Many Chinese households will have a similar variation to this steamed tofu dish. My parents normally add clear vermicelli to this dish.
This dish makes an easy weeknight dinner as the ingredients can be prepared in advance and it takes just 8 minutes to steam. The black fungus (aka wood ear) mixed in with the minced pork gives a nice texture to the meat. Don’t be grossed out, black fungus is a common ingredient in Chinese cooking. If you ever had Chinese hot and sour soup, you have likely eaten it.
My mom told me black fungus has many health benefits including the ability to lower cholesterol and help with circulation. This is a simple and tasty dish that’s good for you. Let’s eat to that!
This dish is best served with steamed rice or soba noodles.
- ½ pound of pork sirloin-pounded and minced
- 3 Black fungus/wood ears (dried) reconstituted in water. Rough chop.
- ¼ tsp of Chinese 5 spice
- 4 firm tofu
- Half a green onion-cut on a bias for garnishing
- 2 slices of ginger
- Drizzle of soy sauce
- Small drizzle of sesame seed oil
- Pinch of Salt
- Pinch of white pepper
- Cut the ginger and green onion and set aside.
- Prepare the black fungus. Reconstitute a package of the dried black fungus in a bowl of water. When it is soft (at least 30 minutes), blanch the black fungus in a pot of water and add 2 slices of ginger. Drain the water and let the fungus dry in a colander. You will only need 3 for this recipe. Put the remaining fungus in a snack size zip lock bag and freeze them. Roughly chop the black fungus and set aside.
- Take the tofu out of the container and place onto a steaming dish. Pat the tofu with a paper towel to get rid of access liquid.
- For the meat, use a food processor, or on a chopping board, keep pounding and chopping at the meat to get a paste. I used the chopping board.
- In a bowl, add the meat, Chinese 5 spice, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Add the chopped black fungus to the meat. Using your hands, create a rough ball.
- Add the ball to the top of each tofu and press down. I added a few onions to the top of each one. Save the remainder for garnishing.
- Turn your heat on high and place the dish in the steamer. After 1 minute, turn the heat to medium-high and steam the dish for about 7 more minutes (8 minutes in total) with the lid closed.
- Remove the dish from the steamer and drain access liquid that came from the tofu, since you don’t want the sauce to taste diluted.
- Drizzle the meat with soy sauce and sesame oil. Garnish with the remaining green onions.
Preparing the tofu and pork for steaming