Cubes of tofu stuffed with a light and savory pork filling. This dish is steamed and served with a soy sauce-based sauce. Onolicious!
You might have had different versions of stuffed tofu in Chinese restaurants before. This is the version we make at home. It's simple, clean, and very fun to prepare!
This dish features cubes of tofu stuffed with a savory pork filling. It's steamed and finished with a delicious sauce made from the liquid that's naturally released when you steam the tofu.
This dish consists of three parts:
Let's take a closer look at each part...
I noticed that boxes of local tofu in Hawaii come in 20 ounce servings. But on the mainland they range from 14 to 16 ounces. All these sizes will work for this recipe, you'll just have slightly larger or smaller pieces of tofu. No need to adjust the filling amounts.
To prepare the tofu, cut the tofu block in half horizontally. Then cut each half into four even blocks. They're like rectangular cubes ^_^
Lay each cube on a cutting board and use a small spoon (I use a little dessert spoon) to scoop out about 1-2 teaspoons (depends on how big your tofu block is) of tofu.
Note: save this "leftover tofu" that you scoop out because we are going to use it for the pork filling. Nothing goes to waste.
Scoop it big enough so that you can fill it with the ground pork filling. But don't scoop so big that you break the edges or can see the bottom of the tofu.
Then fill each tofu brick with the filling. Mound the excess filling over the surface of the tofu...kind of like a mushroom cap.
The filling costs of 8 (good luck number!) basic ingredients:
- Ground pork
- Tofu - Use the "leftover tofu" you have from scooping out each piece.
- Ginger, minced
- Garlic, minced
- Oyster sauce - Look for the Lee Kum Kee Premium oyster sauce.
- Soy sauce - We use both the Aloha and Kikkoman brand soy sauce in Hawaii. Either will work, and you can also use low-sodium soy sauce.
- Sesame oil - Kadoya is our go-to brand.
- White pepper - This is optional, but makes a beautiful difference. We use white pepper in many recipes, so it's worth keeping a bottle in the pantry.
Just mix all the above ingredients together in a bowl. Split the filling up into 8 portions, and stuff each tofu piece with the filling.
The sauce is a key part of this dish. After you steam the stuffed tofu, there will be some liquid (about a few tablespoons) left in the dish.
Remove the tofu pieces to a serving plate. Pour the leftover liquid into a small saucepan. This liquid will become the base of your sauce.
Bring that liquid to a boil, then turn the heat to low and add equal amounts of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. (This is the same "trio" of ingredients that we used to season the ground pork filling.)
Next, make a cornstarch slurry. Combine cornstarch and spoonful water, mix to dissolve the cornstarch. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the liquid and cook for another minute. This cornstarch slurry will help to thicken the sauce.
Use less cornstarch slurry for a thinner sauce, and more cornstarch slurry for a thicker sauce. How thick or thick you make the sauce is entirely up to you. For this dish, I like it on the lighter, thinner side (but many people love it as a thick gravy). Pour the sauce over the tofu and it's ready to eat!
Tips and Questions
This dish best straight from the steamer, but leftovers will keep up to 3 days.
Microwave for 20-30 seconds. Or steam for 6-8 minutes.
Add a splash of fish sauce to the pork filling mixture. It will give this dish extra depth and flavor.
Some people like to either deep fry or pan fry the tofu pieces before stuffing and steaming. The crispy exterior will make for a different, delicious dish.
Feel free to replace the ground pork with ground chicken and/or minced shrimp. (If you are into pork, you can also do half-pork and half-shrimp for this recipe.)
The filling for this recipe is really just a dumpling or wonton filling, so feel free to use any favorite dumpling or wonton recipe you might already have. You can also use the Pork Hash recipe (Hawaii's version of Chinese shumai) for the filling.
Stuffed Tofu Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- ¼ pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
- Prepare the tofu. Cut the block of tofu into 8 even pieces (I cut it in half horizontally, and then cut each half into 4 pieces.) Use a small spoon to scoop out about 2 teaspoons of tofu from each piece. This is so that we can stuff the tofu with the pork filling.
- Prepare the filling. Mix together in a bowl: ground pork, leftover tofu (the tofu that you just scooped out), ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper.
- Divide the filling into 8 portions and stuff each piece of tofu with the filling, mounding the excess filling over the top of the tofu piece.
- Steam for 10 minutes.
- Remove the steamed tofu to a plate. Pour the liquid left in the steaming dish into a small pan (there should be a few tablespoons of liquid). Bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Turn the heat to low and add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.
- Mix the cornstarch with a spoonful of cold water, then add that into the saucepan (cornstarch will help thicken the sauce a bit). Cook for a minute more and then pour the sauce over the plated tofu. Eat hot and enjoy ^_^