Friday, October 8, 2010

Stuffed Tofu with Pork Hash

This is my multi-purpose pork hash filling recipe for won tons, sui mai, stuffed shitake mushrooms, steamed pork hash with duck eggs (yummy), and stuffed tofu.

I used fried tofu which gave it a chewy base, but you can easily do the same thing with a firm fresh tofu (cut into squares or rectangles) which would result in a softer more delicate dish.  You can pretty much stuff this into anything and it would be tasty.

The grind of the pork as well as the fat content will determine the final texture of your filling.  Hand chopping with a cleaver will result in a meatier filling (old school) while supermarket bought ground pork is usually a bit too fine with very little fat which results in a softer dryer filling.  The optimum choice is to purchase your ground pork either in Chinatown or in a Chinese meat market.  They grind their pork coarser with a bit more fat which produces a perfectly meaty and moist filling.  I have to drive 2 hours to get to my favorite Chinese market and when I make the drive I always have a cooler in my trunk to take home a couple extra packages of their ground pork for my freezer.

You can chop the shrimp up fine to give the filling a nice background flavor or keep the shrimp chunky so they stand out on their own.  I usually keep them chunky when I am making won tons or sui mai to give that definite shrimp and pork experience with each bite.  But recommend that you chop the shrimp up fine when using it as a topping so it will mold better.

The gravy completes this tofu dish so don’t skip this step.  I cheat a little in the process which takes a little more watching and stirring than the traditional method but it only dirties one pot.  I soak the shitake mushrooms in about 2 cups of water to soften them and save the water for the gravy.  The combination of chicken broth and shitake mushroom water is what gives this gravy a lot of its flavor.  I simply pour one can of chicken broth into a 4 cup measure along with the shitake mushroom water and add enough tap water to equal 4 cups.  Then I add that along with the rest of the ingredients to a pot.  Stir to dissolve the cornstarch and mix it over med high heat until it comes to a boil and thickens up.

Stuffed Tofu with Pork Hash
1          package          fried tofu squares, cut in half (4oz. about 9 pieces)
                                    Green onions, for garnish
1          pound              ground pork
½         pound              shrimp, chopped small
3-4       dried                shitake mushrooms, soaked and minced
2          Tbsp.               green onions, minced
3          Tbsp.               waterchestnuts, minced
2          tsp.                  soy sauce
2          tsp.                  oyster sauce
1          tsp.                  brown sugar
1          tsp.                  kosher salt
1          tsp.                  dry sherry
1          Tbsp.               cornstarch
1          large                egg

Mix all ingredients together well; except the pork & shrimp.
Add pork and shrimp and mix well.

Top each piece of tofu with the filling molding it with a spoon.

Place in a dish and steam for 25 min. on high.

1          can      chicken broth
Water from the shitake mushrooms
Enough water to equal 4 cups liquid.

¼         cup      cornstarch
2          tsp.      soy sauce
2          tsp.      oyster sauce
½         tsp.      sugar
½         tsp.      kosher salt
½         tsp.      chili garlic paste
2          slices   ginger
1          clove   garlic, smashed

Place the chicken broth in a 4 cup measure.  Add the mushroom water then more tap water to equal 4 cups of liquid.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and mix well to dissolve the cornstarch.  Heat over med high heat and stir frequently with a whisk until the gravy thickens and comes to a boil.  Pour over tofu.

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