October 1, 2011

Soybean Sprouts Tofu Stir-Fry 清炒大豆芽豆幹

chinese Soybean Sprouts Tofu Stir Fry recipe

The apparent simplicity of the Chinese stir-fry often deceives the uninitiated.  I remember an Australian woman, passing through Hong Kong, who, when asked how she liked the local Chinese food, made a face and said, in a haughty tone, 'Oh, you mean all those stir-frys?'  

Yes, we do mean all those stir-frys, for there is nothing on this earth quite like them.  A few ingredients, simply and freshly prepared, a good wok, a hot hot fire, a few basic condiments and a brief few minutes of frantic cooking time will present you with a dish to remember.  Bright fresh flavors simple and true, the special wonderful aroma of wok hay, or 鑊氣.  A sophisticated cooking style that seems deceptively simple yet produces results that can wow.

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Here is a good example, the Soybean Sprouts Tofu Stir-Fry or 清炒大豆芽豆干.  Get good fresh soybean sprouts, or 大豆芽.  Be careful not to buy the mung bean sprouts which look similiar but don't have the yellow head.  They are good too, but different.  Pluck the roots off the sprouts.  This takes alot of time so try to look for preplucked sprouts that are available at the wet market.  Or if you get them in a tidy bunch you can just chop them all off in one stroke. 

You can also buy the dried tofu, or 豆干, at the wet market.  There are special vendors at the wet market that sell all kinds of tofu goods.  Prepare everything before hand because you will not have time to do anything when you are stir-frying.  Stir-frying is something that you get better at the more you do it, so practice away!

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Soybean Sprout and Dried Tofu Stir-Fry Recipe 清炒大豆芽豆幹
(Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 5 mins)



Wash the soybean sprouts and shake dry as much as possible.

Heat the wok at medium high until just smoking, add oil and then add the ginger right away.  Move ginger around to flavor the oil and then quickly drop all the bean sprouts into the wok, being careful of spitting hot oil. (Tip: Drop the sprouts either in a very big bunch so that it can cover the circumference of the hot oil, or pour the vegetables into the wok facing away from you.)  Scoop and turn over the sprouts until all are lightly covered with oil.  

Add the sliced dried tofu.   Keep scooping and turning.  Add the rice wine.  Keep stirring for another two minutes or until the bean sprouts have lightly browned in spots.  Add the chicken stock and white pepper and stir, then cover.  Let cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally or until liquid reduces to approx 1/2 cup.  

Mix starch and water together and pour into wok, stirring and watching as the sauce thickens.  When the sauce consistency is thick and glossy, add the chopped spring onions and stir once and then turn off the heat.  Sprinkle sesame oil over; stir and then serve.