I usually eat tofu puffs in soups or stir-fries but lately I feel like doing something new and different. A tofu puff is a cube or triangle shaped piece of tofu that’s been deep-fried and generally found in the refrigerated section of the Asian supermarket.
Because they’re deep-fried, they become extra absorbent like a super sponge. They kinda look like sponges on the inside too. Inspired by the little steamed dishes at dim sum restaurants, I stuffed the puff with a mashed potato and carrot mixture and steamed until hot. The result is bite-size puff of soft, creamy inside with a chewy outside, draped with chili garlic sauce on top.
It’s quite a few cooking steps but the results are totally worth it. But if you start to get tired halfway through and don’t want to go on, the potato-carrot filling by itself is tasty too. It’s like fancy mashed potatoes with Asian flavors. The tofu puffs can go in the freezer for another time.
Stuffed Tofu Puffs with Chili Garlic Sauce
Makes about 24 steamed puffs
1 bag of tofu puffs
For the filling
3 dried black Chinese mushrooms, soaked and sliced
2 medium carrots
2 large red potatoes
1 teaspoon rice wine
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 small green onion, chopped
Peeled and slice the carrots and potatoes, place in a medium pot and just cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat, cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool.
When the carrots and potatoes are cool enough to handle, mash with a fork or run through a ricer. Add the rice wine, sugar and salt and pepper to taste, blending well.
Heat the wok to hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the sides of the wok. Add the ginger and mushrooms and stir-fry for about a minute. Add a little water if the wok appears to be too dry. Add the potato/carrot mixture and stir constantly for a few minutes. Then add the cilantro, vinegar and green onions, stir well. Set aside.
To stuff the tofu puffs, slice off the top of a puff and hollow out the inside. Using a butter knife, stuff to the top with the potato/carrot mixture and arrange on a steaming plate. Place the plate on a metal steaming rack in the wok over simmering water, cover and steam for 5-10 minutes until heated through. Carefully transfer to a serving dish and top with the chili garlic sauce.
Chili Garlic Sauce
2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic chili oil
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
Mix all of the ingredients except the green onion together, blending well. Add the green onions just before you’re ready to serve.