For those who are on low carb or keto type lifestyles, I wonder if you feel a little overwhelmed at the higher proportion of meat in the diet. I do know of vegetarians who do low carb but I think it’s not easy to get below a certain carb target without eating some dairy or eggs at least. Last weekend I was not in the mood for too much meat, like a braise or roast which I often do as an easy option for Sunday dinner. Most Asian meals tend to be lighter and meat portions are also smaller. Most Chinese homes are also quite frugal and I grew up being used to eating cheaper meat cuts and minced meat.
So one of the things I did miss after going on the low carb diet was Chinese dumplings. I used to love making dumplings and the kids would scoff them down. But dumpling skin is literally all flour and are a huge no-no for me. So for dinner I decided to use tofu puffs as my pretend wrapper for the minced pork and then decided to amp it up with adding a laksa sauce to the tofu puffs.
The laksa sauce was made from an instant paste; I was in no mood for making laksa paste from scratch. I was pleasantly surprised that kid#2 who is usually spice-averse actually liked the tofu puffs and didn’t find the laksa sauce too spicy.
In the end this dish was still pretty hearty and rich, but the tofu puffs were great meat pockets and were pretty filling and satisfying. And for my poor parents who have been dragged into my low carb lifestyle, this dish received their stamp of approval as it ticked off their preference for local Asian flavours.
Laksa paste can be found in the chiller section of NTUC or Cold Storage supermarkets.
Tofu puffs are a great to make meat pockets.
Tofu Puffs and Filling
- 500 – 600 g minced pork
- 1/4 cup chopped spring onions
- 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp arrowroot flour
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp Hua Tiao Jiu Chinese wine
- 1 – 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 packets of large tofu puffs
- 1 packet of Hai laksa paste
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 2 tbsp spring onions (optional)
- Prepare a wok or steamer and bring the water in the wok to the boil.
- Mix the minced pork, garlic, spring onions, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, chinese wine, pepper and arrowroot flour together. Take a teaspoonful and microwave it for 1/2 minute. Taste the cooked filling and adjust the seasoning for the uncooked filling accordingly.
- Carefully cut a slit on one side of the tofu puff and open up the pocket. Fill each tofu puff with the meat filling and place it on a casserole dish with the cut side up.
- Steam the stuffed tofu puffs for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the laksa sauce. Heat the peanut oil in a frying pan or wok. Sauté the onions till lightly caramelized.
- Add about 100g (1/2 packet) of the laksa paste to the onions and stir fry for about 1 minute.
- Add the coconut milk and chicken stock and allow the laksa sauce to simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring the sauce well so that the paste mixes well with the liquid.
- Pour the laksa sauce over the tofu puffs. They should be half submerged in the sauce.
- Top with the chopped spring onions and serve hot.