Words, recipe and image by Dominique Woolf
Come January, after a month of overindulging, I always crave the vibrancy of Asian food to get me back on track. Fresh, bold flavours laced with heat and umami help blow away the cobwebs like nothing else.
This recipe is based on the classic ‘Singapore chilli crab’, the essence of which is a wonderful sweet yet savoury sauce with tomatoes, chilli, ginger, and garlic. Although easy to make, it packs a punch – just what you need on a wintery evening.
As with the traditional recipe, I add a lightly beaten egg towards the end of cooking to create richness and depth, as well as to thicken the sauce. If you wish to make this vegan, simply omit this step. It will still be delicious.
200g firm tofu
40g cashew nuts
1 onion, finely chopped
1 thumb of ginger, finely grated (approx. 1 tsp)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds if you prefer a milder heat)
Half a head of broccoli, cut into small florets
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
200 ml vegetable stock or boiling water
Oil for frying
Fresh coriander, chopped
Drain the tofu and wrap in kitchen paper. With a weight on top, press for 10-30 mins. This will help make the tofu even firmer. Once done, cut into cubes.
Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a frying pan over a medium heat until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add two tsp of oil to the pan (if your pan is not non-stick you may need more) and when hot, add the tofu and fry for 5-10 mins until all sides are golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Wipe any excess tofu crumbs from the pan, before adding another two tsp of oil. Once hot, add the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli, and cook for a few minutes over a medium heat. Once softened, add the broccoli and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the tomatoes, ketchup and sweet chilli sauce, and simmer for a further couple of minutes. Make sure you stir frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper then mix in the sesame oil and soy before adding the stock or water.
Pour in the egg, stirring continuously for another couple of minutes. Return the tofu to the pan and cook for a few minutes until heated through.
Just before plating up, stir through the cashews and garnish with coriander. Serve with rice.
Dominique’s love affair with food started as a child. Growing up in the Middle East to a Thai mother and British father, she was surrounded by flavours and cuisines from many different cultures. She has always loved trying new foods and began experimenting in the kitchen from an early age. Now living in London with three young hungry children, she spends more time cooking than ever! Find out more about her over on her Instagram @thehungrywoolf
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