Nyong Tofu

Nyong tofu: little triangles of tofu filled with meat, then braised

Nyong tofu is little triangles of tofu, stuffed with basically whatever you want, then braised.

Okay, if you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen these before, since I made them as part of what I called Tofu Week.

One of my standard rants is that a lot of people don’t know that tofu is best braised. I see a lot of advice for cooking tofu that’s like “marinate it in the fridge then cook it like it’s meat” and I don’t know how needs to hear this, but tofu is at its most delicious when cooked in liquid—dropped in soups or steamed or braised.

In any event, this has two parts.

1) The tofu.

Get a block of firm tofu. (This is one of the few recipes where I approve of firm tofu.) Cut the block into squares about 1” thick. Then cut those squares on the diagonal, and finally, hollow out the squares so you get these cute little tofu pockets.

2) The filling.

What is inside this one is about 2 ounces of pork, two ounces of shrimp, diced, mixed with a few pinches of Chinese five spice powder and a dash of soy sauce. (This should be stuffed raw, you’ll cook it in the pocket).

You might be saying, “why would I eat tofu if I’m just going to put meat inside?

Answer: because tofu is delicious. FIGHT ME.

More seriously, you could do a vegetarian version of this with chopped up oyster mushroom (cooked), green onion, a little soy sauce, and egg as a binder.

3) The stuffed tofu

Stuff about a tablespoon or so of the filing inside each little tofu pocket.

4) The braising liquid

Grab about 1/2 cup stock of any kind, mix with 1 Tbsp Wedgeford Brown. (When I’m feeling super lazy, which is about 75% of the time, rather than making my own stock or opening a can, I just mix Hondashi with water.)

5) Get a pan or a wok out. Add a little oil, put on medium heat. Set your little stuffed tofu triangles on your pan, filling side down.

You’lll probably have extra stuffing because you can’t actually get that much in this pockets, so feel free to just toss it around the pan. It’ll add flavor to the braising liquid.

After the pockets have cooked filling-side-down for about 2 minutes, pour your braising liquid into the pan.

Turn your tofu pockets so that each side has a chance to cook in the braising liquid for about 1-2 minutes each.

6) After it’s been cooked on each side, test one pocket to make sure your pork has cooked all the way through. Once it has, take all your pockets off the pan, but leave the liquid in.

7) Add about 1 Tbsp cold water to 2 Tbsp potato starch. Mix until starch is dissolved, then add this to the braising liquid in the pan, stirring to avoid lumps.

This will give you a nice, thick sauce to pour over your nyong tofu.

That’s it!

This is kind of a pain the first time you make it, as you’re figuring out the rhythm of the dish, but it’s actually super-easy once you get the hang of it.