Pipa Tofu or Tofu Fritters with Prawn and Fish Paste (琵琶豆腐)

This is one of the many dishes I love to eat! Not only is it tasty, simple to make, its is also wallet friendly! However this is not the case for those ordered in restaurants which are more expensive. I remember several years back when I ordered this dish from the Jumbo restaurant and fell in love with it. Thus I tried to recreate this fabulous dish at home, and now it has become a dish that our family loves to have.

This is a “Pipa”. Interestingly enough, while I was researching on the recipe of this dish, I had stumbled across some of its history as well. It turns out that it is actually named after the Chinese “Pipa” instrument due to its distinct teardrop shape! This simple dish has undoubtedly fed many Chinese families perhaps for centuries and even today, with common ingredients, it still stands as a truly flavourful meal. So, let’s get cooking!

Ingredients

  • 1 block silken tofu
  • 130g Prawn coarsely chopped (peeled and deveined, 8-9 pcs of prawn, see note)
  • 65g Fish Paste ( alternatively you can use good quality fishballs and mashed it into paste)
  • 2tbs finely grated carrots
  • 1 tbs chopped spring onion
  • 2 clove minced garlic

Note: I prefer it to be coarsely chopped because I would like to be able to bite some chunks of prawn. You may minced it finely if that is your preference.

Seasoning

  • 2 tsp cooking wine
  • 1.5 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp prawn spice ( see picture below, if you can find one, replace it with chicken powder)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp chicken powder

Binder

  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tsp potato starch

Sauce (combine and mix in a bowl)

  • 170g water
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs premium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dark sweet soy sauce
  • 3/4 tbs potato starch

Garnish (optional)

  • blanched pechay or any greens of your preference.

Method

  • Remove the moisture of the tofu by placing 3 pieces of kitchen towel folded at the bottom, and another 3 pieces folded on top, followed by a weight (it can be a bowl with water). Let it sit for at least half an hour. (refer to picture below)
  • Mash the tofu using a fork and add all the ingredients followed by the seasoning, then the binder. Mix well until completely combined. The mixture would be a sticky paste.
  • In a heated pan, prepare enough oil for frying. When the oil is hot, scoop up a spoonful of the mixture, and use another spoon to drop it gently into the oil. Fry both sides until golden brown. Do the same for the rest of the mixture. Do not over-crowd your pan. As the mixture is pasty, ensure that one side is golden brown before flipping to the other side. This will make the tofu fritters easier to flip. Serve it on a plate.
  • In a sauce pan, pour the prepared sauce mixture and heat it up until the sauce thickens. Drizzle the sauce onto your fried tofu fritters. You may use the sauce to drizzle onto your blanched pechay as well.
  • Serve hot

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