May 2, 2021

Tofu Skin and Cordia Dichotoma Stir-Fry 破布子豆包

Check out my earlier post for more details on cordia dichotoma, also known as "pua po ji" in Taiwan. As for this post, I won't go into much information here again. Instead, let's figure out which type of "tofu skin" I'm referring to. 



You can find a wide variety of tofu products nowadays, and sometimes they all go by the simple name "tofu skin." The one I'm using for this recipe was fried but still got a soft texture, not the hardened crunchy kind. Try to find rectangular-shaped version with pale yellow, brownish skin. If you can't find fresh tofu skin, you can seek for frozen substitute at Chinese or Japanese grocery stores. As for canned cordia dichotoma, definitely easier to spot one at a Chinese location.


Tofu skin and cordia dichotoma stir-fry 破布子豆包 -




Ingredients?

  • 2 large sheets tofu skin
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons cordia dichotoma (seeded)
  • 1 handful Chinese basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or preferred cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons drinking water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar


How?

Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms with room temperature water till softens, about 20 minutes. Drain out the water then pat dry the mushrooms. Remove the stems and slice the caps into strips.



Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Destem and finely chop the red chilies. Roughly chop the Chinese basil leaves only, not using the stems here. Squeeze out the seeds from the cordia dichotoma.



Drizzle enough cooking oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons. Turn to medium high heat. Once warmed up, sear the tofu skin sheets about 1 to 2 minutes per side, or till slightly browned. Remove from heat and cut into bite size rectangular pieces.



Still using the same pan, wipe out excess oil with a kitchen towel first. Under medium high heat, sear the shiitake mushrooms till aromatic, then add in seeded cordia dichotoma, garlic, and chilies. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, before the garlic starts to burn.



Transfer tofu skin back to the pan. Add in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce just for the color, I think darker brownish color makes this dish more appetizing. Also add in about 2 tablespoons of drinkable water and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Give it a quick mix then continue to cook for about one more minute. 



Lastly, mix in Chinese basil, a quick stir-fry would do. Plate and serve.



Usually cordia dichotoma are not seeded prior in most dishes. People tend to carefully bite into them and remove the seeds on the spot, some don't even bother to eat it since the flavors have already been released to the seasonings. However, I want to fully utilize cordia dichotoma, so the best way is to remove the seeds first, so I can enjoy the dish without worrying about breaking my teeth.


A little troublesome in the beginning, but it'll worth the effort, trust me.


Other recipes using cordia dichotoma: