This common source of protein takes centre stage in these three recipes from The Star columnist.
WONDER BEANCURD BALLS ON A CLOUD
1 packet Japanese egg tofu
1 tbsp diced carrot
60g potato, steamed till soft and mashed
1 tbsp diced spring onion
3 eggs (Grade B), lightly beaten then remove 1 tbsp and set aside
¼ tsp salt
1 heaped tsp cornflour
3 pieces of imitation crab sticks, sliced
½ tsp chicken stock powder
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
Dash of pepper
1 tsp concentrated chicken stock
1 tsp oyster sauce
¼ tsp sugar
4 tbsp water
Dash of pepper
½ tsp sesame oil
Mash Japanese tofu through a metal sieve and press out excess water. Mix the mashed tofu with carrot, mashed potato and diced spring onion. Add seasoning (A) and stir well to mix. Use a spoon to scoop out a ball of mixture. Shape into a neat ball and arrange in a plastic container. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Deep-fry the tofu balls in a hot wok of oil over medium high heat till done. Dish out and set aside.
Combine the beaten eggs with water, salt and cornflour. Whisk with a pair of chopsticks. Strain the egg mixture through a sieve. Grease a couple of small ceramic plates and place in a steamer over high heat for 30 seconds. Pour the egg mixture into the small plates. Add 2-3 pieces of cut imitation crab sticks and steam over medium heat for 3 minutes with the wok cover tilted (this is to allow air to circulate in). Once the egg is smooth and set, remove the steamed eggs and top each with a ball of deep-fried tofu.
Mix the sauce ingredients (B) together and cook to a quick boil. Spoon the sauce over the steamed egg. Serve at once with garnishing.
FRAGRANT SPICY EGGS WITH SOFT CENTRE
5 fresh eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp white rice vinegar
Sufficient water to cover eggs when boiling
Spice mix (A)
6 star anise
2 pieces cinnamon stick
10 dried chilies
1 packet herbal egg spices (store-bought)
1.5 litres water
100ml light soya sauce
25g rock sugar
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp salt
Combine ingredients (A) and (B) in a pot and simmer on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and allow the spicy fragrant sauce to cool completely.
Wash eggs well and set aside.
Put sufficient water, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Hold eggs in a metal sieve strainer and once the water boils, add eggs slowly to the pot and turn down the heat to low. (This is to avoid the water splattering and prevent the eggs from cracking.) Next, turn up the heat to medium high and boil the eggs for 6-8 minutes.
Remove eggs from the pot and immerse in an ice bath (a basin of water and lots of ice cubes) immediately to cool down the eggs. When the eggs are cold take the eggs out and peel them.
Add the shelled eggs to the fragrant spicy solution and soak for 2-3 hours before serving.
POACHED EGG ON PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM
1 slice bacon
2 tbsp vinegar
2 cups water
2 large portobello mushrooms, rinsed briefly
1 tsp chopped garlic
¼ cup edamame beans (cooked to packet instruction and peeled)
Adequate carrot pieces
1 tsp chilli oil
Pinch of salt
Dash of coarsely ground black pepper
In a frying pan sear the bacon slices till crisp. Dish out and chop till fine. Set aside.
Combine vinegar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmering boil.
Crack the eggs separately into 2 individual small cups.
Create a gentle whirlpool in the boiling water – this is to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Slowly tip the eggs into the water, cover the saucepan with a lid and turn off the heat immediately. Cook the eggs for 3 minutes.
Remove poached eggs with a slotted spoon, cutting off any wispy edges using the edge of the spoon. Drain the egg on several layers of kitchen paper towels.
Arrange the portobello mushrooms on a tray and bake in preheated 180°C oven for 5 minutes. Once done remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with the seasoning.
Place a couple of edamame beans on each mushroom cap and add a poached egg. Sprinkle lightly with crispy bacon, a dash of chilli oil and a slice or two of carrot. Serve at once.