I love this vegetarian tau kwa (豆干） dish which carries all the good taste - sweet, spicy, and sour. The tau kwa has been pre-soaked in 5-spice powder and salt prior to pan-frying to give taste to the plain tau kwa. A good substitution dish for meat on a day when you want to have a lighter diet :)
Yield: four-persons portion
2 medium size soya bean cake, 400g
1/2 tsp ginger, chopped
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp light soya sauce, low salt
1~2 tsp sambal chili paste
2 tsp tomato paste
Quantities can be adjusted according to individual taste
1. Trim the edge of the beancurd and cut into halves. Soak in salt water added with either 5-spice powder or black pepper powder for 15 minutes.
Trimmed away the uneven sides of the beancurd allows the beancurd to stand more stable in the pot while pan-frying.
2. Drain away the water and let the beancurd sits on a pile of paper kitchen towels to dry.
3. Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium hot pot or pan. Pan-fry all the sides of the beancurd to golden. Set aside.
4. Stir-fry ginger and garlic till frangrant at medium low heat.
5. Add in the onion and stir-fry till frangrant and soft.
6. Add sugar and about 1/4 tsp of low-salt light soya sauce to the side of the pot. The sauce will bubble.
Avoid adding liquid to the centre of the pot to prevent splattering.
7. Add the sambal chili paste and tomato paste to the pot. Stir fry under medium low heat till frangrant.
If the sauce is too thick, add a small amount of water to adjust. You may want to add salt or sugar to fine tune the taste.
8. Add the juice from one lime to the sauce.