Aug 6, 2010

Tofu Chilli with Shrimp-- and its still healthy!!

Now, I have never had tofu this way

And I am left to wonder if in fact, I have 'discovered' a way of treating tofu? Or is a regular practice anyway! I need your help to tell me which it is :)

There are only reason for me having tofu 

1. Tofu is full of protein calories and lower than most other proteins
2. I don't like meat in general and hence need a really good source of protein
3. I cannot afford fish everyday. I am really poor graduate student! 

Now I like my tofu extra firm and tough. But I don't want to fry it. Then I feel I am essentially fooling myself into thinking that Tofu is low calorie. The oil kills all the goodness of it that I am after. So I thought...
think think think....really really think. I thought about it all the time. How to make tofu really firm and use it in food without frying. I tried grilling tofu after pressing it. It works but not easy enough. And certainly needs cleaning the grill after that. And then one day as I was boiling water for my pasta, I remembered a trick. My grandmother told me this...long long time back

...Mana, why is that you are putting the paneer cubes in water' I asked. I was very curious as to why she would do that to paneer, which incidentally is my favorite thing. Mana was irritated. The heat in the kitchen was almost unbearable and the helping hand was late. I sensed, this was a bad time for quizzing. But since I have alreadty asked that question, no point leaving my curiosity unquenched'.  Mana tells me, her deft hands pulling the cubes apart and slowly lowering it in the boiling pot of water in an irritated voice,' This is to toughen the paneer. The heat will make it tight and then frying it will be nice and golden'....

I remembered this scene as I was boiling the pasta water, my tofu ready to go into microwave. I acted on autopilot. I thought..why the sme idea might work with tofu too. So I put the tofu cubes in the salted boiling water. And sure enough after 2-4 minutes they were firm enough. I strained the tofu and let it hang out dripping the last of the water.

And I made with it..something intended for the king..crabs that is. A very popoular recipe, from my amateur chef freind CB-- Chilli tofu with shrimps. A fitting meal...that tastes good and feels good and is good for ya  :)

Chilli tofu..I hope you try this trick with tofu..and then tofu is ready for any recipe. Who say's tofu aint food!!! :) :) :) :) 


1box of extra firm tofu. Cubed and either fried or blanched in boiling water. The way I have described before. 
1/2 lb of shrimp
2 garlic cloves
2 tea spoon of grated ginger
1-2 red chillies soaked in water for 10 minutes and then pasted in a mortar. Y
ou can also use 3-4 green chillies.
1/3rd cup of 
sweet chilli sauce (from the ethnic section of the grocery store). Or you can simply mix in 1/4th cup hot sauce with 1.5 tbsf of brown sugar and 2 tbsf of vinegar. I used the latter concotion.
1/2 cup of 
tomato ketchup
2 tbsf of soy sauce. I use low sodium one :)
3-4 tbsf of canola oil
1/4 tsp of flour or corn flour mixed in 3 tbsf water. This is a thickening agent.
1/2 cup hot water
 salt and pepper for seasoning
 2-3 sprigs of green onion diced.

What you do is simple!

After you have the tofu ready-- pressed, cubed, fried/boiled and strained.Take a non stick frying pan and heat the oil. Once the oil is hot enough put in the ginger, garlic, green/red chilli and saute for 1 minute. Next add in the sweet chilli sauce (or its substitute), ketchup, soy sauce and the water. Strir for a minute so that everything comes together. Add to this mixture the tofu and the shrimp and mix together everything. Add in the corn flour mixture and cook trough. Seaon with salt and pepper. Let the sauce dry up a little bit before you remove it from the heat. 
Garnish with green onions.

And voila! a Tofu dish--gourmet and still healthy and tasty-- A treat for any day you are not feeling quite as healthy :)

Happy eating and healthy living!!


girlichef said...

Very cool! I am soooo excited to learn this. Thank you so much for sharing this technique =) Your dish sounds amazing!

elra said...

seriously, I wouldn't even mind spicier :)
This is absolutely humble and delish dish!

Sayantani said...

eversince hubby came back from China he wants something flavourful with plain rice. this will fit the bill perfectly.

Jhonny walker said...


@ Chief : my pleasure :)

@ Elra: Thanks...lovely commnet

@ Sayantani: China is so cool...glad this will fit the bill of a recent traveller..and that too to China :)

The Japanese Redneck said...

Somebody has to eat my share of tofu. I just can't like it for some reason.