So we’ve been having an exciting time in the house! We fostered a dog for a few days, managed to find the dog a new loving home, and celebrated a bunch of birthdays too! So it’s been a busy time and I’m so happy that things have equilibrated a little for now.
Lola the Cavoodle was a little stressed out by her visitor. We did toy with the idea of having another dog, but the chemistry wasn’t too great. DD was an un-neutered Maltese who had his nose forever up poor Lola’s bot-bot…in the end she had to take refuge in my bedroom and stopped playing and smiling. Fortunately I had a friend who was ready to be a first time dog owner, and gamely took DD on. To be honest we were all really relieved, especially Lola who was super happy to reclaim her toys and territory.
Anyway when things had calmed down a little I managed to get some time in the kitchen and made some tofu fish cakes which I had been planning to for a while. This is a pretty traditional dish – tofu, fish and prawns are blended and steamed, then cut into cubes and fried. I think frying makes everything better! Kid#1 is generally averse to eating seafood although he likes calamari and will even eat fish and chips. I guess anything that does not have an overly fishy taste is ok for him. I was pleasantly surprised that he liked the tofu fish cake and made pretty good inroads in this dish.
Actually quite a few Asian dishes are made this way – radish cake is something I know people love in this part of the world. But radish cake is usually mixed with a whole loaf of tapioca or rice flour, whereas this tofu fish cake is more protein based and can hold its own without any flours.
My mum walked in the middle of me preparing the dish and said, “Oh! Steamed fish cake! We haven’t had this for a long time.” And she was right – it’s been years and actually this is a traditional dish that is typical in South East Asian home cooking. This is what I would consider a Chinese dish although I think the Thais have a somewhat similar tofu prawn cake. This tofu fish cake is relatively blander in flavor than the Thai version, but we usually amp up the flavor by serving it with a hefty portion of sambal chili.
Where would I serve this dish? Well in Singapore home cooking we would usually have 1 meat, 1 vegetable and 1 soup for each meal. On weekends the magic combination goes up to an additional one or two dishes and this is where I may put the tofu dish. Alternatively it can also be served as a savory tea break item although for tea I would cut the cubes smaller to be a little more dainty. Regardless, this recipe is a keeper and I look forward to making more variations of this in the future!
Tofu Fish Cake
- 1 packet of silken tofu (about 300g)
- 300g white fish
- 150g peeled and deveined prawns
- 2 eggs
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1/3 cup of chopped spring onions
- 2 tbsp fried shallots (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 cup oil (for frying)
- sambal chili to serve
- Mix the tofu, fish and prawns in a blender so that it becomes a paste. Add the eggs and mix well.
- Mix in the carrots, spring onions, shallots, salt, soy sauce, white pepper and xanthan gum.
- Oil a glass rectangular container or a silicone baking container and put the tofu and fish mixture into the container, smoothing the surface of the mixture with a spatula. Cover the container with aluminum foil. 4.Steam for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and let it cool a little.
- Cut the steamed cake into 1 inch cubes.
- Heat up the oil in a wok over medium heat and fry the cubes of tofu fish cake. Turn the cubes over gently and drain when nicely browned.
- Serve hot with sambal chili.