So after getting busy with sneezing, coughing, and wiping my nose (sorry) since Monday, I finally took a day off today. I thought I would get bored to death staying at home alone as I was too dizzy to read or watch anything, let alone cook in my kitchen. But with the medicine, I dozed off right after my lunch (instant noodles, yikes) and dinner (store-bought bento, better). Now I`m awake and except for the stuffy nose and the occasional coughing, I`m feeling much much better now.
I hope my story won`t cause you loosing your appetite, because I`m going to share this steam-fried tofu patties recipe. I learned about this steam-frying technique from cooking gyouza and love the way it gives moisture to the browned food without having to turn it into a stew or soup.
Shall we start now?Lightly wash the tofu, drain, and remove the excess water by wrapping it with a paper towel and let it sit that way for like 30 mins.
While waiting, chop garlic and saute it with bit of oil to bring out the aroma. Try not to overcook it as burned garlic is NO good at all, even for a garlic addict like me. Set aside when the sauteed garlic is done.
After the tofu turned drier (it`s almost impossible to make it 100% dry with a paper towel), place it in a mixing bowl.
Dump in shirasu (tiny white anchovies), chili slices, sesame seeds (better if toasted), spring onion, and sauteed garlic and season it with salt and pepper.
You can substitute the anchovies for minced beef, chicken, or pork if you`re a meat lover.
Mix everything well with your hand, a potato masher, or a wooden spatula.
With your hand, take a fistful of the tofu mixture, softly squeeze it to make it compact, and shape into a patty.
Put a bit of oil on a frying pan but do not turn on the heat yet, place the patties one by one, and now you can turn on the heat.
Carefully (I used two spatulas) flip over to brown the other side.
After both sides are browned, pour in a mixture of water, soy sauce, sugar (or mirin), vinegar, salt, and pepper. The liquid should be enough to cover one third to one half of the patties and later you can reduce it to your preference.
Throw in carrots and mushrooms, quickly close the lid, and let the steam cook the tofu and vegetables.
How long the steaming process will take depends whether you like the carrots to be mushy or crunchy. For me, I steamed them for 5 minutes and the carrots were cooked through but still leaving the crunchy texture.
So this is what we had for one of our meatless days. The lightness of the texture makes this dish a good choice when you need a break from non-fish meats and heavy meals. Or you can omit the fish if you`re more into a vegan diet.
p.s. I gained weight. Gasp!! Now you know why I had these patties.
Tiny white anchovies (shirasu)