Crispy Beancurd with Tomatoes

Beancurd is a protein-rich food coagulated from an extract of soya beans and when it is not properly prepared, it can be quite bland and boring. However, it is simple to turn this food into something special and delicious. This is an easy dish to make, especially when tomatoes are in season. If you use water instead of the chicken stock, you can turn this into a delectable vegetarian dish.

Ingredients

  • 450 g (1 lb) firm fresh beancurd
  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh or tinned tomatoes
  • 400 ml (15 fl oz) groundnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) Chicken Stock or water

For The Garnish

  • Handful of fresh sprigs of coriander

Method

Drain the beancurd thoroughly, then set it on kitchen paper and continue to drain for 15 minutes. Gently cut the beancurd into 2.5-cm (1-in) pieces.

If you are using fresh tomatoes, plunge them in boiling water for 10 seconds, drain them, peel, seed and cut them into 2.5-cm (1-in) cubes. If you are using tinned tomatoes, chop them into small chunks.

Heat the oil in a wok until it is hot and deep-fry the beancurd in batches. When each batch is lightly browned, remove and drain well on kitchen paper.

Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of oil, re-heat and when it is hot, add the garlic and shallots and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the tomatoes, soy sauce, salt, pepper and sugar and stir-fry for 1 minute. Now add the stock or water, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Return the beancurd to the wok and heat through. Transfer to a warm platter, garnish with coriander and serve at once.

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