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The BloggerAid Cookbook

Tofu Onde-Onde

What to do with my home-made tofu? That question that has been floating in my head for days - awake or in sleep mode (yes, that's how dedicated I am with my food). Don't worry, I'll spare you the juicy details of what I did with my tofu in my dreams. I did thought of making curry out of it but I have already made my tofu curry in my earlier post. So strike that out. How about stir-fried tofu? Nah...too plain and uninteresting. Now the idea of turning tofu into something sweet is actually quite appealing and challenging. So many sweet desserts started floating in my brain: 1) Tofu Cheesecake: now this is out because my mom's place doesn't have the necessary equipment. 2) Tofu Ice Cream: don't have any ice cream making machine. 3) Tofu cake or muffins: Too hot to bake in Singapore. What to make? What to bake? The pressing question with no answer. Oh dear, the 4 Velveteers' dateline is drawing very near like TODAY!...then out of the blue, my inner bulb just went 'blink!' - Tofu Onde-Onde! Tofu what??? Yes you heard me right - Onde-Onde made out of tofu. I'm not explaining myself clearly, am I for those of you who haven't the faintest idea what this is. But for those who had this before, I can see you rubbing your eyes with disbelief at the title of this post. Is that even possible? Well, you already know the answer to this question or else you wouldn't be reading this, would you?

Onde-Onde (pronounced ‘on-day') is a Peranakan dessert made up of glutinous rice flour with pandan leaves flavour, filled with palm sugar and coated with freshly grated coconut flesh. It can be eaten at any time of the day - be it for breakfast, tea time or as snacks. This is one of my favourite childhood dessert.

Tofu Onde-Onde
Ingredients
  • 100 g freshly grated coconut
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100 g Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar) (finely chopped)
  • 100 g silken or firm tofu (homemade tofu in my case)
  • 100 g glutinous rice flour
  • water (if necessary)
  • A few drops of pandan essence
Tofu Onde-Onde
Directions
  1. In a bowl, mix the freshly grated coconut with a pinch of salt together. Season it to your liking and set it aside.
  2. In a big bowl, mix the silken/firm tofu together with the glutinous rice flour well together with a few drops of pandan essence. Knead to form a dough.
  3. Add in a little bit of water if the dough is dry. If dough is too wet, add a little bit of glutinous rice flour. The dough should not be too wet nor dry.
  4. Pinch a small portion of dough and flatten it lightly on your palm.
  5. Fill the center of yourl dough with some palm sugar and close it by bring the edges together.
  6. Roll the dough in your palm to form a smooth ball. Set the little ball aside on a plate and continue to make small little balls like this with the rest of the dough.
  7. Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop these little balls into the boiling water.
  8. The tofu-rice balls are cooked when it floats to the surface. Remove them with a slotted spoon and shake off the water.
  9. Roll each ball in the coconut/salt mixture.
  10. They are now ready to be served and eaten.
  11. Enjoy!
Tofu Onde-OndeTofu Onde-OndeTofu Onde-Onde
The Verdict

It's very soft and slightly chewy like a mochi with the delicious oozing palm sugar in the middle. One definitely can't taste the tofu in them. My mom said it is as good as those made completely with glutinous rice (that is after I managed to convince her to try it. You should have seen my mom's doubtful look on it when she finally popped it in her mouth because I was standing right in front of her waiting for her verdict. LOL!). Pierre, who isn't a big fan of such Asian dessert, admitted that it was pretty good. As for me, I like this version very much and will definitely make it again.

Notes

For the flavours, I didn't have pandan essence or leaves at home, so I used vanilla essence. The flavour didn't quite come out but it still tastes good all the same. You may also omit the flavours and make it plain. Or you can make it plain with out any fillings or flavour and serve it with some sauce on top of it.

If you don't like the palm sugar filling, you can experiment with other types of fillings to your liking like peanuts or coconut mixed with palm sugar, etc.

You can also turn the above recipe into soup dumplings by replacing the fillings with red bean paste or peanuts and serve it in a sweeten broth.

Tofu Onde-OndeTofu Onde-Onde
15 comments on this post.

