Usually, I write about meals that are $5 or under on Fridays. This meal is over. But it’s a great way to streeetttchh out prawns, add more protein and nutrition and create a kid-friendly meal for less.
Ever since I first visited China in 1995, I’ve developed a love of tofu. In Taiwan, where I’ve lived twice, they eat a lot of tofu – mainly pressed with spices and called dou gan (豆干）. Many Taiwanese are vegetarian or eat vegetarian meals on the first and the fifteenth of the lunar month. But even those who are not vegetarian regularly eat tofu along with meat for the flavour, texture and to bulk out their meals.
Tofu is great to eat for people who are watching their weight as it is low fat and high protein. It is also good to eat in summer as it is light and refreshing. A favourite dish is simple silky tofu topped with soy sauce and ginger. Tofu is also a low-cost form of protein so is a frugalista’s friend.
But here, I’m making tofu and prawns. Prawns are expensive, and also they kind of need something to go with them such as vegetables (or in this case tofu) for texture and variety. This is a nice mix and a good balance of subtle flavours.
Tofu and prawn stir-fry
300g frozen prawn meat
450g tofu (original)
1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
2 cloves of garlic
2cm knob of ginger
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 heaped teaspoon cornflour
1 dessertspoon rice brain oil
A splash of sesame oil
- Thaw the prawn meat according to instructions (being careful not to leave prawns out in hot weather for food safety reasons). Soak them in salted water for half an hour or more prior to using to help them replenish some water. Draw on paper towels.
- Combine the cornflour with the chicken stock until smooth, and set aside.
- Heat a wok over a high heat until hot, then add the oils. (Note: the golden rule for wok cooking is hot pan, cool oil – get the wok to a high heat before adding the oil). Add the garlic and ginger, then the prawns and fry until cooked.
- Once the prawns are cooked, add the cubed tofu and fry for a minute or two. Add the diced cucumber and stir fry for a further few minutes.
- Pour over the chicken stock and cornflour mixture, and stir until thickened. Serve hot over rice.