My family is descended from Hakka Chinese (Hak-kâ), who settled in the Guangdong province of southern China. As kids, we spoke the Hakka dialect at home but the more widely spoken Cantonese when we were in Chinatown or among other Chinese people. This Chinese stuffed tofu is a regional specialty from the southern part of China.
Tofu stuffed in the Hakka fashion was one of the many classic southern Chinese dishes we ate as kids. I spent lots of time in the kitchen while my mother cooked, so her dishes, including stuffed tofu, are permanently etched into my memory.
- 1 lb. of firm tofu(450g)
- 3 oz. of ground pork (85g)
- 1 oz. of salted fish (optional, or substitute 4 small anchovy filets)
- 1 tsp. of fresh ginger (minced)
- 2 tsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 1/8 tsp. of white pepper
- 1/4 tsp. of salt
- 1 scallion
- 1 tbsp. of oyster sauce
- 1 tsp. of dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. of cornstarch
- Add the ginger to the ground pork and mince it all together. In a food processor, combine the pork and ginger with the minced salted fish.
- Squares of tofu 2 inches on a side and 3/4 inches thick should be cut. Each piece of tofu should have about a teaspoon of tofu removed to make room for the meat. Combine the leftover tofu and pork in a bowl. Stir in the wine, some freshly ground white pepper, and some salt to the meat. Combine harmoniously.
- Allocation of meat should be made to the individual tofu servings. Prepare the tofu for around 10 minutes in a wok or steamer.
- Mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 1 tbsp of water and set aside while the tofu steams. The scallion should be cut into 4–6 pieces, each measuring about 3 inches in length, and slit down its length on both ends. Location: an ice-water bowl. The ends can be curled for decorative purposes—the rest of the scallions, dice, and reserve.
- When the tofu is done, slowly take the plate out of the oven. Return any leftover liquid to the wok and, if necessary, add water to make a sauce measuring about 1/4 cup.
- The liquid should be heated to a simmer before adding the oyster sauce and dark soy. Sprinkle salt and white pepper on top, then stir in the cornstarch slurry.
- Cook the sauce over low heat, frequently stirring, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cover the tofu with the sauce and sprinkle with scallions.