Monday, February 9, 2009

Tofu with Vinegar Sauce and Cucumber Pickles

It is summer here in Melbourne, and it's been hot. Truly deeply madly hot. Last Saturday the temperature even reached 46 C, still accompanied by dust-raising winds. It was a horrible day - the sky looks red because of the dust.

And summer always brings us to lighter meals, I guess... I am craving for meat no more recently. I am more into vegetables and fruits. Believe it or not, I can't remember when was the last time I ate meat at home. I once even thought that I might be converted to ovo-lacto vegan by the end of summer.

Because of the heat, I couldn't help but drool when I saw this light Indonesian salad on Mbak Ayin's blog. It has such a long name in English, but actually we just call it "tahu acar" in Indonesia. "tahu" means "tofu" and "acar" means "pickles". Actually the recipe calls for deep-fried tofu and also egg noodles, but in this summer heat I can't be bothered to deep-fry anything so I just steamed it. I also omitted the egg noodles.

Tofu with Vinegar Sauce and Cucumber Pickles
serves 2 as side dish or light meal

200 gr firm tofu, cut into small cubes
2 cabbage leaves, shredded
100 gr mung bean sprouts, boiled
50 gr egg noodles, cooked (I omitted this)
75 gr peanuts, roasted
50 gr fried shallots (optional)

1. Deep-fry the tofu. (If you steam it as I did, sprinkle some salt and pepper first on them. Otherwise they will be really bland.)
2. Boil shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, and egg noodles.

Note: you can experiment using different vegetables for different flavors. Yesterday I added steamed sweet corn to the mixture and it was great. The corn gave nice crunch and sweetness.

Cucumber Pickles
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
50 ml water

1. Mix all ingredients well.
2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Vinegar Sauce
150 ml water
1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar (use brown sugar if palm sugar is not available)
3 tsp vinegar
pinch of salt

1. Mix all ingredients and bring to boil in a small saucepan.
2. Remove from heat and cool completely.

To assemble:
1. Divide tofu, cabbage leaves, mung bean sprouts, and egg noodles evenly on two plates or bowls.
2. Pour the vinegar sauce on them. Sprinkle the roasted peanuts and fried shallots (if using).
3. Serve with cucumber pickles or arrange the pickles on the side of the plates or bowls.

By the way, I just realized this afternoon as I surfed through the upcoming events on Is My Blog Burning that this month's Click theme is Cheese/Tofu. I know I'm not a good photographer yet, but I already cooked and took photo of a tofu-based dish anyway... Then why not submit it? (yeah, I know I am going to embarrass myself among those professional photographers)

Ahem.. Okay. A couple of lines discussing the picture. Uh oh. I took that photo on the only table next to my apartment's balcony. That's the best spot I can find (up to now). The circumstances? Hmm. I guess it was during a hot sunny day. Why I like that photo? Because from all photos I took at that time, that one seems to be the best. Hmm. Fine. I have no idea what more to say. Enough then. I'm going to steam some more tofu to finish my leftover vinegar sauce :-)


bee said...

thank you for a delicious entry.

J said...

thanks bee! :)