This recipe takes me back to my time in the Indian sub-continent. My placement there, as an attaché to the chargé d’affaires, inspired much rabble rousing, and the unfettered consumption of earthly delights to be found in and around Delhi expanded both my mind and waistline.
Outwitting the outraged Lords and Ambassadors of compromised wives was as much of a lark as bagging a tiger in the dense and steaming bush….
…Hang on, piss off my blog. Sorry about that. Some ponce managed to infiltrate the safe, suburban world of Happiness Stan.
In reality this recipe does remind me of the Taj Mahal. The one down the road in Croydon, not the palace near(ish) Delhi. In classical Asian tradition it combines what we Westerners would consider vegetarian fare (in this case Tofu) with good old meat (chicken).
And that reminds me. My wife, who is well travelled (unlike me) toured the Orient some time ago, and as a committed vegetarian struggled to find reliably meat-free dishes. For example she once ordered tofu stir-fry in a Singapore street market, which sounds a safe veggie bet, and it was duly served up piled high with beef.
I’m getting seriously lost. Back to the food. Now tofu’s a funny old thing. It’s either wet and falls to bits when you open the packet (soft), or wet and doesn’t fall to bits when you open the packet, but tries to fall to bits when you start to prepare it (we’ll refer to this one as ‘not-so-soft’).
I determined to make a kind of kedgeree, substituting fish for tofu.
Then I decided to chuck in some chicken because to be honest tofu just doesn’t do it for me. So I prepared some chicken too, in the style of a Chinese Take-Away.
So in the end I created some Asian Fusion cooking which I am calling Take-Away Style Marinated Chicken Breasts with Tofu Kedgeree.
I don’t know how many rules I have broken coming up with that one but here goes…
For the Chicken
- 2 expensive chicken breasts, skin on
- 2 egg whites
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
For the rice
- Enough rice for a couple of people
- 2 boiled eggs
- 1 pack ‘firm’ tofu
- 1 red onion
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 big bunch coriander, chopped
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp chilli flakes
- Small piece ginger, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp medium strength curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
First prepare the chicken. In a plastic tub combine the egg white, soy and oyster sauces.
This isn’t dirty dish water, this is your chicken marinade…
Slash the chicken a few times and then add to the marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge for an hour.
Why do this to chicken? Because the chicken goes all tender and soft, just like a Take-Away, but unlike a Take-Away you know that this is actually chicken because you bought it from a supermarket, and they wouldn’t lie about chicken being chicken, right?
Now its time for the tofu. Yumbo.
Remove the tofu from the packet and place on a baking sheet.
Look at all that liquid. We’ve got to get rid of that…
Wrap some paper towels around the tofu and place some weight on top (e.g. a frying pan loaded with tuna tins as shown here)
Once you are satisfied you have removed enough water, carefully cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces. If you aren’t careful the tofu will split and tear.
Put a tablespoon of oil in a pan and fry the tofu gently for about ten minutes, turning occasionally, until golden.
Once browned, add 4 tbsp of the soy sauce, chilli flakes, honey and vinegar to a bowl and tip in the tofu. Now the more observant reader might be thinking ‘Why didn’t he marinade the tofu before cooking?’, ‘Why, for the love of everything cooking-related, why?’
Well because if you marinade the tofu before you fry it you just add back all the liquid that you spent half an hour squeezing out (the mega-observant might realise by now that I don’t think much of tofu).
Now you can prepare the rice. Cook the rice for a few minutes. Drain and leave to cool. Meanwhile fry the onion, pepper, garlic and ginger in some oil. Add the remaining ingredients and the rice. Fry for a few minutes and then add some quartered boiled egg and a few chopped coriander leaves.
Finally genty stir in the tofu along with the marinade liquid.
Cook the chicken on a ridged skillet. You could add the liquid you used to marinade the chicken to the rice, if you wish, but make sure you cook the rice properly.
Serve with rice on a plate topped with some sliced chicken and a strategically placed piece of egg…