flour mix in.
8) When the sauce is getting thickening, bubbling —
|Japanese tofu and broccoli|
It is good to go with plain boiled rice I think. If you cannot get this kind of ‘Japanese tofu’, ‘fresh tofu’ is good, but then, no need to fry it first, since it is firm already.