Spicy Stuffed Tofu (Niang Dou Fu)

A very famous Chinese cuisine that turns plain tofu into delicious bites. Tofu, as we all know, is pretty bland on its own. To make tofu taste more interesting, the Chinese have come up with numerous ways of cooking tofu. I have no idea how many years of history this dish has, but I have loved it for as long as I can remember. Great as a Sunday snack, or as one of the side dishes.

You can probably buy Niang Dou Fu from a lot of food stalls in Asia, but it is always fun to make your own. For vegetarians, you can try the vegetarian option.

Ingredients A:

  • 4 pieces of firm tofu, cut into halves

Ingredients B:

  • 300gm pork or chicken breast meat, minced
  • Several water chest nuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika (for a milder taste)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 stalks spring onion (the green bit), finely chopped (keep a handful for garnishing)
  • 3-4 fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Preparation:

  1. Put ingredients B in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Slit the tofu on one side, to make a small opening in the middle.
  3. Stuff ingredients B mixture into the slit, till it is full.
  4. Heat some sesame oil in a pan and pan-fry the stuffed tofu on medium heat.
  5. Turn each stuffed tofu every 2-3 minutes to make sure both side is cooked.
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes or till meat is fully cooked.
  7. Put it into a large dish, and pour the remained hot oil over the tofu.
  8. Granish with chopped spring oinion.
  9. Makes 8 stuffed tofu.

Versatility Note:

  1. This dish requires firmer tofu to be able to hold the stuffing, without easily broken.
  2. The slits should not be too deep or too close to the edge to avoid breaking the tofu.
  3. The stuffed tofu can also be steamed instead of pan-fried. You can also serve it with Chinese style chicken soup.
  4. You can also sprinkle some soya sauce over the stuffed tofu for some extra flavour.