Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pork with Tofu Shrimps Mushrooms


Simple homemade calls my name!

Imagine. Dream. Fantasize...the juicy texture of perfectly cooked ground pork, the springy bite in those shrimps, and soft silky tofu - oh, will they ever fight for "who's best" ? Their co-existence goes far without much elaboration. A burst of flavor and texture nuances that are never in conflict - that's a home-kept recipe of Pork with Tofu, Shrimps, and Mushrooms.

When NoobCook made one of her favorite home-cooked dishes of minced meat with tofu and mushrooms, I could not wait to agree with the simplicity of this dish. Simple is bland, simple is plain-tasting. I beg to differ. As for many simple homemade dishes/recipes, and definitely to this one, simple can be most tasty. Sometimes, simple just refers to simple ingredients - ingredients that are non-exotic, easily found in any grocery stores or supermarkets; whereas other times, it may refer to a easy (simple) cooking technique - straightforward, fuss-free.

I have cooked this many times but never ever retained its glorious photo moment. This time I will and I did. Not so glorious but at least it's a photo. There are many ways to cook and vary this dish and this is my homemade version of Pork with Tofu, Shrimps, and Mushrooms. Using the essence of pork, earthy flavor of mushrooms, and that seafood unami in shrimps, combined with the soft silky texture of tofu - multiple flavors and texture profiles but never a single misfit.

Pork with Tofu, Shrimps, and Mushrooms
Ingredients:
-1/4 lb minced/ground pork
-4-6 medium size shrimps/prawns, diced to small pieces, as shown
-2-3 shitake mushrooms, diced to small pieces, as shown
-1 small box silken tofu, cubed to bite size
-2 stalks scallions, cut to small pieces (Note: separating the bottom "white" harder scallion -portions and the "remaining green")
-1tsp dried shrimps (Note: secret ingredient for this dish)
-3 gloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1tsp crush ginger
-1tsp oyster sauce
-salt and white pepper
-water, adjust accordingly

Directions:
1. Heat 1tbsp oil in frying pan. At low-medium heat, add sliced garlic, ginger, white portions of the scallions and fry quickly till fragrant (爆香有 三 宝: 葱 , 姜, 蒜 一 样 都不能少). Then add dried shrimps and fry till fragrant. Once fragrant, add pork - using the frying ladle to "disintegrate" the pork (Note: prevent clumping) and turn down the heat so that the pork will not toughen and become rubbery under high heat. (Tip: to prevent overcooking in pork, you can also dish up pork and set aside)
2. Add in shrimps and mushrooms, mix well. Pinch of salt. Once the shrimps turn color (to pink), add in tofu, oyster sauce and water that sufficiently covers the 3/4 of the ingredients mixture in the pan
3. Allow low heat simmering for about 5-8mins. (Note: If you have set aside the pork earlier on, add in halfway during this simmering process and continue to let it simmer for the rest of the duration. The pork will be cook through in the entire simmering process)
4. Once the sauce starts to reduce, generously dash in white pepper
5. When almost ready to be dish up, add in green portions of the scallions, mix well, turn off heat

Serve immediately...best with steamed rice.

You may have never thought...pork and shrimps can harmonize so well!

Also check out shrimps mixed with ground chicken in these fried beancurd skin rolls, and fish mixed with shrimps in these cabbage rolls. Shrimps are so sociable, are they not? :P

P.S I did not cook this over the weekend but I wrote this post over the weekend - makes it a Weekend Snapshot for me :P It was voting weekend in Taiwan and we wanted to stay at home in the event of any protests or riots happening along the streets!

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