Stewed Tofu

Serves 4–6

Experiment with adding favorite spices to come up with your own version of red-cooked tofu.

1 pound beef

4 dried mushrooms

8 ounces pressed tofu

1 cup light soy sauce

¼ cup dark soy sauce

¼ cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

4 teaspoons white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying

2 slices ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups water

1 star anise

  • Cut the beef into thin slices. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for at least 20 minutes to soften. Gently squeeze to remove any excess water and slice.

  • Cut the tofu into ½-inch cubes. Combine the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine, white sugar, and brown sugar, and set aside.

  • Add oil to a preheated wok or skillet. When oil is hot, add the ginger slices and garlic and stir-fry briefly until aromatic. Add the beef and cook until browned. Before the beef has finished cooking, add the tofu cubes and fry briefly.

  • Add the sauce and 2 cups water. Add the star anise. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer. After 1 hour, add the dried mushrooms. Simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced. If desired, remove the star anise before serving.

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