Steamed tofu is the antithesis of the punchy, in-your-face flavours of my usual Indian cuisine. Almost bland, it is gloriously so, adding creamy texture to its accompaniments. In this case we use bok choi (pak choi) and a soy sauce-seasame-mirin dressing. You do have to be willing to enjoy the subtlety of flavours to appreciate this dish. It is not something that would do well on Master Chef, for example, however we love steamed tofu.
We also have a variation to this dish where shiitake and oyster mushrooms are quickly sauteed and added to the tofu. This is inspired by an incredible dish of steamed tofu and mushrooms at the Whole Earth restaurant in Chiang Mai – Three Flavour Tofu Topped with Shiitake Mushrooms.
Steamed Tofu with Bok Choi and Sesame
1 Tblspn sesame seeds
0.25 tspn toasted sesame oil
2 Tblspn soy sauce
1 Tblspn mirin
2 x 300g pieces of firm silken tofu
2 bunches bok choi (pak choi), halved lengthwise (baby bok choi is ideal, but other is Ok too)
0.25 cup coriander leaves, chopped
2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced on the diagonal
Toast the sesame seeds in a small pan until golden, being careful not to burn. Remove from the heat and cool, then combine in a bowl with the sesame oil, soy sauce and mirin.
Place the tofu on a heat-proof plate and steam, covered, over simmering water for 5 minutes. The easiest way to do this is with a wok and bamboo steamer, easily available from your Asian grocery.
Carefully remove the hot plate from the steamer and keep the tofu warm. Steam the bok choi, covered, in the same way, for 4 – 5 minutes or until wilted but still crisp.
Divide the tofu amongst plates, place the bok choi to the side, spoon the sesame sauce over the tofu and scatter with coriander leaves and spring onions. Serve immediately.
If you would like, mushrooms can be added to this dish. Simply take
200g shiitake mushrooms (fresh)
150g oyster mushrooms, halved
1 tspn grated ginger
1 Tblspn peanut oil
Using a dry wok, heat over high heat. Add the peanut oil and, when hot, add the mushrooms and ginger, and stir fry for 3 – 5 minutes until just tender. Top the tofu with the mushrooms before garnishing with spring onions and coriander.