Silken Tofu – 2 containers (14 ounces each)
Blue Crabs – 12 female crabs with crab roe (5 ounces crab meat, 3 ounces crab roe)
Ginger – 3 tablespoons
Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons
Garlic – 2 cloves
Rice wine vinegar – 2 tablespoons
Sesame Oil – 2 tablespoons
Salt – to taste
Potato Starch – 1 tablespoon
Water – 1 cup
Tofu (Doufu in Chinese Pinyin) – China’s multi-thousand year history and progressive imperial dynasties parallel the enrichment and evolution of the Chinese cuisine. The traditions of lavish imperial banquets, masterful culinary techniques and artistry continue to exist in the modern Chinese culinary styles. The discovery of tofu dates back to the ancient China and extends across many Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. Tofu, also called Bean Curd, is a nourishing product created by pressing soybeans to extract soy milk, coagulating soy milk into curds and forming white textured blocks of tofu. The tofu’s mild flavor, high protein content and diverse textures, make Tofu a healthy substitution for meat and dairy. The root herb of Ginger reflects a staple of Chinese cuisine delivering aromatic and pungent flavors. The Chinese Mitten Crabs, fresh water crabs from Yangcheng Lake, serve as high priced delicacy during autumn’s crab migration season. The freshly caught female hairy crabs are praised for their silky crab texture, delicate flavors and bright orange crab roe. The Xiefen Doufu recipe introduces a Shanghainese specialty of silken tofu cooked in a creamy sauce made with crab meat, crab roe and fresh ginger. The delicate textures, distinct ginger flavor and carb roe create a culinary bliss. Nearby Shanghai’s Nanjing Road East and People’s Square, Xiang Qiang Fang Restaurant memorizes Shanghai’s colonial era with vaulted ceilings, extravagant Shanghainese cuisine and traditional Chinese Opera performances from Thursday to Saturday.
Note: Chinese Mitten Crab is not available in the USA. Prepared recipe substitutes the Chinese Mitten Crab with seasonal Maryland’s Blue Crabs and extra order of crab roe to ensure a balanced texture, color and flavor.
Step 1 – Clean and steam the crabs. Separate the crab roe and crab meat, and set aside.
Step 2 – Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Mince garlic and ginger.
Step 3 – Preheat the wok, add olive oil, ginger and garlic, and lightly sauté until fragrant. Add the crab meat and crab roe, and sauté for few minutes.
Step 4 – Add cubed tofu, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, water and let it simmer for five minutes. Add starch mixed with little water to thicken the sauce and salt to taste. Plate the dish and serve.
Step 5 – Taste the perfect balance of tofu, crab and ginger!