Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tofu Hand-Tossed in Ta-Dang Chili Paste

Tofu Hand-Tossed in Ta-Dang Chili Paste
The inspiration for this dish came from my best friend I meet for lunch on a regular basis. We meet in the food-court of a mall, but for the last couple of years we haven't needed to buy lunch because she brings all kinds of interesting eats with her. This is one that reminds me of potato chips or popcorn. You can never take just one bite! Every time we have this, I try to extract the recipe from her, but she just isn't into writing down her recipes and neither is she precise with her measuresments of ingredients. So I've concocted my own recipe and while she makes hers on the stovetop, I cooked this in the microwave.

Thai Maesri Ta-Dang Chili Paste
BFF is a vegetarian and uses Sambal Oelek (chili-garlic paste) among other ingredients, but I have this bottle sitting in my fridge that I use in cooking Burmese food. 
The Ingredients
Ta-Dang chili paste has an interesting list of ingredients that goes something like this: dried red chilies 25%, shallots 20%, garlic 14%, tamarind juice 14%, sugar 1%, salt 7%, dried shrimp 5%, anchovy fish sauce 4%, MSG 1 % - no artificial color or preservatives. This worked perfectly, along with deep-fried onions and garlic, which have been mixed together in a microwave-safe dish.

Mix Tofu with Chili Paste Gently by Hand
To preserve the integrity of the tofu, everything was mixed together gently by hand. That's one reason I decided to do this in the microwave because tofu is so delicate and it was one way to leave the cubes whole and unbroken.

After Microwaving for 1 Minute
The tofu was cooked on high power in the microwave for one minute and then taken out and stirred with a fork.

Microwave for 2 Minutes More
After microwaving for 2 minutes more, it was ready to eat! This will taste great with steamed rice, but tastes just as great eaten on its own.

1 block of extra-firm tofu, cubed
2 tsp. Ta-Dang chili paste
2 Tbsp. deep-fried onions
2 Tbsp. deep-fried garlic
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

  1. Mix all ingredients gently by hand in a microwavable dish.
  2. Microwave on high power for one minute, remove from oven & stir with a fork.
  3. Return to microwave oven for 2 more minutes and it's done!
Serve on its own as an appetizer or with steamed rice.

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