This week on Good Food, Evan talks with Linda Lau Anusasananan, whose The Hakka Cookbook explores the cuisine of the Chinese Hakka minority. Pushed from their land centuries ago because of war and famine, today Hakka live all over the world, from China to India to the Caribbean.
Anusasananan’s book surveys dishes from throughout the Hakka diaspora. Her recipe for Stuffed Tofu Triangles comes from Fah Liong, an Indonesian Hakka friend and fellow food writer.
Read below for the recipe.
Fah’s Stuffed Tofu Triangles
(Adapted from Linda Lau Anusasananan’s The Hakka Cookbook)
Fah Liong uses fish sauce, popular in her native Indonesia, to impart a mild sea flavor to the pork and shrimp filling in these tofu triangles. Bits of shiitake mushrooms add meaty flavor and texture. Steam or poach the triangles in broth; then serve with chile sauce and soy to embellish their fresh, light flavors.
Makes 2 or 3 servings as a main dish or 4 to 6 servings as part of a multicourse meal.
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, each about 1½ inches wide
4 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp (about 8 shrimp, 31 to 35 per pound)
4 ounces ground pork
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions, including green tops
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 pound firm tofu
Thinly sliced green onions, including green tops, for garnish
Soy sauce, for serving
Chile sauce, for serving
1 Rinse the dried mushrooms and place in a small bowl. Cover with hot water and soak until soft, 20 minutes for thin caps to 2 hours for thick caps. Squeeze out excess liquid. Remove and discard the mushroom stems and finely chop the caps. Finely chop the shrimp. In a small bowl, mix the mushrooms, shrimp, pork, green onions, fish sauce, cornstarch, salt, and white pepper.
2 Rinse the tofu, and then drain for about 5 minutes. Cut the tofu into 4 squares or rectangles, each about 1 inch thick and 2½ to 3 inches wide. Cut the pieces in half diagonally to make triangles. Lay the tofu triangles in a single layer on a double thickness of towels. Set another double layer of towels on top and press gently to remove excess moisture. Cut a slit down the center of the widest side of each tofu triangle so that it comes within ½ inch of the ends. Cut around the slit to form a generous ¼-inch-wide opening and carefully dig out the tofu to form a pocket. Gently fill the pocket with about 1 tablespoon filling, using a chopstick or small spoon to push the filling into the pocket; the filling can mound slightly on top. Repeat to fill all. Reserve the tofu scraps for another use.
3 Stand the tofu triangles, filling side up, slightly apart in a 9-inch shallow heat-proof dish that will fit inside a steamer, such as a Pyrex pie pan. Set the dish on a rack over 2 to 4 inches boiling water in a steamer or wok (if bottom is round, place on a wok ring to stabilize). If the steamer lid is flat metal, wrap lid with a towel to reduce condensation dripping on the food. Cover and steam over high heat until the filling is no longer pink in the center (cut to test), 10 to 15 minutes. Watch the water level, adding more boiling water as needed. Carefully remove the dish from the steamer.
4 Garnish with green onions. Serve hot with soy sauce and chile sauce to add to taste.
Stuffed Tofu Soup
Make the recipe through step 2.
In a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, bring 6 cups chicken broth to a boil. Add the filled tofu triangles and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the filling is firm, about 5 minutes.
Add ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls. Makes 6 to 8 servings as part of a multicourse meal.