Steamed Silken Tofu with Bango Sauce

Sunday, April 03, 2011

In A Minute ...

You were not April fooled by my last post, I am sure. Or were you? I hope it has put a smile - not an egg - on your face. 

Some of my friends have given feedback that they have found the recipes on this blog complicated. I can understand that this can seem so for some. There is no shame in that as cooking, like everything else, needs practice and experience. Also, there is the question of familiarity, i.e. whether you are familiar with Chinese, Malay cooking etc.

I will blog some simpler ones from time to time. Some may think that these dishes are not 'blog-worthy' but I have often found that even for the more experienced cooks, there is something to be learnt, even from simple recipes.

Let's start with this. When we need to whip up a dish for dinner in a hurry, we often turn to our old and trusted friend: Silken Tofu.

It is regularly stocked in the fridge. It is comfort food and healthy to boot. And every time we serve this dish to guests at our dining table, it is always the first to go. And of course, this is a dish which my mum often made as well.

Before I go into some details and make this recipe sound more complicated than it actually is, I will go on record to say that this is one dish you can make within a minute. Seriously. 

Give this a time test. Set your timer.

Ready, get set...GO.

Take the silken tofu out. Cut away the plastic. Flip it over onto a dish. Garnish with some chopped spring onions and fried shallots. Add dashes of light soy sauce, sweet dark sauce and pepper.


What's your count?

You may have even made it in less than 60 secs. This dish can be served cold and no reason why you cannot get it from your fridge to your table in a minute.

As silken tofu can keep for weeks in the fridge, this is really a quick and convenient dish to prepare for. Just remember that you are adding the light soy sauce for the salty and dark sauce for the sweet. Then garnish with crunchy spring onions and fried shallots. Perfect.

Oh, well, not quite. My wife does not like the silken tofu cold. So, I add one more step - steaming it. I steam it using the rice cooker steamer (see pic, steam in it's plastic packet to prevent tofu water from mixing into your rice - this plastic container that comes free with your rice cooker may be one of the few underrated kitchen tools ). Or, if you are making a big batch of wet market tofu (pics below), then use the wok or pot steamer. Tofu served piping hot is nice. But whether it is cold comfort or hot, it is up to you. 

For dark sauce, I used to go for the regular Chinese dark sauce. But not anymore since I discovered Bango. A friend introduced this Indonesian sauce to me two years ago. Since then, it is Bango everytime when it comes to this dish as it adds a special flavour. There are many other delicious uses for this sauce and I am sure some readers here can suggest a few. This kecap manis is different from the more widely available Indonesian ABC sauce.
Note the bird pic

Bango art? Hmm, my church needs a new logo...

So, can you buy it locally? Fortunately, there is a local supplier:

Mohd Sharif & Sharif Pte Ltd
46 Onan Road, S'pore
Tel: 6344 4650   
(Onan Rd is off Geylang Rd near Geylang Serai)

Just mention the name "Food Canon", and he will give you a discount. No, wait. I am just jokin. The makcik is likely to say,"Awak gila kah? Ini bukan kedai gambar!" (Transl: Are you mad? This is not a camera shop!)

But which brand of Silken Tofu should you use? At the supermart there are so many different brands. You are spoilt - and confused - for choice. 5 cents more, ten cents less, 1 for $1.05, 2 for $2 ...just don't spend the next 20 minutes trying to calculate and decide. Just grab any and quickly walk away.

There you go, a simple post for a simple dish.

And take a minute to make it, will ya?

To cook for a party, you can use
wet market Silken Tofu balls and steam in a pot steamer
Garnished and ready for the party. Looks great!

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  1. First time I ever heard of and seen tofu balls! And I love the way you describe the tofu selection in the supermarts. How true indeed! The options and prices are mind boggling :)

  2. Yes, glad you notice my take on tofu selection...

  3. Not sure if you've found it yet - Bango's fairly easy to get in the Toronto area ( for example stocks it)

  4. Lots of Bango in tekka market .... with big refill packs too!
    On a side note, kwong woh hing no longer makes their oyster sauce.... and orchid soya sauces can be found in Holland drive market and amk block 628 market.... cheers!