An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


2 Comments

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Chinese Dumplings in Soup

IMG_6873This is my vegetarian tofu version of Shui Jiao, the larger cousin of the more common Wanton (aka wan tan or won ton). These Chinese dumplings are traditionally served in a light clear broth and that’s what I did here. Other than swopping out minced pork and prawns for tofu, nothing’s changed. T and I had it both boiled in hot soup as well as deep fried – we love them equally much!

Vegetarian Chinese Dumplings in Soup

Serves 2-4 (makes about 15) Prep Time: 15 minutes. Cooking Time: 15 minutes.

1 block of extra firm tofu (pressed dry)

5 water chestnuts

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup cilantro

1 egg

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 cube of vegetable stock for broth

5 cups of water

15 – 20 Wanton wrappers (Pre-made in a packet)

IMG_6863

Method:

1. Chop up the water chestnuts and tofu into mince. Then add it to a medium mixing bowl.

2. Add garlic, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper and only 1 tablespoon of corn starch.

3. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl thoroughly to make the filling.

4. Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water to form the sealing agent for the dumpling skins.

5. Bring water and the vegetable stock to boil while you fill the Wanton wrappers (if you use a premix liquid stock, then there’s no need for water).

6. Take 1 generous teaspoon of the filling and put it in the centre of the dry Wanton wrappers.

6. To seal, dab a pinkie finger in the starch mixture and trace the border of the wrapper. Fold and press firmly.

7. Drop the completed dumplings into the boiling water. Put in a few at a time to prevent crowding. I use a medium sized pot so I put in about 3 to 5 each time.

8. When the dumplings start to float, they are about done. Let them cook for a little while longer before removing them. I usually dish them out into the serving bowls.

9. Once all the dumplings are cooked, you can pour the boiling broth over the dumplings in their serving bowl and garnish to serve. Some people use clear boiling water and keep the soup broth separate but I don’t think it is necessary.

IMG_6864

That’s it! Enjoy your hot Chinese Dumplings aka Shui Jiao.

IMG_6872
 


2 Comments

Meatless Monday: Braised Tofu & Eggs

IMG_2538

Hello! I hope some of you have tried my recipes! Please tell me if you do and if you have ways of improving them.

This is a modified recipe that I used a long time ago to make braised pork belly in Soy Sauce (Tau Yew Bak). I no longer eat pork but still crave that slightly caramelly taste of this sauce. Today’s recipe is essentially Vegetarian Tau Yew Bak or Tau Yew Bak no Bak. Heehee… *Tau Yew is soy sauce. Bak refers to flesh or meat (in this instance, pork).

This braising method is easy and fuss free. I’m using dark soy sauce because it produces a darker sauce though milder in taste (less salty) compared to light soy. But otherwise it’s about the same as regular soy sauce. If you don’t have dark soy, regular soy will do too. Add a total of 5 tablespoons of light soy instead. It’ll be equally salty but lighter in colour.

What I like about this modified recipe is that, it’s fast and easy to make, yet still satisfies my craving. I love braise sauces over plain steamed rice – my kind of comfort food.IMG_2531

Braised Tofu & Eggs (Vegetarian Tau Yew Bak)

Serves 2 -4. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 45 minutes.

3 cups water

4 hard boiled eggs

4 garlic cloves (smashed with the back of a knife to release flavour)

4 tbsp dark soy sauce

3 tbsp light soy sauce

3 tbsp brown sugar

Salt & pepper to taste

1/2 block of tofu (cut into small rectangular pieces)

1 stick of cinnamon

2 star anise

3 cloves

IMG_2532

Method:

1. Heat up a pot with 3 cups of water and bring to boil then lower heat.

2. Add tofu, garlic, soy sauces, brown sugar, soy sauce, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Then stir  gently to mix everything.

3. Bring to a boil then add peeled hard boiled eggs.

4. Lower the heat to medium and braise for 15 minutes.

5. Turn the heat to lowest for another 25 – 30 minutes.

6. Serve with steamed rice.

And there you have it – vegetarian tau yew bak aka braised tofu and eggs!


2 Comments

Meatless Monday: Tofu Omelette

This is a power protein dish – to me.

20130918-092443.jpgIt’s not everyday that I feed T so much for breakfast – we usually have soy milk, cereal and yoghurt. But because I was giving him less for lunch on this particular day, I thought I should help him load up a little bit more. Also, we had a conversation a few days ago about vegetarians getting enough protein fuel through different foods. He’s a big guy and he thinks he hasn’t been eating enough protein for his weight.

So anyway, if you don’t eat meat, what are your sources of vegetarian protein? Not all protein need to be from animal flesh. Did you know that whole grains like quinoa, whole grain bread and brown rice are great for protein. Also, beans, nuts, soy, nuts and eggs!

This high protein recipe for tofu omelette is quick and easy to make. I served it with a side of steamed spinach and a grilled cheese sandwich for a power-packed breakfast! You can eat it any time of the day too!

20130918-092450.jpg

20130918-092457.jpg

Tofu Omelette

Serves 1. Prep Time: 2 minutes. Cooking time: 5 minutes.

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons worth of chopped spring onions

1 tablespoon of vegetarian oyster sauce (mushroom flavoured)

1 cup of mashed silken tofu (about half a normal brick and mashed crudely with a fork)

1 tablespoon of cooking oil (or a small pat of butter)

Method:

1. Mix oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons of chopped spring onions and 2 large eggs in a bowl.

2. Heat up cooking oil in pan.

3. Pour egg mixture into pan and turn heat up on high.

4. Spread the mashed tofu over the egg mixture immediately.

5. Take a lid and cover your pan. Then turn heat down to medium for 30 seconds.

6. When the edges cook and become firm (you can test by trying to lift the omelette), fold the omelette in half (some of the tofu will spill but it doesn’t matter).

7. Turn off the heat and cover your pan with a lid for 1 minute.

8. Serve hot with a sprinkle of the remaining chopped spring onions.

TAH DAH!!! Easy peasy!!!

If you only eat egg whites (that’s where most of the protein come from anyway), then instead of 2 large eggs, use 3 egg whites. Feel free to add pepper to taste but I don’t think salt is necessary as the oyster sauce is quite salty as it is.