Braised Claypot Tofu with Assorted Vegetables (红烧砂锅豆腐): The tofu is coated with cornflour, deep fried until crispy, then simmered in a claypot with a rich flavourful broth-y mixture of pork belly, mushrooms, sweet peas and capsicums until the tofu sops up all those great flavours. Did you spot the dish bubbling away as it is served up? SO DELICIOUS!
Braised claypot tofu is a very popular dish served at the ubiquitous Zi Char (煮炒) stalls dotted all around Singapore. This dish (and in fact all dishes cooked in a claypot) is extremely earthy, flavoursome, moist and juicy, thanks to the heat resistant and porous nature of the claypot. According to an article by NDTV on claypot cooking:
“Clay pot’s porous nature allows both moisture and heat to circulate through the food, which results in slow yet aromatic food. It also retains the nutrition of the food, which is generally lost in other types of utensils. The thermal inertia in clay pots helps meats stay tender and soft as the muscle proteins denature and collagen breaks down completely.”
This allows the foods to cook more slowly with very little evaporation and high retention of the nutritional value of the ingredients, compared to more intense heat, higher rate of evaporation and lower nutrition retention when using metal cookware. No wonder this claypot tofu dish tastes so flavourful and juicy! The best part is that this dish will still be bubbling when you bring it over to the dining table to be served, thanks to the great heat retention properties of the claypot. Do we need to say more?
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Braised Claypot Tofu with Assorted Vegetables (红烧砂锅豆腐)
The tofu is coated with cornflour, deep fried until crispy, then simmered in a claypot with a rich flavourful broth-y mixture of pork belly, mushrooms, sweet peas and capsicums until the tofu sops up all those great flavours. Did you spot the dish bubbling away as it is served up? SO DELICIOUS!
- 4 medium size Dried Chinese Mushrooms
- 4 slices Ginger
- 1 small Yellow Capsicum or 1/2 large capsicum
- 1 small Red Capsicum or 1/2 large capsicum
- 6-8 Sweet Peas
- 200 gm Roast Pork
- 8 small Canned Button Mushrooms (optional)
- 1 big block Firm Tofu
- 2 TBsp Cornflour For coating tofu
- 100 ml Oil For deep frying the tofu
- 2 TBsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- A dash Pepper
Ingredients for the sauce
- 1 stalk Parsley
Wash the mushrooms and soak them in hot water for 15 mins. Once soften, cut away the stalk and half the mushrooms. Keep the mushroom water for later use.
Remove the skin from the ginger and wash. Slice it thinly.
Rinse the capsicum. Cut them into halves to remove the seeds and the stalk. Cut into 2 cm squares.
Remove the fibrous string from the sweet peas by tearing it from both ends. Rinse and set aside.
Cut the Roast Pork into 2 cm slices and set aside.
In a bowl, add in all the ingredients for the sauce and mix well and set aside
Open the canned button mushroom and discard the water. Rinse the mushrooms and cut into half if they are big. If not, just leave them as a whole.
Rinse the tofu and cut into 8 pieces.
Pat dry, then put 2 TBsp cornflour on a plate and coat the tofu before deep frying.
In a wok, add 100 ml of oil and turn heat to high. Shake off the excess flour and slowly add the tofu in small batches to deep fry until golden brown. Transfer on a plate line with kitchen towel to drain off excess oil.
Pour the oil into a bowl leaving behind 2 TBsp in the wok. Turn on to medium heat. Add in the ginger to fry till fragrant.
Add in the roast pork and fry till fragrant. Then add in the Chinese mushrooms, button mushrooms, capsicum, sweet peas, and fry for about 5 mins.
Add in the water used to soak the mushrooms, the bowl of sauce and 1/2 tsp of salt to the mixture, then stir well.
Add in the deep fried tofu and stir gently to mix well. Be careful not to break the tofu while stirring.
Transfer to a claypot and let it simmer for about 10 mins or until boiling over medium low heat.
Serve in the claypot and garnish with parsley accompanied with a bowl of steaming hot rice.
DETAILED RECIPE NOTES
The purpose of this section is to provide information about dietary information about this recipe based on our best knowledge. However, we are not certified healthcare professionals so please seek the advice of your nutritionist or doctor before proceeding to use these recipes.
- Child-Friendly: No modifications needed.
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: Use gluten free sauces.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Vegan: Skip the roast pork; replace oyster sauce with vegetarian sauce.
- Vegetarian: Skip the roast pork; replace oyster sauce with vegetarian sauce.
Recipe assessed by Spoonacular
Recipe FAQs and Expert Tips
1. How do you ensure that the tofu is crispy after deep frying?
After slicing the tofu into pieces, you need to pat dry them with kitchen towel until they feel really dry to the touch before cooking it otherwise the hot oil splatter all over the moment you drop the tofu into the oil. To ensure that the tofu is thoroughly dry, coat the pieces with cornflour before frying. This is my ‘magic powder’ that helps to make the tofu crispy. I also use the same method when cooking crispy black pomfret, one of my very popular recipes on this blog.
2. How do I avoid oil splatters?
Use an oil splatter guard to help prevent the oil from splattering on your hand.
3. How do I choose Chinese mushrooms (dried shiitake mushrooms)
Please refer to my guide here on how to choose Chinese mushrooms.
4. How can I tell if the Chinese mushrooms are farmed or wild?
Farmed mushrooms tend to have neatly cut stems, whereas wild mushrooms tend to have fuller stems. Wild mushrooms are usually more expensive.