Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tofu wrapped in banana leaves (chả đùm)

This easy-to-prepare dish can be served as an appetizer.
Makes about 8 servings

  • 2 handfuls of shredded black ear mushrooms
  • 8 shiitake dry mushrooms
  • 1 bunch bean threads
  • 7 oz (200g) extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 3 teaspoons raw sugar or equivalent sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 layers 10x10 banana leaves
  • 5-inch cotton string
Soak the black ear mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms separately for about 30 minutes or until soft. (Boiled water can be used to speed up the process). Squeeze out water from the mushrooms. Mince (food processor can be used) and set aside.

Soak the bean threads for about 5 minutes or until soft. Cut into 2-inch strings. Set aside.

Bring tofu to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. Drain, press dry. Crush (by hand or food processor) and set aside.

Heat oil in a pan or wok for 1 minute. Add ginger and stir fry until fragrant. Stir in the mushooms and peas and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add sweetener, salt, five-spice powder.
Remove from heat. Add tofu, bean threads and pepper. Mix well.

Place the tofu mixture in a small bowl to shape. Invert the bowl onto the layer of banana leaves (one on top of the other), hold the ends together to make a money bag, tighten with a string and steam for 30 minutes.

Transfer the wrap to a serving plate and untie it. Trim the excess banana leaves and arrange with
toasted spring roll skins.

Note: Can also be served as self-rolls with soaked rice paper, mint leaves and sweet and sour soy sauce (cuốn bánh tráng).

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