home-style bean curd 家常豆腐

this is a recipe from fuschia dunlop’s book revolutionary chinese cookbook. one of our favorites 🙂 this is a hunanese version of this dish so it’s a little spicy.

home-style-bean curd

2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1.25 lb. firm bean curd, drained
3 oz boneless lean pork, cut into fine slivers
1 t shaoxing wine
1 T chili bean paste
1 T chopped salted chiles (we didn’t have this)
1 T finely chopped garlic
1 t dried chili flakes (optional)
1 cup stock
1/4 t dark soy sauce
1/4 t potato flour mixed with 1 T cold water
3 scallions, green parts only, cut into bit-size lengths
1 t sesame oil
1/3 cup peanut oil or lard

1. prep: soak the mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. drain, squeeze, cut off the stems, and slice thinly. cut the bean curd into large squares, then cut them in half across the diagonal to form triangles. the thickness should be about 1/2″. use a paper towel or a kitchen towel to soak up some of the excess moisture in the tofu. put the pork in a bowl with the wine. get the other ingredients ready as well.

1_prep

2. heat your wok or pan over high heat. when hot, add some oil and swirl it around the pan (fuschia says about 3 T). make sure it’s nice and hot. you’ll want to fry the tofu in batches. carefully lay in the first batch of tofu away from you and fry on one side. shake the pan from time to time to prevent sticking.

2_tofu

once that side is golden, turn the tofu pieces over and fry on the other side until golden.

3_tofu

remove the tofu once it’s done frying and place on some paper towels to soak up the excess oil. repeat with the other batches of tofu. clean out the pan in between if necessary.

4_tofu

3. clean the pan if necessary. reheat the pan until the oil smokes. if necessary, add in a little more oil to coat the pan. add the pork and stir-fry until the slivers separate.

5_pork

add the chili bean paste and salted chiles and stir-fry until fragrant.

6_pork

add in the garlic and mushrooms and continue to stir-fry until fragrant.

7_pork

add the chili flakes if you are using them. stir-fry for a few seconds, then pour in the stock

8_sauce

4. add the bean curd back to the pan and pour in the dark soy sauce.

9_sauce

allow the mixture to come to a boil, then let it simmer until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. it tastes better with a thicker sauce. also, the tofu will soak up more of the sauce flavor the longer it simmers.

9a_simmer

5. stir the potato flour mixture and slowly add it while stirring the sauce. taste and season the sauce as necessary. the chili bean paste i used was pretty salty, so i didn’t need to add any more salt.

corn_starch_mixture

toss in the scallions. off the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.

9b_finish_up

time to eat!

bowl

honolulu festival

our dining room class and other kcc students had the chance to volunteer at the friendship gala of the honolulu festival this year. it was a very fun event. over 1000 people came to the event.

here’s the stage as they were testing some of the lights and the sound. “check, check, one, two.”
stage

this year ten restaurants participated: morimoto waikiki, mariposa at neiman marcus, roy’s hawaii kai, ruth’s chris steak house, 3660 on the rise, blt steak, nobu waikiki, shokudo, the cheesecake factory, and la palme d’or patisserie.

i got to help out with mariposa’s station.
mariposa
our yellow tent corresponded to the yellow ticket each guest got (one ticket per restaurant).

here’s what we were serving for the night:
description

ben and i were helping assemble the dish. he put three clams in the bowl, then i put in a small mound of the braised greens, then piseth placed the fish on the greens, and chef marc spooned in the broth and put a small amount of chutney on top. we had the same assembly line going on the other side of the table. after the doors opened, the line got pretty long and we were moving pretty fast, but i don’t think people had to wait too long to get their food.
seafood

the other volunteers at our station were helping to manage the guests and collect their tickets. “one bowl per ticket!”

the entertainment was good, but it got kind of loud because we were near the speakers. the performers included hoku zuttermeister, dai hirai (ukelele + hip hop!), and sugaren.

at the end of the night, we got to eat some of the dishes from the restaurants 🙂

steamed bun with kakuni (10 hour braised pork belly) from morimoto waikiki – yummy yummy, even when it had been sitting out for a while. the pork just melts in your mouth:
pork

satay shrimp with luau leaf curry from roy’s hawaii kai – also yummy despite sitting out for a while. i heard this is a new item on roy’s menu?
shrimp

godiva chocolate cheesecake from the cheesecake factory – this is super rich and chocolatey. i took a slice home so i am slowly eating it. there may be a thing as being too chocolatey.
cheesecake

ruth’s chris seared tenderloin served with potatoes au gratin – this probably would have been yummy if it was still warm.
steak

lobster miso soup

miso

also had some california rolls from shokudo and lemon tarts, cream puffs, and panna cotta from la palme. it was a fun night.