Spicy Tofu with Beef
I was asked to do a cooking demonstration for the Fort Worth Japanese Society in June so I am working on ideas. I’ve been a member of the Japanese Society for many years. I joined after I took my mother there when she moved to Texas in 1990. She didn’t know anyone here and the “society” became a favorite place where she met with her friends at least one week each month. Over the years I attended a few events and the gracious members provided origami, dance, and calligraphy presentations for me at the prison (where I work). My mother always wanted me to go with her to the Sunday lunch events but I was always “too busy” to go. Wish she was around now to take there because I sure miss her.
I came upon an interesting cookbook by a Japanese woman, Harumi Kurihara, who is quite famous in Japan. She has some interesting recipes for Japanese Home Cooking, a type of cooking most Americans haven’t been exposed to. I adapted one she called, “Tofu with Spicy Minced Topping” and the results were outstanding. I’ve had similar dishes before, called “Mabo Dofu” made with a package mix (ick!) or in Chinese restaurants but did not care for them.
Although I used a lean steak (NY), sliced paper thin, this dish would be just as good with no meat, sliced chicken or pork or even shrimp. The sauce is sweet, spicy, and a little salty with the ginger/sesame/garlic giving it layers of flavor.
Spicy Tofu with Beef
Serves 4
1 14 oz box silken tofu
12 oz beef, thinly sliced (freeze, thaw slightly and cut with sharp knife)
1/2 tsp each beef bouillon and chicken bouillon powder dissolved in 1/3 cup hot water
or 1/2 tsp each beef and chicken base dissolved in 1/3 cup hot water
6 T soy sauce ( I use low sodium)
2 tsp sugar
2 T sake
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 T vegetable oil
2 cups scallions, finely chopped
1/2 T minced garlic
1 T grated fresh ginger
1/2 T chili paste (toban jan) or 1/2 T Sambal
1 T cornstarch mixed with 1 T water
Salt and pepper to taste
Shichimi Togarashi
Use 1 T of soy sauce, 1 T sake, and 1/2 tsp sesame oil as a marinade for the meat while preparing the other ingredients.
Wrap the tofu in paper towels and leave in strainer to remove water.
Mix the soy sauce, sake, sugar, sesame oil and bouillon water together and set aside.
In large saute pan heat oil and saute 1/2 the scallions. Add garlic and ginger, then chili paste.
Mix well. Add beef and let it brown. Add tofu, gently breaking it up. Add the liquid ingredients and stir in cornstarch mixture after it comes to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the extra scallions and garnish with Shichimi Togarashi. Serve with hot Japanese rice.