The Flava of Southeast AsiaApril 26, 2010
Things are nearly back on track here at the Mouse House Kitchen – regular daily posting should resume soon, but intermittent posting can now commence…hooray. And today, we’re back with a bang! This dish is from a new cookbook I recently came across called “Authentic Vietnamese Cooking.” Hard to miss with that, right? I have posted previously on my experiences with Vietnamese food on both coasts, so I jumped at the chance to cook some of those great dishes at home. This one is entirely vegetarian if you leave out the pork, which is not crucial to the dish (it’s only used for flavoring and salt). In fact I did not even use the ground pork – I sprinkled in some pre-cooked diced ham. But this is not for the weak-tongued – it packs a fantastic spicy wallop. The garlic-chili sauce is called “Sriracha” and can be found in the Asian food aisle in supermarkets, as can the fish sauce (essential if you do any Thai/Vietnamese cooking). The fresh ginger and the garlic-chili sauce are absorbed beautifully by the tofu – serve it with rice and some veggies for a full meal. Enjoy!
Braised Tofu with Ginger
1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tbsp. vegetable or peanut oil
6 oz. ground pork (or ¼ cup ham, finely diced)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 ½ tsp. Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce (Sriracha)
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces and then halved lengthwise
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir-fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the pork and stir-fry so it separates into pieces and just cooks through, about 3 minutes (if using ham, just cook for a minute). Reduce the heat to low, add the chili-garlic sauce, scallions, tofu, and fish sauce, and carefully mix (so as not to break up the tofu too much) until well combined. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking, covered, until all the flavors have blended together, another 10 minutes. Eat!