Chinese Sweet and Sour Balls

If you love Tofu as much as I do and also love Chinese and sweet and sour flavours, this recipe will be a keeper. I often make this dish for my family and friends.

Tofu is a very light and low cost food with outstanding versatility and nutritional benefits. It’s an ideal choice for the health and diet conscious.

I usually make my own peanut butter and that’s what I like to use in my cooking because it’s natural and home made. It pairs beautifully with soy sauce. This recipe is from Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler.

I usually love serving this dish with steamed basmati rice. It’s simple to put together and looks really rich and delicious. Your family will love this recipe.

This recipe makes around sixteen 11/2 inch balls.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 50 minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp soy sauce

455 grams tofu

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup green peppers, chopped

¼ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup celery, sliced

4 green onions. Sliced thin

1 tbsp oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

6 tbsp sweetener of your choice

6 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

11/2 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch

¼ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Whip the peanut butter and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Mash the tofu in a large bowl. Add the whole wheat flour, the peanut butter mixture, green peppers, mushrooms, celery and green onions. Form into sixteen 11/2 inch balls and arrange on a baking pan spread with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake 20 minutes and carefully turn them over and bake 20 minutes more. Serve on rice with Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking out all the lumps. Stir constantly until thickened.

Baked Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the star of the culinary world right now with recipes like pizza crusts, rice, etc. It’s one of the best substitutes for a low-carb diet. It’s naturally high in fibre and B-vitamins, has antioxidants and phytonutrients that fight against cancer. It also has choline which is important for learning and memory and lots of other nutrients.

This veggie has a sweet, nutty flavour and is so versatile. It adds smoothness to sauces and texture to other dishes. The recipe that I have chosen is a very old one and it is very popular in North Indian cuisine. It’s called Gobi Mussalam – which literally translates to Whole Cauliflower. The entire cauliflower is marinated with spices and baked.

The result is superb – a tender, moist and spicy cauliflower that just melts in the mouth.

This recipe appeared in the Washington Post and the link is given below.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/recipes/baked-cauliflower-gobi-musallam/16830/

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PREP: 30 minutes  COOK TIME: 50 minutes  SERVES: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower, washed
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup ghee+2 tbsp
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger
  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 1″ piece cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp almonds
  • 1/4 cup coconut, grated
  • 4 tbsp yogurt
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Grind the green chillis, garlic, ginger, chilli powder and garam masala. Mix lemon juice and salt to this paste. Keeping the cauliflower whole, insert this paste between the florets. It’s easier to do this by turning it over and inserting the paste between the florets. Smear some paste on the top as well. Bring water to a boil in a steamer and steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes or until it is half cooked. Try to keep it in a vertical position. If that’s not possible, then you can gently turn it over after 5 minutes and steam it on the other side for 5 minutes.

Grind all the ingredients for the marinade except the garlic, onions, tomatoes and yogurt.

Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a large pan and add the garlic. Add the onions and cook until they are tender. Add the tomatoes and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the ground paste and salt. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring constantly adding the yogurt one tablespoon at a time. Remove and cool.

Cover the cauliflower with half of the ground paste, dot with ghee and bake for about 15 minutes until it is browned on top and the cauliflower is evenly cooked. Remove from the oven and spread the remaining paste over it. Bake for another 10 minutes more.

Garnish with chopped fresh coriander. Serve with steamed rice.

 

Sweet and Sour Tofu

My daughter found this recipe online about ten years ago and shared it with me after she tried it. I don’t even remember the website that I got it from. I made a few additions and I must say that it’s the best Sweet and Sour Tofu recipe that I have come across.

It’s a really comforting dish to have on any day at any time. It’s also a real crowd pleaser. I shallow fry the tofu because that’s a healthier way to do it. This is best served with steamed rice; I usually use Basmati rice. It’s a great combination.

The original recipe uses vegetable stock but I use an instant tomato soup mix; it tastes absolutely delicious. Green pepper is also a good option instead of red pepper.

The fresh herbs and vegetables blend with the tofu and soy to come together into one delicious and harmonious dish. You can easily double this recipe – it works really well.

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PREP: 20 minutes  COOK TIME: 40 minutes  SERVES: 6

Ingredients

  • 400 grams tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute)
  • 3/4th cup cornflour
  • 6 spring onions, chopped finely with the green stems (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 green chillis, chopped finely
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato instant soup mix (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Oil for frying

To serve

  • Steamed broccoli (optional)
  • Steamed rice

Mix the egg substitute with water. If using egg, dip the tofu in either of these and coat. Sprinkle the cornflour on it and toss to coat thoroughly. Heat the oil and fry the tofu cubes on both sides until they are golden. Set aside.

Make the soup according to the directions on the pack.

Heat 3 tbsp of oil, add the onions with the chopped green stems, ginger, garlic and green chillis. Cook for a few minutes and add the red pepper. Add the soy sauce, soup, vinegar and sugar.

Mix the 1 tbsp cornflour with 2 tbsp water and add. Add the fried tofu and mix well. Cook for a few minutes. Garnish with the reserved green stems.

Serve hot with the steamed broccoli and rice.