Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tofu of the Mongols

Admittedly, this isn't an actual Mongolian recipe, but instead it's based around the dishes calling themselves 'Mongolian', primarily in places outside of Mongolia.

Would Genghis Khan approve?

Well, who knows.

But I approve!

Rich Mongolian Tofu


1 block tofu
1 bell pepper (red is sweeter, if you like sweet)
2 eggs
sliced lotus root
sliced onion
soy sauce
hoisin sauce
mirin (optional)
sesame oil
pepper (cayenne, shichimi togarashi, white, or black, or some combination)

1) Press the tofu as always, and cut it into cubes. Heat a little sesame oil in a frypan over medium-high heat and, when it is hot enough, add the tofu and stir to coat. Cook until lightly browned, stirring regularly so it does not burn.

2) In a bowl, mix equal parts soy sauce and hoisin sauce with 1 tbsp mirin and 1 tsp sesame oil for every 2 tbsp soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Add 1 tsp cornstarch and blend thoroughly, adding water to mix. It might be a little thin, but it will thicken with cooking.

3) Break two eggs into a bowl and add your pepper of choice. Blend thoroughly.

4) Add the egg to the tofu, stirring constantly to coat, until the egg has cooked around the tofu.

5) Add onion, bell pepper, and lotus root, allowing it to cook until the onion is semi-transparent and fragrant. This should take about a minute.

6) Pour the soy-hoisin mixture over the contents of the frypan and stir to coat. Cook for a few more minutes, so that the tofu can absorb the flavour of the sauce and the sauce can thicken.

7) Serve hot!

Tips and Such

- Many Asian markets will have lotus root already sliced and frozen. This makes it convenient to take what you need and keep the rest frozen, so you don't have to worry about slicing fresh lotus root every time. It also keeps much longer than fresh, which is a consideration if you don't use lotus root frequently. It is arguably the best part of the recipe, so please don't omit it!

- If you want to omit the eggs, that's fine. They add a certain dimension and texture to the dish, but they are entirely optional if you don't like eggs or don't have any on hand. You might substitute textured vegetable protein or various wheatmeats, or any other food you prefer!

This recipe is easy and makes a delicious meal that anyone can enjoy. It may not be Mongolian really, but it's so tasty even Genghis Khan surely wouldn't care.

};) Dhiar <3