Thursday, August 03, 2006

"Pork and Tofu in Oyster Sauce"

Tofu is a soft cheese-like food made by curdling soya milk with a coagulant. In the Philippines, it’s called “tokwa”. It is sold in water-filled packs or in aseptic cartons, can be found in supermarkets and natural health food stores.

Tofu is a bland tasting product that easily absorbs the flavors of other ingredients. Often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes. It is an exceptional food, not only because it is highly nutritious but because it can be prepared in such a remarkably wide variety of ways. It is a good source of soy protein and isoflavones, both of which confer promising health benefits. The uses for tofu are limited only by one's imagination.

Try this trick: chill or freeze tofu before use to give it a chewier and meatier texture, making it more absorbent.

Good for 4 servings.

  • 250-300 grams pork belly (liempo)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp rock salt
  • 3 tbsps cooking oil
  • 4 pcs tofu (tokwa)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely crushed
  • 1 large (50g) finely minced red onion
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsps finely minced Chinese celery (kinchay) or fresh cilantro (wansuy)
  • 2 tbsps MAMA SITA’S oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp SILVER SWAN soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour or cornstarch

Here’s how:
  1. Wash tofu in running water. Drain well. Cut into four. Fry until light golden brown. Cut each fried tofu into 3 strips. Set aside.

  2. While frying the tofu, combine the first-three ingredients in a casserole. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat to low, then, simmer for 20 minutes or until pork is fork-tender. Remove pork. Reserve pork stock. Cut into thin long strips. Set aside.

  3. Mix the last three ingredients and pork stock. Set aside.

  4. Back to the pan with cooking oil, sauté garlic until golden brown. Add onion, cook until limp. Put pork and pepper. Sauté for 30 seconds. Place Chinese celery, tofu and pork stock mixture. Cook until sauce thickens.

  5. Serve over hot cooked rice.

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