Jan 14, 2019

Swapping Out Some Meat with Tofu - Chicken Tofu and Spinach Patties

Instead of full-on ground chicken, this time some tofu was also blended into the mixture. On top of that, even though the title only says spinach, but actually I used a special kind of mountain spinach from Taiwan, which carries stronger grassy aroma. So to counter such flavor profile, I've also swapped out the usual olive oil and changed to Taiwanese tea oil this time for searing. The result? Patties filled with wild plants scent, like eating a delicate yet rustic countryside dish.

Chicken tofu and spinach patties -

Ingredients (makes about 8 patties)?

  • 190 grams ground chicken
  • 250 grams Taiwanese mountain spinach (regular spinach will do)
  • 150 grams semi-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons Taiwanese tea oil
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Some black pepper (optional)
  • Some toasted white sesame seeds (optional)


Peel and grate the ginger, then add that to a big mixing bowl. Blanch the spinach and dry really well, perhaps squeeze out the water first then dry again with cloth or kitchen towel. 

Chop the spinach into small bits then transfer to the mixing bowl. Wrap the tofu with cloth, or many layers of kitchen towel. Again, squeeze and draw out any liquid. Crumble the tofu and transfer to the bowl too.

In that bowl, also add in ground chicken, 2 tablespoons corn starch, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Mix well and separate into 8 equal parts.

Shape them into thick and oval-shaped patties.

Take another bowl, mix in 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.

Drizzle some tea oil to the pan and turn to medium high heat. Once warmed up, transfer the patties over one by one. Don't move them around too soon, since the patties might still stick to the surface or can fall apart. Wait till semi-cooked and the patties start to turn slightly browned, then it'll be safer to move them around.

Flip and sear the other side till slightly browned.

Pour the sauce mixture into the pan and flip the patties around so all sides are coated with the seasonings. Cool till all the sauce has been reduced, and the patties got that darkened color. Transfer the patties to serving plate and sprinkle with some toasted white sesame seeds and freshly ground pepper if desired.

Tea oil and mountain spinach, these patties carry the scent similar to the usual dish from a rustic countryside restaurant. Distinct but not too outrageous, just a brush of that wild plant vibe. 

Other recipes using tofu: 

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