Another favourite dish while living in Beijing was what we called “Japanese tofu”. Golden coins of egg tofu (a tofu-variety made of soybeanmilk and eggs) deepfried and served with a big pile of crispy crumbs of “thingies”. I’m not sure what it was. Panko, garlic, spring onion, things like that. Today I would be much better at recognizing the ingredients, but back in those days I wasn’t that much into cooking, just into eating. The wonderful pudding-like, warm, savoury tofu with the crispy, salty crumbs were a match made in heaven.
Unfortunately I’ve never managed to recreate this dish. And I’m sure I won’t be able to find it at any restaurant here in Holland. But maybe some memories should stay memories. So I’ve tried to do something else with it. Serving the coins with a simple gingersauce.
egg tofu tubes (à 100g)
some cornstarch for coating
oil for shallowfrying
spring onion, chopped
2 t ginger, finely chopped
2 t oil
6 T chickenstock
1.5 T shaoxing ricewine
2 t cornstarch in cold water
In a small pan, gently sautee the ginger in a little bit of oil. Then add the ricewine and stock. Thicken with some cornstarch mixed with cold water. That’s it. You can do this in advance and reheat later.
Cut the tube with egg tofu in half and while you gently squeeze out the tofu, slice it in 2 cm coins and carefully drop them on a plate covered with cornstarch. Dust with some more cornstarch and quickly transfer them to a frying pan with 1 cm of hot oil. Shallow fry them for about 1 minute each side until golden, but not too brown.
Carefully arrange on a plate (sizzling plate for extra effect) or chinese spoons (for an amuse bouche). Sprinkle some spring onion on top. Add the sauce, but not too much, you don’t want it all to go soggy. Serve immediately.