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Easy Yong Tofu / Stuffed Tofu (釀豆腐)



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Yong Tofu or Yong Tau Fu (釀豆腐) is a Chinese dish originated from Hakka cuisine. It is a soup dish uses tofu and a variety of vegetables to stuff with meat paste mixture of fish and pork. The dish originally uses tofu for stuffing, therefore it is called Yong Tofu,  which literally means “stuffed bean curd”. Ever since Yong Tofu gained its popularity, a variety of vegetables are used for stuffing such as the bitter gourd, green or red chilies, eggplant, okra and etc. Thus the name of Yong Tofu has been used to all foods prepared in such method.

The last time we prepared the dish was last year, when Sam made a big whole pot of Yong Tofu for New Year celebration, we ate that for lunch and dinner for a couple of days. This time we were so lucky as my good Hakka friend Heidi decided to make Yong Tofu for our small gathering a few weeks ago.  She mentioned that her mum makes traditional style Hakka Yong Tofu, she will buy fresh fish from the market and hand chop the fish into fresh and smoother texture. Also she will have to chop and beat the ground pork so they are smooth and juicy to combine well.

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Stir-fried Opo Squash with Dried Shrimps

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I first got to know about opo squash (calabash gourd) was few years ago when I was living with my aunt in NYC. I remembered it is one of those vegetables she planted in her small little farm at her backyard. This vegetable is a kind of fruit with light green smooth skin and white flesh. It is commonly used for stir-fry or soup in the southern Chinese cuisine as what my aunt did.

I don’t normally pick up this vegetable and it was on sale in the Asian food market. Thus I bought one home and tried to make a dish with it. Opo squash doesn’t have much taste on itself. It is similar as the cucumber. So I decided to make it simple by stir-frying it with the dried shrimps. It turned out to be a decent dish for dinner. Share with me if you have any good recipes for opo squash.

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Dry Spiced Tofu and Seaweed Cold Appetizer (涼伴豆干海帶)

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Don’t know why I have been craving for this Bean Curd and Seaweed  Cold Appetizer, maybe because we haven’t got a chance to go the local Chinese restaurant that we usually have this lately. Also recently I read a forwarded email talking about a man having some cancerous disease and then he started to eat seaweed after an advise from a physician. After couple years later, the cancerous symptoms were completely gone. I know, why do I really believe, it’s a forwarded email.

However I have done some research on seaweeds. They are nutritious with high in fiber, calcium, magnesium and iodine. But always be safe not to consume too much of one food, we should always keep our diet balance with a wide variety.

This dish is really easy, just have to do some cutting. Plus the weather is so hot during the summer, I don’t cook a lot.

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Boiled Eggplant with Sauce

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I like eggplant. We often pick up eggplants from the market for cooking. Many times we ended upcooking our own recipe of Szechuan Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork , or omitted the spiciness for a simple version of Stir Fry Eggplant with Minced Pork. However I know not many people like eggplant maybe because of its texture, it will get mushy if it is overcooked. Or maybe they just don’t know how to handle eggplant.

Eggplant is really weird kind of vegetable or fruit. It has spongy texture and slight bitterness when raw. What I normally will do to prep the eggplant is cut it into pieces then soak and rinse with salt water. This will soften the texture for faster cooking and also help to reduce the amount of oil that absorbs in the eggplant when cooking.

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Braised Napa Cabbage and Mushrooms (台式白菜滷)

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The Braised Napa Cabbage and Mushrooms, or more commonly known as “白菜滷” in Chinese word, is a Taiwanese style vegetable stew. I learned this dish from my Taiwanese coworker as she always likes to cook it. I think it is so much different to our style of cooking and I decided to give it a try. The main ingredient of the dish is the napa cabbage. You can add other ingredients to the pot, some common ones are carrots and all sorts of mushrooms. You can also add pork strips for a more complete pot dish to your meal, or opt out for a vegetarian style.

Eric did not get used to eat this dish the first time when I cooked it, because he didn’t like the cabbage being cooked to that soft texture. But after a couple of tryouts and changes to the recipe, now we enjoy this dish very much. Sometimes we will cook a pot and just goes with white rice, that’s how good it is. I used some dried shrimps and lots of garlic to sauteed the vegetables, that will add more flavors and also a nice fragrant to the dish. Seasoning is also very important to create a tasty sweet broth. Do not overcook the napa or it will turn out too mushy, so be watchful of the time and heat.

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