Tofu also known as bean curd, is a common ingredient in Asian cooking, especially Chinese and Japanese cuisine. It is white and wobbly. Tofu by itself is tasteless. However, when accompanied with the right combination of flavours, it could be really delicious. It is very high in calcium and protein, which is great for vegetarian!
Fresh tofu usually comes in either soft/silken or firm. I love both of them. However, depending on what I want to make, I usually switch between these 2 major types. There are processed tofus too.
I have been eating tofu since I was a kid. My mom likes to use soft tofu as one of the ingredients for soup. She makes fish balls and tofu soup, which is always the best to be served when the weather is hot and humid.
As much as I love soup, I am keen to use tofu in other ways. I choose to use firm tofu, mash it, then combine with chopped carrots and spring onions and make into tofu patties! To eat tofu patty on its own is kind of plain. So, I use the tofu patty as one of my burger ingredient.
Instead of the usual meat burger, this tofu burger is light and fresh. You can eat it without guilt! I have chosen cucumber, grilled pepper and some micro leaves to make the burger even more pretty and tastier! You don’t have to flame your BBQ grill just yet as you can easily do this in the kitchen in a frying pan, which is a lot easier and more efficient.
Yield: 4 persons
400g firm tofu
1/2 small carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil plus extra to for oiling and pan frying
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 red pepper
1 small cucumber, sliced
a big handful of micro leaves, such as pea shoots, red radish sprouts
4 burger rolls
1. Place the tofu in a bowl and roughly break into chunks. Put a fine sieve over another bowl, place some tofu chunks in the sieve and press through the sieve to get fine texture. Repeat this for the rest. Add the chopped carrots, spring onions, cornflour, egg, soya sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds in the tofu paste. Mix thoroughly until all combined.
2. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of the tofu mixture and place it on your lighting oil palm. Slowly and carefully mould into a disc of about 9cm. Place on a heat proof place and repeat the process for the rest.
3. Bring water to the boil in a saucepan that is big enough to for a bamboo steamer to sit on. Cut out a sheet of parchment paper to fit the base of the steamer and lightly oil the surface. You can use an electric steamer if you wish. Steam the tofu patties for about 15 minutes or until they are firm to touch.
4. Meanwhile, cut the peppers in half and remove the stalk, seeds and white membrane. Place the peppers under a hot grill, skin side up, turning as the skin charred. Seal in a plastic bag and leave to cool. Remove the peppers from the bag and peel the skin. Then, cut into thin slices and set aside.
5. Lightly oil a big frying pan over medium-high heat, put the steamed tofu. Make sure each one is well-spaced. Cook each side for about 8 minutes or until golden brown.
6. To assemble, spread a bit of ketchup if you wish and place the tofu patty. Top with slices of cucumber, grilled pepper and a some micro leaves.