Homemade Tofu

Guess what? It's the 4 Velveteers' Challenge again! This is an exciting month - firstly, we welcome 2 new Velveteers: Ken & Jaya to our club and join us in our challenge. Secondly, we are going to make TOFU from scratch, plain or flavoured, and create a savoury or sweet dish with it. For those of us who live in Asia, tofu is easily found at the local supermarket everywhere, but for those of us who live overseas, tofu is a rare commodity and even if we do find it in a local Asian store, the tofu doesn't tastes the same as we are used to (sometimes it also tastes funny and smells rather sourish too). So making this challenge is not only interesting for me but a useful recipe to learn. Initially I thought making tofu would be rather difficult but after some research on the Internet, I found it surprisingly easy. Now before we start making tofu, let's learn something about it.

Tofu or bean curd is a soft and cheese looking food (my father-in-law often referred it as Asian Cheese) made from coagulated soya bean milk. Traditionally, it is made using a curdling agent like nigari, a compound found in natural ocean waters, or calcium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral. However, you can also make it using lemon juice or vinegar. After that, the curd is pressed into blocks.

According to wikipedia, tofu originated from China, during the Han dynasty to be precise. Li Shizhen (1518-1593), one of the greatest physicians and pharmacologists in Chinese history, wrote on methods of making tofu in Bencao Gangmu during the Ming dynasty. Tofu and it's recipe subsequently spreaded to Korea, Japan, Taiwan and other parts of east Asia.

For this challenge, I opted for lime juice as it is a fruit that is easily available in supermarkets in France. Making tofu at home doesn't require any fancy apparatus like you see in documentaries on TV. All you need is a piece of muslin cloth or a big handkerchief or some cotton kitchen towel and a container with holes like a sieve or strainer or you can punch some holes all over the sides of a plastic container. That's all you need - easy enough?

Homemade Tofu
  • 300 g soya beans
  • 125 ml lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 2100 ml water
Homemade Tofu
Directions
  1. Soak soya beans over night or at least 8 hours.
  2. Drain the beans and with a blender, blend it with 2100 ml of water in several portions.
  3. Scoop the blended soya beans paste onto the muslin cloth/cheese cloth. Squeeze out the juice into a pot.
  4. Cook it for about 10 minutes under medium heat until it is very fragrant. Keep stirring constantly during this whole time. Turn to low and let it cook until it is boiling.
  5. Take the pot off heat and let it cool down until 40°C - (hotter than lukewarm - your finger can do a quick dip in).
  6. Pour in the lime juice and give it 2 stir. Leave it undisturb for 5 minutes or until the mixture sets.
  7. Prepare the tofu mold/container - basically any container than has small holes to drain out the whey. Line it with muslin cloth with some of cloth hanging out on the sides.
  8. Scoop the tofu into the container and fold the rest of the cloth in. Put some heavy cans on top of the tofu container to drain out the whey.
  9. Let it set for 35 - 40 minutes for hard tofu. As for soft/silken tofu, 15 minutes will do the trick and 25 minutes/30 minutes for medium tofu.
  10. The tofu can be used immediately or store away in a container filled with water in the refrigerator. Please remember to change the water every day.
Homemade TofuHomemade TofuHomemade Tofu
The Verdict

Homemade tofu is so fragrant and definitely taste better (yes, tofu has taste !). Since I used lime as coagulant agent, the tofu has a slight acidic flavour in it but once you make savoury or sweet dishes with it, you won't notice it anymore.

Now hop over to my next post to find out what I made with my homemade tofu.

Notes

From my experiment, I found out that the more acidity you use, the firmer the tofu. You can also make tofu using store bought soya bean milk (non-sweeten).

Homemade Tofu

The 4 Velveteers

The 4 Velveteers was started by Pamela, Aparna, Asha, and Alessio, who are passionate about a new dish/ style of cooking/ cuisine and food in general. Each month, we will share with you our recipes, experiences & verdicts on our blogs. If you are interested in joining The 4 Velveteers! in our monthly adventure, please feel free to drop by our food blogs and leave a comment.

