Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Over-Stuffed Tofu

As promised I think I have the recipe ready for the stuffed Koyadofu高野豆腐).

Koyadofu, also known as freeze dried tofu, is great for stuffing because it's flexible and kind of sponge like, so it rarely tears. It also absorbs flavors well.

I was inspired to make this recipe while in the grocery store a few weeks ago. It was the start of the Mofo so I was checking out some cooking magazines near the front for inspiration. The magazine had a recipe for stuffed koyadofu. Do you know what it was stuffed with? That's right, minced pork. I mean what goes better with tofu than minced pig meat. Sick! I was so angered by this image that I slammed the magazine close without actually looking at how it was prepared and marched over to the section to get freeze dried tofu. And went home and got straight to work. That's how this recipe was born.

I love boiled koyadofu. My boyfriend's mom often boils up a bunch of the small ones and I can eat most of them in one sitting. I used her method in this recipe for preparing the koyadofu.

Over-Stuffed Tofu

4 blocks of the large size koyadofu

For the tofu:
3 cups water
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp sugar
a pinch of salt

Bring to a boil. Add the koyadofu and boil for about 10 minutes. Then let them sit in the hot liquid for another 5 minutes, covered.

For the stuffing:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 small nub of ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 large carrot or 2 small
2 cups spinach, cut into bite size pieces
handful toasted walnuts
2 Tbsp green onions, sliced

Before preparing the stuffing, drain the koyadofu and leave it in a strainer. It will be far too hot to handle, so I put a bag of frozen veggies in the strainer and set it aside while I make the stuffing.

Fry the ginger and garlic in the oil. After a minute or two add the carrots, spinach, and soy sauce. Fry it all together until the spinach is wilted, about 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the toasted walnuts and green onions and mix it all together.

Now that the tofu is cooled enough to handle, use a serated knife to cut a pocket into the tofu on the long side. Like this:

Then shove as much stuffing into it as you can with a spoon.  I think it looks good a little over-stuffed.

I then put all four filled pieces onto a glass baking dish and put it in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 (celsius-350 Fahrenheit) just to bring everything back to the same temperature. Enjoy!

If you have extra filling, it works nicely in a tofu scramble for breakfast the next day.

The filling is also very flexible depending on your tastes or what you have on hand. I think almond slivers would work to replace the walnuts. You could also use different vegetables you have on hand or some spices. I kept spices out, to more mimic the Japanese style of cooking.

If you don't live in Japan, I'm sure you can get koyadofu in an Asian market.

Let me know what you think!


I also made this recipe for the Iron Chef Challenge.


Jeni Treehugger said...

I LOVE this idea. I'm guessing it would work with regular firm Tofu if you just take a bit of care. There ain't no way I can buy koyadofu from round here. Even my local Asian Supermarket only stocks one kind of Tofu!!

Pamela & Sarah said...

I think you could use firm tofu, but I don't think I'd boil it. Maybe bake it first using the soup stock in the recipe. Let me know if you try it.

Kelly said...

I love the step by step photos of your recipe. It looks delicious. I've never tried koyadofu before. I'm going to have to check out my local Asian grocery store to see if they carry it. your version looks delicious and I love the idea of stuffing it.