Hou-Mei Cooking brings some direction to American-Chinese cooking that you can prepare at home. With some guidance and patience, you too can intrigue family and friends by wrapping dumplings, stuffing tofu, or stir-frying vegetables! Even the delicious aromas will attract your neighbors!
Posts tagged TOMMY
Let’s not talk about how long it’s been since I’ve been back here to provide you all a recipe. I’d like to apologize to all my followers for not updating posts for a long-long time. Yet again life has called me unexpectedly, and as a mature graduate, I had to answer. So far, I’ve been drawing in perspective and editing a 130-page manuscript. Still incomplete. Har har.
Have I been cooking? Of course, but nothing too significant or amazing has come out of my wok. Actually, I’ve been mostly using a frying pan to cook. As much as I enjoy using a wok for its size and versatility, it takes up too much space in the drying board. Tonight’s meal was made with the wok (as was the previous meal). But instead of going step by step with the process of cooking the meal, I will introduce a new product to you and guide you how to prepare it.
This is known as a bean-curd stick. This is the first time I heard the American name, and relearned the Chinese name. Haha! For a few years now my stomach has not eaten this delicate item. In Chinese it is called “腐竹” (fǔ zhú, tofu bamboo) or 豆皮 (fǔ pí, tofu skin). I am going to refer to fǔ zhú for the rest of this post. After some quick research, I’ve come to learn that this is actually the leftover film created when boiling soy milk. It is then dried until hardened into a strip of yellow tofu skin. When I was looking for this, I’d ask friends if they knew of a “long thin noodle like food that can be used for soups. kind of looks wrinkled.”
When you first open the bag, you’ll notice this is some strong tofu skin. It’s tougher than a handful of spaghetti and more brittle when cracked. Also, it’s about a foot long. There are two methods of cooking the fǔ zhú. Tonight I’m going to cover one method: stir fry.
**Note** You’ll want to do 25-30 minutes before cooking
Start by taking the fǔ zhú out of the bag and carefully break it into smaller pieces. Two to three inches in length it perfect and anything shorter is fine. Pieces may break and fall on the floor. Remember this is not breaking a chip where you’ll get two pieces. Fǔ Zhú is very brittle. Collect all the pieces into a bowl and soak it.
Why are we soaking the fǔ zhú? Well we want to soften it so it is ready to be stir fried. You could boil it, but then you would get something completely different. Soakingfǔ zhú also allows it to retain some texture and dexterity.
After soaking it, drain the water. It should still be soft and flexible. Heat a wok with oil. Now simply stir fry the fǔ zhú. Most cooks will add a sauce for flavor. Let’s use about two teaspoons of soy sauce. You can thicken the sauce by creating a corn starch base. Simply get two cups of water and half teaspoon of corn starch and thoroughly mix those together until the corn starch has dissolved. Add this to the fǔ zhú and soy sauce mix and let it simmer for 5-10 seconds. The thickness of the sauce is determined primarily by two factors
- Corn starch to water ratio
- Length simmering
This corn starch sauce base is pretty much universal to thickening any sauce. Taste the sauce before you serve. If it is not salty enough, add a pinch of salt, stir and try it again.
Boiling the fǔ zhú will basically turn it into a noodle-style form. It will basically become very fragile and break easily. Soaking fǔ zhú keeps the shape and form when stir frying it.
Tomorrow I will upload pictures showing the process. As for tonight, I will upload pictures of my dinner!