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Chinese Braised Stuffed Tofu

Braised stuffed tofu is one of my late grandmother's signature dishes. It is a homey and comforting dish that my grandmother would simmer on her stove while she cooks other dishes for dinner.

My late grandmother would patiently stuff each deep fried tofu puff with a seasoned ground pork mixture. She would then braise the stuffed tofu in a soy sauce mixture along with Chinese sui choy (cabbage).

Served piping hot, I would carefully bite into the stuffed tofu and savor the flavorful pork and tofu puffs. Once I had my fill of the stuffed tofu, I would ladle the sauce and sui choy into my bowl of rice and I would happily scarf it down, proclaiming to my grandmother how much I love this dish.

When I remade this dish recently (without my late grandmother's recipe), I looked up a sauce that shared similar taste profile as the one my late grandmother lovingly made for me again and again. I think I stumbled across a winning combination that has won over my little man's heart. He happily ate 3 stuffed tofu, no small feat for a toddler his size! I am excited to make this dish again as it reminds me of my late grandmother and the happiness it brings my little man.

Meat Mixture
1/2 pound lean ground pork
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped (optional)
1-1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp freshly minced ginger
1 egg

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1 package of deep fried tofu puffs (regular size)
5 leaves of Chinese cabbage (sui choy or napa), sliced into bite sized pieces
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp ginger, finely minced

1. Mix pork, cornstarch, cilantro, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and egg in a bowl. Using your hands, mix the meat mixture until it is thoroughly combined.

This recipe has been doubled. I used the other half for Winter Melon Soup.

2. With a sharp pairing knife, cut an 'X' in each deep fried tofu puff. Using a small teaspoon, stuff each tofu puff with the meat mixture. Set aside.

3. Over medium heat, pour in vegetable oil in a large saute pan on. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant.

4. Stir in Chinese cabbage and saute for a minute or two.

5. Mix the oyster sauce, sesame oil, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, shaoxing wine, sugar and salt in a bowl. Pour this mixture into the saute pan. Bring this to a boil.

6. After the sauce boils, push the chinese cabbage to the side and add in the tofu puffs (stuffed side up). Ladle some of the sauce over the tofu puffs, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

7. Lift the lid and flip the tofu puffs so the stuffed side is simmering in the sauce. Cover lid and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Source: Frugal Allergy Mom, The Woks of Life and Allrecipes

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