Geraldine’s Recipes

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

Teh Tarik Chiffon Cake or Milk Tea Chiffon Cake

I personally love both milk tea and chiffon cakes; I think most Asians do. So the other day I had an idea to combine these two into one delightful treat. Lying in my pantry were my Aik Cheong 2-in-1 milk tea packets, which I immediately thought of incorporating into the Chiffon cake. I was not disappointed! The taste was absolutely heavenly with the sweet notes of milk Tea pairing perfectly with the soft spongy texture iconic of chiffon cakes. The resulting treat was so good that even my youngest son who, unlike me, is not into chiffon cakes and milk tea had devoured half of the cake in a day! The other half was split among the three of us – my eldest son, my husband and I. They all had requested for me to make it again the next day. So the pictures on this post was actually from the second bake that I did two days later.

Ingredients (batter)

  • 80g cake flour
  • 4g baking powder
  • 50g fine sugar
  • 4 egg yolk (75g)
  • 70g melted butter
  • 110g milk
  • 4 packs 2 in 1 milk tea (I used Aik Cheong brand, each pack is 25g)

Ingredients (meringue)

  • 5 egg white (200g)
  • 4g lemon juice = 1 tsp
  • 100g fine sugar

Chiffon Tin size = 21cm in diameter , 11 cm in height. The bottom has to be lined with baking paper

Before starting ensure that your mixing bowl and balloon whisk are free from oil or any grease. Furthermore ensure that both yolk and egg whites are FULLY separated, especially for the egg whites which should not have ANY traces of egg yolk as this would affect your meringue later.

Method

  • Preheat your oven at 180 degree celsius.
  • Melt the butter and set aside.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  • Heat up the milk until slightly boiling, turn off the heat, and add the packets of milk tea one at a time. Ensure that all of the packet’s contents are dissolved completely before adding in the next pack.
  • Add the sugar, mix until everything is well incorporated, then add the melted butter. Mix until all combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the bowl with the yolk . The bowl has to be big enough for you to incorporate the meringue later. Stir well to combine. Add in the flour mixture in 2 batches, stir and combine. Set aside the batter.
  • In the mixer, beat your egg white until foamy at medium speed, add in the lemon juice. beat for about 30 seconds and start adding the 100g sugar in 4 batches. As the foam thickens, turn up the mixer speed. Continue beating until the meringue reaches stiff peak (please refer to the picture below). You will see that the mixture will become glossy. Do not over beat as it will dry out the meringue. If you are not familiar with making meringue, I would advise you to check the mixture every 20-30 seconds after it reaches the soft peak stage.
  • Gently fold the meringue into the batter using a spatula. Do it in 3 batches. Ensure that all the meringue are incorporated fully into the batter. Do not over mix as it will deflate the air, making your cake dense.
  • Pour it into your chiffon tin, give the tin three or so gentle taps on the table surface to let larger air bubbles rise to the surface and pop. Bake it at 180 degree celsius for 12 minutes.
  • Use a knife and make a few slits on top, this is to prevent wild break on your cake, however this is just for aesthetic reasons so it is optional. In the past, people did not do this step at all. So if you don’t want to do it, it is fine, just skip this step.
  • Lower down the temperature to 160 degree celsius, and bake for 30-35 minutes more, or when the skewer inserted into the middle of the cake is dry. The timing is just a guideline as each oven works differently.
  • Invert the pan upside down and let it cool down completely before slicing.
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