2 homemade egg tofu recipes to beat Covid-19 blues and whet the appetite
09 Jul 2022
The Straits Times
SINGAPORE - Cooking for someone down with Covid-19 during this latest wave of infections or need something to whet your own appetite while fighting the virus?
Try making your own egg tofu for a comforting meal.
It is worthwhile to do so as you are not constrained by the tube shape of factory-made egg tofu. I find the homemade version has a richer taste of egg and soya milk.
The first recipe is for steamed egg tofu with prawns made in the style of chawanmushi.
Instead of dashi, use plain soya milk.
If you live near Ang Mo Kio, I recommend getting the fresh unsweetened soya milk from Lucky Soya Bean Milk (01-26 Chong Boon Market & Food Centre, 453A Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10; open: 5am to 2pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays).
I have tried the soya milk from a few other sellers. The one from Lucky Soya Bean Milk is reasonably creamy and rich with the taste of soya beans. A 900ml packet or a 700ml cup costs $1.
You can also get unsweetened soya milk from supermarkets. For example, the FairPrice Hi Calcium Fresh Soya Milk - Unsweetened is priced at $1.75 for 950ml.
For steaming, it is best to use covered ceramic cups meant for making chawanmushi as they come with lids.
The recipe makes four cups. But if you do not feel like eating anything else, two cups of this steamed egg tofu with prawns are likely to satisfy.
Steamed egg tofu with prawns
• 10 medium-sized prawns (120g), shelled and deveined
• 200ml water
• A pinch of sugar
• 4 small slices of carrot (12g)
• 8 canned ginkgo nuts (17g)
• 4 eggs (228g)
• 1 flat tsp of salt
• 500ml unsweetened soya milk
• 1 shiitake mushroom, sectioned into eight pieces
• 1 stalk of spring onion, sliced
1. Keep four of the prawns whole. Take the remaining six and halve them lengthwise. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
2. In a saucepan, bring 200ml of water to a boil. Add a pinch of sugar.
3. Add the carrot slices and boil for two minutes until tender. Remove the carrot slices and set aside.
4. Blanch the ginkgo nuts for one minute.
5. In a mixing bowl, crack the four eggs.
6. Add 1 flat tsp of salt and mix gently.
7. Add the soya milk and mix gently.
8. Strain the mixture into another bowl. Transfer into a measuring cup for easy pouring later.
9. Prepare four ceramic cups with lids.
10. In each cup, place three pieces of the halved prawns, one ginkgo nut and two pieces of mushroom.
11. Divide the egg mixture among the four cups.
12. With the heat on low and the water barely simmering, place the cups on a flat steamer plate. Put the lids on the cups. Cover the steamer and steam the cups over low heat for 20 to 21 minutes until the egg is still wobbly but set.
13. Remove the lids of the cups and, in each cup, place a whole prawn, a ginkgo nut and a carrot flower.
14. Put the cup lids back on and cover the steamer. Continue steaming over low heat for another two to three minutes until the prawns are cooked through.
15. Garnish with spring onion.
16. Serve immediately.
Homemade egg tofu with minced meat topping
For a hearty egg tofu dish that is less dainty but no less tasty, try this protein-rich homemade egg tofu with minced meat topping.
It does take some patience if you want the egg tofu to turn out as smooth as possible.
Do not overbeat the eggs and stir in the soya milk gently to avoid introducing too many bubbles into it.
It is important to not cover the steamer completely during the steaming process.
I made the mistake of doing so the second time I tried this recipe:
The egg tofu cooked in 25 minutes, but the surface was pockmarked.
The water has to be barely simmering throughout the steaming process. I used a wok and steaming rack. Make sure the water does not touch the dish containing the egg mixture during steaming so that the bottom part of the tofu does not get overcooked.
I added one deseeded chilli for colour and mild spiciness. Leave out the chilli if you prefer.
• 6 eggs (340g)
• ½ tsp salt
• 500ml plain soya milk
• ¼ tsp cooking oil (for greasing)
• 2Tbs cooking oil
• 15g ginger, chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 200g minced pork
•1 Tbs oyster sauce
• 1 tsp light soya sauce
• 150g cai xin
• Dash of ground white pepper
• 1 red finger chilli, deseeded and chopped
• 1 Tbs cornflour
• 50ml water
• 1 stalk of spring onion, sliced
1. In a mixing bowl, crack the eggs and beat gently.
2. Add the salt and mix well.
3. Add the soya milk and mix well.
4. Use ¼ tsp of cooking oil to grease a heat-proof deep dish.
5. Strain the egg mixture into the dish.
6. Steam over low heat for 65 minutes until the egg tofu is set and cooked through. Leave the steamer coverslightly open while steaming.
7. Once the egg tofu is cooked, remove it from the steamer and set aside while you prepare the topping.
8. In a frying pan, heat 2 Tbs of oil. On high heat, add the ginger and fry for 30 seconds.
9. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
10. Add the minced pork and fry until almost opaque.
11. Add the oyster sauce and light soya sauce. Stir-fry for 20 seconds.
12. Add the cai xin and white pepper.
13. Add the chopped chilli.
14. In a bowl, mix the cornflour and water. Add this to the meat mixture and stir through.
15. Once the gravy simmers, switch off the heat and toss in the spring onion.
16. Transfer the mixture onto the egg tofu.
17. Serve immediately.
Homemade soya milk
Making egg tofu is relatively easy, especially if you use store-bought soya milk, but you can also make soya milk from scratch. All you need are soya beans, water, pandan leaves and a little salt.
Homemade soya milk makes for a tasty beverage on its own. If you prefer some sugar syrup to go with it, mix 50g of sugar with 50ml of water and simmer the mixture until it is dissolved.
• 210g soya beans
• 2.375 litres of water (375ml water for soaking)
• 6 pandan leaves (22g), knotted
• 1/8 tsp salt
A blender, a pot large enough to boil 2 litres of water, a heat-proof container that can hold up to 1.5 litres of liquid, muslin cloth and sieve.
1. Wash and rinse the soya beans thoroughly. Discard the discoloured ones.
2. Place the beans in a bowl and fill with 375ml of water. The beans should be covered with at least 5cm of water.
3. Soak the beans for five hours.
4. Rinse the beans again and discard the discoloured ones.
5. Place the beans in a colander or sieve to drain off excess water.
6. Place the beans in the blender.
7. Add 1 litre of water.
8. Blend for 1½minutes until the mixture is smooth.
9. Pour the mixture into the pot. Add the remaining 1 litre of water.
10. Switch to low heat and add the pandan leaves.
11. Skim off and discard the foam.
12. Stir the mixture frequently over 20 to 25 minutes.
13. At the end, add the salt and let the mixture come to a gentle simmer, and switch off the heat.
14. Discard the pandan leaves.
15. Line the sieve with the muslin cloth and use this to filter the soya bean milk into the heat-proof container.
16. When the remaining soya pulp has cooled, gently squeeze the muslin cloth to get more soya milk. You should be able to get 1.3 to 1.5 litres of milk.
17. Discard the pulp or save it for cooking, such as making vegetarian patties or in stir-fries.
Serves three to four
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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