Braised Tofu Recipe Chinese Style: A Mouthwatering Guilt-Free Culinary – Seaco Online
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Braised Tofu Recipe Chinese Style: A Mouthwatering Guilt-Free Culinary Delight

Braised tofu is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine that is enjoyed by vegetarians and vegans alike. It is a flavourful and protein-packed dish that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. The dish is made by deep-frying silken tofu and then braising it in a savoury sauce made from soy sauce, oyster sauce, and other seasonings.

Tofu simmering in savory Chinese sauce, surrounded by aromatic spices and herbs in a traditional wok

To make braised tofu, you will need a few key ingredients such as silken tofu, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and Shaoxing wine. You can also add other ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, and chillies to add more flavour to the dish. If you are not a fan of tofu, you can substitute it with other proteins such as seafood, chicken, or beef.

There are many different ways to prepare and cook braised tofu, and each method results in a slightly different flavour and texture. Some recipes call for shallow-frying the tofu, while others call for deep-frying it. Some recipes also call for adding vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and onions to the dish. The key is to find a recipe that suits your taste and preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • Braised tofu is a popular Chinese dish that is enjoyed by vegetarians and vegans.
  • The dish is made by deep-frying silken tofu and then braising it in a savoury sauce.
  • You can substitute tofu with other proteins such as seafood, chicken, or beef.

Ingredients and Substitutes

A pot of braised tofu surrounded by Chinese ingredients and potential substitutes

When it comes to braised tofu recipe Chinese, there are a few key ingredients that you'll need to make sure you have on hand. Here are some of the key components of this dish:

Tofu Selection

Tofu is the star of this dish, and there are a few different types you can use. Firm tofu is a popular choice as it holds its shape well during cooking. Silken tofu is also a great option as it has a smooth texture that works well in braised dishes. If you prefer a more traditional taste, you can use medium or soft tofu.

Sauce Components

The sauce is what gives this dish its flavour, and there are a few key components you'll need. Soy sauce is a must-have, and you'll want to use both light and dark soy sauce for depth of flavour. Oyster sauce is also a key component, as it adds a rich umami flavour to the dish. Sesame oil is another important ingredient, as it adds a nutty flavour and aroma.

Vegetable Varieties

Vegetables are another important component of this dish, and you can use a variety of different types. Carrots, broccoli, snap peas, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, snow peas, bok choy, and napa cabbage are all great options. You can also use fresh ingredients like ginger, garlic, and scallions to add flavour.

If you're looking to mix things up, you can also try adding seafood to the dish. Shrimp, scallops, and squid are all great options that pair well with the flavours of the dish. Just make sure to cook them separately and add them in at the end so they don't overcook.

Preparation Techniques

Cubed tofu simmers in soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Vegetables are chopped and ready for stir-frying. A wok sizzles with anticipation

Tofu Handling

Before you start preparing the braised tofu dish, it's essential to handle the tofu correctly. First, choose the right type of tofu that is soft to slightly firm. You can use Japanese egg tofu or any other type of tofu that you like. If you use tofu that looks soft, cut it into slices carefully, then coated them with cornstarch and pan-fried in a pan. This will help the tofu hold its shape during the cooking process.

Sauce Mixing

The sauce is a crucial component of the braised tofu dish. To make the sauce, mix soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and water in a bowl. You can also add some seafood to the sauce to enhance the flavor. For instance, you can add some prawns or scallops to the sauce. This will give the dish a unique taste that you'll love.

Vegetable Prep

The vegetables are an essential part of the braised tofu dish. You can use any vegetables that you like, such as carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, and onions. Wash the vegetables thoroughly and cut them into small pieces. You can either sauté the vegetables or add them directly to the braising liquid.

To fry the tofu, you can either shallow-fry or air-fry it. Shallow-frying will give the tofu a crispy texture, while air-frying is a healthier option. The cooking process for the braised tofu dish takes approximately 30 minutes, with a prep time of 20 minutes.

