Thursday, May 26, 2011

Steam-fried tofu patties

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.

White tofu
Tiny white anchovies (shirasu)
Sesame seeds
Spring onion
Soy sauce


  1. hi!
    I didn't want to see the link at first when i saw the tofu pic...but when i scrolled down your posting...omg! i LOVE this dish definitely!
    thks for sharing! bookmarked! :P

  2. What a wonderful comfort meal! Yum it looks so good, and very healthy. I will have to make this. Glad to hear you are feeling better! I work in a elementary school in the talking about it won't spoil my appetite!

  3. Hi Arudhi! I'm sorry to hear you were sick. Our family is currently sick as well... Mine started last Friday but I'm still not recovering! Now I gave it to kids and my husband. >_< It's so hard to recover as a mom because you can't really rest well. Always kids need me no matter what. At least I don't have a fever so I'm functioning okay. I love your Tofu Patties. You know we make similar food with Tofu and ground chicken. We call it Tofu Hamburg. I love your idea of adding Shirasu and red chili pepper. This is very healthy meal and I hope you got good nutrition to recover quickly. Take care Arudhi! :-)

  4. Alice: Hi, thanks for visiting! And for the link too :) I do agree that the plain tofu itself might look far from appetizing :D

    Lindsey: You must be a very strong person! Dealing with sick children everyday is beyond what I can even imagine, at least for now :D

    Nami: Thanks! I am fine now :)) Oh I hope you and your family recover very very soon and enjoy the daily feast again!
    Yes, one time I actually had tofu hamburg at a family restaurant here and I was very impressed that I decided to recreate it at home. But I think the restaurant`s version used dashi powder for their patties, which I didn`t for mine.

  5. I forgot those tofu patties name in Indonesian. My late mom's helper used to make them for us.

  6. healthy and delicious dish! I LOVE!