Sizzling fried Japanese tofu is one of the many typical dishes found in Chinese restaurants in Singapore and Malaysia. These silky egg tofu with small chunks of minced meat are simmered in a thick savoury sauce and served on a sizzling hot plate.
Japanese tofu is delicious especially when it is served sizzling on a hot plate along with an extremely delicious saucy meat gravy. That's not all. The surprise is right at the bottom of the hot plate - the mildly crusty omelette. I have always enjoyed digging all the way right to the bottom of the dish just to scoop the omelette together with the tofu and gravy. Eaten with white rice, this dish is truly amazing.
It is one of those dishes that could be easily whipped up during the weekdays. A little bit of minced meat goes a long way. This dish is usually what I go for as I always have some minced meat stacked in my freezer. However, what if there's no Japanese tofu available? Can it be turned into a vegetarian version? As usual, I'd love to answer all these questions below.
What if I can't find Japanese tofu?
Egg tofu or sometimes called Japanese tofu are silky and has a pleasant eggy flavour. When fried, they create a thin crispy layer similar to the sides of a fried egg. That's why it's different when compared to other types of tofu. If you aren't able to buy them at the Asian grocer or supermarkets (in Asia), tofu of medium firmness will be a good substitute. However, silken tofu will be too soft and is not suitable for this recipe.
Cooking without a hot plate
Cast iron hot plates is the way to go when cooking this recipe. Due to its ability to contain heat very well, cast iron plates maintain the high temperature even up to serving. This creates the sizzling effect that many love. If you do not have the cast iron hot plate, a non-stick pan will do the trick. The sizzling effect will however be missing.
Vegan sizzling tofu
To make this a vegan dish, substitute minced meat with minced firm tofu as how I've suggested in the pad kra pao recipe. Another option would be minced mushrooms. They would work just fine. As for oyster sauce, replace it with mushroom sauce. You'll not be able to substitute the egg. So, simply omit it from the recipe.
There you go, a fabulous dish that is simply delicious for you and your family.