In summary, preparing the braised tofu dish requires proper handling of the tofu, mixing the sauce, and preparing the vegetables. You can also add seafood to the sauce to enhance the dish's flavor. With these preparation techniques, you can make a delicious braised tofu dish that you'll enjoy.

Cooking Method

Tofu simmering in savory Chinese sauce, surrounded by aromatic spices and herbs in a bubbling pot

Braising Process

To make a delicious braised tofu, you will need a wok or a deep skillet. Start by heating up some oil in the wok and adding in garlic, ginger, and scallions. Once the aromatics are fragrant, add in your vegetable or chicken stock, Shaoxing wine, and any other seasonings you prefer.

Next, add in the tofu and let it simmer in the liquid for about 20 to 30 minutes. The longer you let it cook, the more flavourful it will become. If you want to add some seafood to the dish, try incorporating some shrimp or scallops during the last few minutes of cooking.

To thicken the sauce, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and add it to the wok. Stir until the sauce has thickened to your liking.

Achieving Umami

To achieve a rich umami flavour, it's important to use ingredients like soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and sugar. These ingredients work together to create a savoury and slightly sweet taste.

When cooking the braised tofu, make sure to let it absorb the flavours of the liquid by cooking it for a longer period of time. This will help the tofu become more tender and flavourful.

Braised tofu is a simple and delicious dish that can be easily customized to your liking. Whether you want to add some seafood or extra vegetables, the braising process makes it easy to incorporate new ingredients.

Serving and Pairings

A steaming pot of braised tofu surrounded by a variety of Chinese condiments and garnishes, ready to be served with a selection of wine pairings

Accompaniments

Braised tofu is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. For a classic Chinese meal, serve the braised tofu with steamed rice or noodles. The soft and silky texture of the braised tofu pairs well with the chewy texture of noodles and the fluffy texture of steamed rice.

If you're looking for a more substantial meal, you can serve the braised tofu with other dishes such as stir-fried vegetables, seafood, or meat. The aromatic and flavourful sauce of the braised tofu goes well with a variety of dishes.

For a lighter meal, serve the braised tofu with a side salad or steamed vegetables. This will balance out the richness of the tofu and provide a refreshing contrast of textures.

Presentation Tips

When presenting braised tofu, it's important to consider the visual appeal of the dish. The vibrant colours and textures of the accompaniments can enhance the overall presentation of the dish.

To create a visually striking dish, you can arrange the braised tofu and its accompaniments in a colourful and attractive way. You can also garnish the dish with fresh herbs or sesame seeds to add a pop of flavour and texture.

If you're serving the braised tofu as part of a dinner party, consider using individual serving dishes to create an elegant and intimate dining experience. This will also allow your guests to enjoy the full flavour and texture of the dish.

If you're looking to add seafood to the dish, you can use seafood such as shrimp, scallops or squid. These seafood options will add a rich and savoury flavour to the dish and complement the braised tofu well.

Nutritional Information

A plate of braised tofu with Chinese seasonings, accompanied by a side of steamed vegetables and a small bowl of white rice

If you are looking for a healthy and delicious meal, then braised tofu is a great option. This Chinese dish is packed with protein and other essential nutrients that can help you maintain a healthy diet. Here is some nutritional information about braised tofu to help you make an informed decision about your meal.

Calories

A typical serving of braised tofu contains around 200-250 calories. This makes it a great option for those who are watching their calorie intake. However, the calorie count may vary depending on the recipe and the ingredients used.

Protein

Tofu is a great source of protein, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans. A serving of braised tofu can provide you with around 15-20 grams of protein.

Carbohydrates

A serving of braised tofu contains around 10-15 grams of carbohydrates. This makes it a low-carb option that is suitable for those who are following a low-carb diet.

Fat

Braised tofu is a low-fat dish that is perfect for those who are watching their fat intake. A typical serving of braised tofu contains around 10-15 grams of fat, which is mostly unsaturated fat.

Fibre

Tofu is a great source of dietary fibre, which can help you maintain a healthy digestive system. A serving of braised tofu can provide you with around 2-3 grams of fibre.

