Japanese Egg Tofu with Minced Pork

Jo Ee, this is for you. I hope this is simple enough. This is what I grew up eating every lunch and my grandma makes it often. I tried to make it as idiot-proof for you as possible so shoot me with questions if it's still unclear, talk about it being idiot-proof.

It's basically Japanese egg tofu, that's what we call it back in Malaysia. It comes in a tube form and looks like this. I sliced the Japanese egg tofu into thick rings and coat it with cornstarch (also called cornflour or you can use tapioca flour or tapioca starch) and pan fry it until golden brown. Then I mixed all the meat ingredients together and stir fry it and pour it over the egg tofu. Done!

Japanese Egg Tofu with Minced Pork

1 Japanese Egg Tofu Tube, sliced into thick rounds
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced (use 2 tsp if using garlic in jar, mine looks like this)
1/2 cup chicken broth (or use 1/2 tsp No MSG chicken powder + 1/2 cup water)
1 tsp oyster sauce (just estimate, a dash or so would do)
Cornflour thickener (Mix 2 tsp cornflour with 2 tbsp COLD water)
1 egg, beaten (optional)
Spring onions

Minced pork marinade: Mix everything together and set aside for 10mins

100g minced pork (can use minced chicken too)
1 tbsp light soy sauce (just use the spoon you use for eating, doesn't have to be specific)
Dash of salt, sugar and pepper
Dash of sesame oil
1/2 tbsp cornflour (just estimate will do, can also )

Coat the tofu slices with cornflour/tapioca flour and pan fry over high heat until golden brown. Drain it on a paper towel and place on a serving plate.

Heat some oil in a pan over high heat. When hot, add in garlic and stir and cook for 10 seconds. Add in the minced pork and cook and stir nonstop, breaking the lumps as you go along, about 3 minutes. When pork is browned, add in the chicken broth (or water + chicken powder), oyster sauce and bring to boil. When boiling, let it simmer for 5mins over high heat. Give the cornflour thickener a good stir and pour it into the pan. Stir and cook for a minute. Add in beaten egg at this stage if you like. Dish it up and pour it over the tofu. Garnish with chopped spring onions.

Serve immediately with hot rice.

p/s: Spring onions are also known as green shallots or green onions in some countries. Cornflour and tapioca flour are also known as cornstarch and tapioca starch.

Have fun and lemme know your outcome. I know you can't cook a decent meal for live! It's not too late to start!

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Avgolemono (Chicken Soup with Egg & Lemon)

I'm bringing you to Greece with me today! It's a chicken soup, served with a beautiful poached chicken alongside. This dish is commonly made to celebrate the end of the fast for Easter.This is beautiful and is adapted from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros. It's a soup with rice in it, though you can't see it because the rice sank to the bottom of the soup. This is a good way for me to use up all the leftover vegetables in my fridge too. It's an acquired taste but if Aaron likes it, you can bet you'll like it too! Aaron has a very Asian tastebud!

According to Tessa, egg and lemon is very popular as a finish for soups and sauces in Greek cooking and one could easily add some thyme sprigs or other herbs to inauthentically infuse the broth of this classic Greek soup.One can also make avgolemono with lamb instead of chicken. It is rich and delicious, simple and nourishing, and gives you two course from one recipe (the soup and then the beautiful poached chicken).

Avgolemono (Chicken Soup with Egg and Lemon)

1 whole free range organic chicken (approximately 1.36kg)
1 white onion, roughly cut into large chunks
1 leafy celery stalk, cut into large chunks
1 large carrots, cut in half
A few parsley stalks
A few black peppercorns 1/2 cup long-grain rice, rinsed 2 eggs Juice of 2 lemons

Rinse the chicken well and put it in a large stockpot with everything else except for the rice, egg and lemon juice. Add a good sprinkling of salt into the stockpot followed by 14 cups of cold water. Bring to boil and skim the surface with a slotted spoon. Decrease the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 90 minutes, skimming occasionally. Lift the chicken out onto a large plate or bowl with a slotted spoon. Strain the broth through a sieve, pressing down lightly on the vegetables with the back of a wooden spatula to extract flavour.

You should have about 6 cups of broth . Return this to the saucepan and add in the rice. Cook over medium heat for another 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally until the rice is cooked. Whisk the eggs until they are fluffy. Add the lemon juice. Temper the egg mixture with the broth by ladling a spoonful of hot broth to the egg, whisking vigorously to stop it from scrambling. Whisk in a little more broth, then add the entire egg mixture to the pan. Return the saucepan to the lowest possible heat and let it cook for a few minutes to warm the egg through.

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. If you like, shred one of the chicken breast and scatter over the soup. Serve the rest of the chicken as a second course.

Serves 4

I hope you all have had a great Easter. Mine was awesome, seriously.

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Sweet Corn Fritters with Avocado and Crisp Bacon

During the weekends or public holidays, Aaron and I usually get more fancy with food. Apart from the usual poached egg or Weetbix, we'll cook up something for weekend breakfast. And it's Good Friday (and it's gonna be a long weekend since it's public holiday next Monday too!) today so I cooked this for our breakfast. We pampered ourselves to a rather healthy breakfast minus the bacon, haha! We'll be busy going out tomorrow and Monday too since it's a public holiday and it's Easter so meanwhile, have fun with this~

Crisp up 4 rashers of bacon in a nonstick pan with little EVOO until golden and crisp. Divide between 2 plates and keep warm in the oven (preheated at 50°C). With the remaining bacon fat rendered in the pan, pan-fried the sweetcorn fritter (recipe below) over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. Place 2 fritters each onto serving plate. Place a generous handful of washed and dried baby spinach leaves on the side. Serve immediately with a large wedge of avocado and a slice of lemon alongside.

Sweet Corn Fritters

(makes 4 fritters, each approximately of 1/4 cup(60ml) capacity)

1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
2 tbsp (40ml) milk
10g melted butter
1 egg
Salt and pepper
200g drained sweetcorn kernels
1-2 finely chopped green onions

Whisk the first 5 ingredients to combine. Add in corn kernels and spring onions.

Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 48, Dec/Jan 2010, page 84.

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