“Stuffed stuff”…

….is the fancy name I’ve given to a Chinese dish I make.  I think it describes the dish perfectly: stuff (eggplant, peppers and tofu) stuffed with other stuff (minced prawn and pork).

This is a dish I grew up eating, but I didn’t get the recipe from my mom.  Instead, I got it from my dear friend, who I believe learned it from her mom.  Ironically, this friend of mine is now a vegetarian, so I can never cook this for her to try.  :(  I will never know if I make it the way the recipe was intended.

I did make it for my grandparents once, when my parents were out of town and we went over for dinner.  My aunt and uncle happened to be there too and they all wouldn’t believe that I made it.  Well, David made the sauce.  He always makes it better than I do, so that’s his job.  Probably has something to do with his better palate.  But I digress.  Anyhoo, everyone thought we bought take-out.  I don’t know whether to take that as a compliment or as an insult.  Did they think that it was restaurant quality good or did they think I really didn’t know how to cook?  Whatever the case may be, they enjoyed it and that’s all that matters I suppose.

If you’ve never had this dish before, I think it’s worth a try.  I really like the prawn and pork stuffing.  I can eat it on its’ own.  When cooked it’s a bit crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  The peppers are crunchy and the eggplant is so soft it falls apart.  The best part is the deep-fried tofu that soaks up the oh so Chinese sauce made of oyster and hoisin sauce with a bit of chilli flakes.  It’s sweet, savoury and spicy all at the same time.

Aahh…memories of childhood….

Recipe

Stuffing

  • 1/4 lb prawn
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • few grindings of pepper
  1. Peel and wash prawn.  Rub with some salt and tiny bit of baking soda.  Leave for a few minutes and then rinse well with water.  Mince.
  2. In a bowl, add ground pork, cornstarch, sugar, salt, water, oil, pepper and minced prawn.  Mix well.
  3. Marinate in the fridge while preparing veggies and sauce or overnight.

*The prawn to pork ratio can be varied depending on your taste.  Extra stuffing can be stored in the freezer for use at a later date.  It can also be made into patties and pan-fried.

Veggies

  • 1 Chinese eggplant
  • 4-6 small peppers
  • 1 package of deep-fried tofu
  1. Cut eggplant into wedges with a center slit.
  2. Cut peppers in half or quarter depending on size.  Rub with a bit of salt and leave for up to 30 minutes.  Rinse with water.  This makes them crunchy.
  3. Cut a slit in each tofu piece.
  4. Use a small spoon to stuff the eggplant, peppers and tofu with the prawn and pork paste.  Be careful not to over-stuff and break the eggplant or tofu pieces in half.

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 5 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 package of beef bullion
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • chili flakes
  1. In a bowl, mix together sauce ingredients.
  2. Add chili flakes to taste.
  3. Adjust ingredients to taste if desired.
Putting it all together
  • minced garlic
  • julienned ginger
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cooking wine
  • green onions (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oil in a pan or wok on med-high heat.
  2. Place veggies and tofu meat side down on pan and cook until meat is golden in colour (takes couple of minutes).  For the peppers and tofu, remove from pan at this stage.  For the eggplant, cook on each side until a bit soft and then remove from pan.
  3. Add more oil to pan.
  4. Add garlic and ginger and cook a few minutes.
  5. Return stuffed peppers, eggplant and tofu to pan, with meat side up (or on the side in the case of the eggplants).
  6. Add a splash of cooking wine
 and water and cover immediately.
  7. When water is almost boiled away or when the veggies and meat looks 90% cooked, 
remove cover and add sauce.
  8. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add green onions.
  9. When sauce is thick and even (sugar melted), turn off heat, add cilantro.
  10. Serve with a bowl of rice.
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4 thoughts on ““Stuffed stuff”…

  1. omgosh..it looks so yummy!!!! and pretty…definately waaaaaaaay nicer than i’ve seen at restaurants :) hmm..if u really like the stuff paste, you can try flattening a little ball of it and then dipping it into a little egg and potato starch and pan frying…so good like that! it becomes a diff dish and is esp yummy with hot sweet & sour dipping sauce…

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