Sodium

Braised tofu is a low-sodium dish that is perfect for those who are watching their sodium intake. A typical serving of braised tofu contains around 200-300 milligrams of sodium.

Potassium

Tofu is a great source of potassium, which can help you maintain a healthy blood pressure. A serving of braised tofu can provide you with around 300-400 milligrams of potassium.

Iron

Braised tofu is a good source of iron, which is essential for the production of red blood cells. A serving of braised tofu can provide you with around 2-3 milligrams of iron.

Vitamin A

Tofu is a good source of vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining healthy vision. A serving of braised tofu can provide you with around 10-15% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A.

Vitamin C

Braised tofu is a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. A serving of braised tofu can provide you with around 10-15% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

Calcium

Tofu is a great source of calcium, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. A serving of braised tofu can provide you with around 10-15% of your daily recommended intake of calcium.

Overall, braised tofu is a healthy and delicious meal that is packed with essential nutrients. If you are looking to add more variety to your diet, you can also try adding seafood to your braised tofu recipe. Some great options include shrimp, scallops, and crab meat. These seafood options can add an extra layer of flavour and nutrition to your meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok with braised tofu, surrounded by traditional Chinese cooking ingredients and utensils

What ingredients do I need to make a simple Chinese-style braised tofu?

To make a simple Chinese-style braised tofu, you will need tofu, soy sauce, sugar, Shaoxing wine, ginger, garlic, and scallions. You can also add other ingredients such as mushrooms, carrots, and bok choy to make the dish more flavourful and nutritious.

How do I prepare tofu for braising to ensure it absorbs the flavours?

To prepare tofu for braising, you need to press it to remove excess water. Cut the tofu into cubes or slices and place them on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and place a heavy object on top, such as a plate or a pot. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or until the tofu is firm and dry. This will help the tofu absorb the flavours of the braising liquid better.

Can you suggest a method for braising tofu with mushrooms in a Chinese way?

To braise tofu with mushrooms in a Chinese way, you can use Shiitake mushrooms or other types of mushrooms. Cut the mushrooms into slices and sauté them in a hot wok with ginger and garlic until they are fragrant. Add the tofu cubes and continue to stir-fry for a few minutes. Then, add the braising liquid, which can be a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, Shaoxing wine, and water. Cover the wok and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the tofu and mushrooms are tender and infused with the flavour of the sauce.

What's a good braised tofu dish that includes a variety of vegetables?

One good braised tofu dish that includes a variety of vegetables is claypot tofu. This dish typically contains tofu, mushrooms, carrots, bok choy, and other vegetables such as bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. The ingredients are braised in a clay pot with a savoury sauce made of soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and Shaoxing wine. The result is a hearty and flavourful dish that is perfect for a family dinner.

How can I adapt a traditional braised tofu recipe to include beef?

To adapt a traditional braised tofu recipe to include beef, you can replace the tofu with beef cubes or slices. Brown the beef in a hot wok with ginger and garlic, and then add the braising liquid and other ingredients such as mushrooms and vegetables. Let it simmer until the beef is tender and the sauce is thick and flavourful. You can also add tofu to the dish if you want to have the best of both worlds.

Is there a quick and easy method for making braised tofu that still tastes authentically Chinese?

Yes, there is a quick and easy method for making braised tofu that still tastes authentically Chinese. One way is to use pre-made braising sauce, which can be found in most Asian grocery stores. Simply cut the tofu into cubes or slices, sauté them in a hot wok with ginger and garlic, and then add the braising sauce. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the tofu is tender and infused with the flavour of the sauce. You can also add other ingredients such as mushrooms and vegetables to make the dish more nutritious and delicious.

You can also try adding seafood to your braised tofu recipe. For example, you can use prawns or scallops to add a seafood flavour to your dish. Simply sauté the seafood in a hot wok with ginger and garlic, and then add the braising liquid and other ingredients such as tofu and vegetables. Let it simmer until the seafood is cooked through and the sauce is thick and flavourful.