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Chef White Lily prepares Tofu with Pork, a balanced summer dish
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Chef Live with Chef White Lily
Tofu with Pork
Hello, White Lily. I’m your chef today. I cook health food, healing food for the good health. So, every food, every item that I cook here, I either add herbs in it or I use the material correctly and put a good combination together that is good for your health.
Today, we’re going to cook a dish and use tofu. Just about everybody in this country or on this earth heard about that tofu is good. Tofu is made out of soy beans and soy bean is a wonderful product. They grow a lot in this country, the United States. They grow more here and they grow in China. China imports the soy beans from the United States. It’s a good one. I read that and I go “What???”
But we have this technique from thousands of years ago to make this tofu and the other tofu products. Now, I hear people telling me that tofu doesn’t taste good. Well, if you just open the package and just eat it by itself, of course it doesn’t taste good. Soy beans, imagine it just plain, no taste. So, tofu has a flavor entirely up to other guys that help. If you just eat tofu alone unless they’re—sometimes, they make bean curd and lots of other tofu product. Chinese are all vegetarians. They don’t eat any meat and they only eat the tofu. Tofu, they make them into different flavors. You don’t believe it? But I’m not going to go there because I am adding some meat to it to make it taste better.
So, I’m going to open this package just to show you. Tofu comes in different packages. This is a very nice and tender kind of tofu. They have different forms. Some are very tender. Some are harder. And this is ground pork, a very nice ground pork. I handpicked it and had to put your ground meat for me. So, this is very nice. I’m going to add some flavor to it.
With ground pork, be very careful. When you buy ground meat in the store, always be very careful. Make sure you know what’s in there. Sometimes, they throw all kinds of meat in there. I like to pick my meat this way. So what I do is I add some green onions to it, cut it real fine. Now, I cook it—you know, throw it in the frying pan or pot or wok. Especially with the ground pork, I like to do it this way. This way the flavor really gets in it.
This is ginger. I always do this to show people to do ginger properly, peel the skin. Because the skin, even though you can easily peel it, but it’s very, very tight sealed. It seals the ginger flavor. It doesn’t get out so make sure you peel the skin. And then you cut it. This little instrument saves a lot of work. So, you just grind it real fine. Ginger has a very strong flavor. Ginger is very good. It brings some heat to the body. It’s very good for coughing. It has a good, young flavor. With the green onion, the white part as young. It has two things. Now, I flavor this before I cook it. Add a little bit of cooking wine, sugar, a little bit of sugar. People you will ask me, “Why do you have to add sugar in it?” These two things are very, very important. They are the key things to take the raw meat flavor, the not very friendly smell out.
And then, we put some corn starch. This would make the meat taste very tender. Add a little bit of soy sauce. Actually, my favorite way of doing this is to use my hand, pat it and squeeze, and make the flavor go into the material.
Right there, some of you know me. There’s another thing I do is I teach Qi Gung. Qi Gung is energy work. So if you see me doing this, I’m also putting some Qi in that, that’s why my food tastes just a little bit different. But I’m showing you this. We all have it. Everybody and every living creature has qi. So, learn how to use this. And again, that’s another important thing.
Now, I’m going to cook it. I cook the meat first and then we’ll add tofu in and gochi crunchy berry or some of these. Before I start cooking, I need to show you this. This looks familiar. I know, it’s a little bit different. It’s celery. Yeah, this is celery. We call it water celery. They grow in the wet land rather than dry. So, we call that water celery. Let’s put this on the side first and get rid of the—Celery is a wonderful ingredient. Now, many of you may know that it’s good for high blood pressure. It lowers the blood pressure. It goes into the liver and keeps the ingredients and does lots of wonderful things to the body. One thing is it’s good for high blood pressure.
Now, I’m ready to cook. Put the heat on high and a little bit of cooking oil, don’t put too much oil. When I was growing up, my mother would always say, “Lots of oil will never ruin the dish.” which is not true. And then later on as I grew up, I’m thinking why do they say that? And you know, it’s not just my mother, but the older generation in China say that. I don’t know, maybe they say it here too. That’s why when you watch a chef cook, they load it with the oil and the butter. It’s the same reason. It will never ruin your dish but I don’t like it too much. It’s too greasy.
I just use a little bit of oil so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and you don’t want to burn them. And then, I’m going to add the meat in this. Now, when you cook this, you kind of have to let the meat separate. It’s really up to each individual’s preference. You don’t have to add too much meat in it. A little bit of meat is fine and a little bit of water to it so you won’t burn it.
As I cook, sometimes I smell the thing and I add a little bit as I need them. Of course, this is why I’m showing this to you so when you go home, cook it and trust your own nose, your eyes. They all bring wonderful sense to your dish. Pay attention to your dish. You can do it. Everybody can do it. This is not a fancy process. These are meat and we pour a little bit of soy sauce to it. This gives it some color. Watch the heat. The heat makes it wonderful to help the meat change and of course through the process, you’ll learn how to adjust heat.
Now, I’m going to put the tofu in there, and this tofu as I said, it’s a very soft piece. It looks good. This is what I do, I use this big knife. Of course, you don’t have to use a big knife. You can use this little knife as well. So, you cut it in the middle and then you cut it this way. Don’t be afraid. You can use a little knife just like this or you can use a big knife. I’ll drop in the tofu right in, whatever you want to add in.
Now, I need more water. Be very careful because this tofu breaks very easy, so don’t be too violent with it. Don’t break it. So we have a nice shape to the end. You don’t go in the middle and start chopping. So you push it from the side. That’s another art, how you move it, just like how you use your paint brush or how you use your different instrument to make things work the way you like it.
That’s pretty much it. But before I take it out, I want to use a little bit of these celery leaves because they’re beautiful like a flower, and I want to add in it just before I take it out. So it makes it a beautiful and of course, it’s edible. I don’t put plastic in it. I don’t put non-edible things in it. It just depends. Some chef or with some people are cooking, they use different things to make it pretty. In the restaurant, you pick up and there’s a plastic flower in your plate. What does that have to do with my food? No offense, but this is just the way I do things. It gives it a more warm feeling. It feels good.
Last thing that I do—Look, this is clear water, so what I do here now is I use a little bit of corn starch to make a thick corn starch water and then to make that juicy in there, it becomes very thick. Don’t put too much in it because it will get too thick and then it feels like glue. So, it has to be a proper amount.
Now, this dish is a very nice and nutritious dish especially—Well, this is pretty much for four seasons, but it’s very good for this season as well because everything is in the middle. Celery is kind of towards the cooling but it’s not cold. Tofu is totally neutral. Pork is neutral. So everything is in the middle. It’s very well-balanced by itself. Sometimes, you cook a hot dish then, you need cool stuff to balance it and this one is done.
And then, we’re going to put it in this plate. And of course, I will add this on the top. Now, you say that this is not cooked. Can you eat it? Of course you can eat it. You can eat it in your salad so you can eat it here. Now, that is a nice dish.
There you have it. This is a tofu dish. And for people who don’t think that tofu can taste good, you’re going to be surprised. There you go. Thank you.