CHAR SUI TOFU CUPS
For golden, crisp tofu, it’s vital to drain it well to remove any excess water, which would also dilute the intensity of the marinade. Instead of the spring onion/scallion, sesame and chilli topping, you could also serve the tofu topped with Easy Kimchi (Part Time Vegetarian page 165), or with noodles and stir-fried greens for a more substantial meal. Alternatively, if serving as a starter or party food, why not fill some of the lettuce parcels with the char sui duck variation.
Preparation time 20 minutes, plus marinating
Cooking time 25 minutes
6 tbsp char sui or hoisin sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2.5cm/1in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
400g/14oz block of tofu, drained well on paper towels, then cut into 1cm/½in cubes
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 small Little Gem/Bibb lettuces, leaves separated (you need about 20 leaves)
2 spring onions/scallions, finely sliced diagonally
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Mix together the char sui sauce, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger in a large, shallow dish. Add the tofu and gently turn to coat it in the marinade, then leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Heat the sunflower oil on a large baking sheet and, when hot, add the tofu in a single layer. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once, until golden and slightly crisp. Meanwhile, warm any leftover marinade with a splash of water in a small pan.
Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large serving platter and divide the tofu among them, placing it inside the ‘cups’. Spoon a little of the warm marinade over each one and scatter with the spring onions/scallions, sesame seeds and chilli.
»Char Sui Duck
Although char sui pork fillet is perhaps more usual, the marinade also works with duck. Score the skin of 2 large duck breasts and add to the marinade. Leave to marinate for 1 hour, occasionally spooning the marinade over the duck. Place the duck, skin-side down, in a cold, dry, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat for 7 minutes until golden, then turn over and brown for 1 minute. Regularly pour off any fat that accumulates in the pan.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°C/Gas 7, spoon more of the marinade over the duck and place, skin-side up, on a rack over a roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes, or until the duck is cooked to your liking, then leave to rest for 5 minutes. Cut diagonally into slices and serve as instructed above in place of the tofu.