Do, check out what other Velveteers have created:

Alessio - Recipe Taster with his Tofu mousse with sesame seeds & matcha green tea
Aparna - My Diverse Kitchen with her Tropical Home-made Tofu Smoothie
Asha - Fork, Spoon & Knife with her Mapo Tofu
Ken - Hungry Rabbit with his To fu or not tofu
Jaya - Desi Soccer Mom

4 comments on this post.

Tofu Curry

Woohoo! I'm back home in Singapore for summer vacation. What a relief to finally touch down at Changi Airport last evening! After a delay from taking off at CDG airport due to technical checks, we had a long 13 hours of very turbulent trip, sending poor Little One into waves of nausea through out the flight. It's one thing watching people throwing up in plane in a movie, it's another facing the real thing. Never had I had so many panic attacks each time she said these words: 'Mommy, I don't feel well. I feel like throwing up.' I was literally groping in panic for the paper bag in the seat pockets, so afraid of Murphy's Law playing up at me. Phew! Luckily, for me, her & the passengers on the flight, she didn't threw up at all. And surprise my family at their doorstep we did. Because of the jet lag, we let Little One stay up till near midnight (6 pm French time) last night as we didn't want her to wake up at 3 am bright & chirpy. This didn't quite work out but luckily I was able to convince her to go back to sleep until 9 am this morning.

Anyway, a few days before we flew off, I was busy doing my very late entry for Velveteers' Challenge - Mochi (Minty Green Tea with Strawberry & Nutella) as well as baking 2 chocolate velvet cakes (recipe coming soon) for Little One to celebrate her birthday together with 2 other classmates at school. Both the teachers and children loved it - what a relief to hear! Not that I doubted the cake but whenever I have to cook, specially for an event, I tend to screw things up with my closet perfectionist disorder. And on Sunday, we celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday with coconut prawns curry, tofu curry (recipe below) and a simple stir-fry brocolis with rice. Of course no birthday is done without a cake: Pierre loves the cake (recipe coming soon too) I baked for Little One's birthday so much that he requested me to make the same for his sister.

Now tofu is not one of the favourite food in my household. The last time I made an attempt to seduce Pierre into liking it, the result was totally flat. So after 3 years of tofu abstinence, I thought of re-introducing this infamous ingredient to his whole family on this birthday celebration. Quite a big risk as it was the first time I was making a curry out of a tofu (cooking by blind faith hoping everything will come together). But lucky me, by chance it happened that my sis-in-law and father-in-law like tofu.

Tofu Curry
Ingredients
  • 2 packet firm tofu (cut into 9 cubes each)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • a bunch of curry leaves (fresh or dried - about 10)
  • 2 tsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (more if you prefer it to be spicier)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cup water (approx.)
  • a pinch of sugar
  • salt (for seasoning)
Directions
  1. Cut tofu into small cubes and pan-fry them dry on non-stick pan until light brown, delicately turning them often. This is to remove some water from the tofu.
  2. Add a little bit of oil into the pan and let the tofu brown a little by the oil. Remove and set a side.
  3. Heat up a little bit of oil in a wok or pot, add in the chopped onions and let it brown a little.
  4. Add ground black mustard, roasted cumin seeds and curry leaves. Stir-fry it with the onions for a minute or two.
  5. Stir in ginger and garlic paste. Cook until it is fragrant.
  6. Add ground coriander, turmeric powder, chilli powder and tomato paste. Stir to mix well before adding approximately 2 cups of water to it.
  7. Add a pinch of sugar and season it with salt.
  8. Let it cook for about 10 minutes.
  9. Add in the tofu, cover partially and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes to allow the curry to thicken and the tofu to soak up the curry flavour.
  10. Serve hot with rice.
Curry Tofu
The Verdict

The result was actually great and much better than my older tofu experiment! A very flavourful curry with a clear tomato background. Of course the faint tofu flavour takes a back-seat in this dish. Judging by the many times Pierre went for it, I say it's a great success. Everyone loves it.

Notes

When I cooked this dish, I didn't really measure the water - just add it in according to what I feel is correct amount. Basically it should more or less cover your tofu.

I happened to have in hand some coarsely ground roasted black mustard seeds and roasted cumin seeds. However if you don't have, you can pan-fry the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves first with oil. Once the seeds pops, add in the chopped onions.

Curry Tofu
13 comments on this post.