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Recipes Can Meet Dietary Needs: Beancurd

by Susan Braverman

Food as Herbs, Health, and Medicine

Summer Volume: 1995 Issue: 2(2) page(s): 21

The recipe chosen for modification in this issue is from Chinese Banquets by Esther Chan (Singapore: Liang Khoo Printing Co., Ltd., 1955, p.48). Using it, one needs to modify several ingredients and the cooking technique just to lower the fat content of this recipe. Depending on your needs, it can be modified further if you need or want to lower the sodium in your diet, as well.

The recipe calls for two cups of oil for deep frying. One can reduce the amount of fat absorbed when foods are deep fried if you use fresh oil and keep the temperature between 325 degrees F and 385 degrees F. Even taking these steps, about one-quarter of a cup of oil can be absorbed in this recipe. If the temperature is too low, more will be absorbed, if it is too high that can happen, too, also the food will not cook properly.
Fried Buddhist Beancurd
2 cups corn oil
2 large soft beancurd cakes (about one pound each)
1 medium green pepper (approx. 1 cup sliced)
1 small fresh carrot
1/2 ounce black mushrooms
4 Tablespoons lard
6 ounces chicken broth
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons cold water
1. Heat the oil to a temperature of at least 325 degrees F.
2. Cut the beancurd into slices about one inch long and one inch wide.
3. Fry the slices in the deep oil until brown.
4. Slice the green peppers and carrots into thin slices and cut the mushrooms in half.
5. In a frying pan, heat the lard and fry the vegetables for two minutes.
6. Add the chicken broth; then the bean curd.
7. Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce. Cover the pan and cook for about five minutes.
8. Mix cornstarch with the cold water and stir for one minute. Serve immediately.
Note #1: To meet other dietary needs and modify the recipe further, do the following:
1. Use a coated non-stick pan and do not deep fry the beancurd, pan fry it.
2. Reduce the amount of corn oil to two tablespoons and the amount of lard to one tablespoon.
3. Use a low sodium soy sauce in place of the regular soy sauce.
Note #2:To lower the sodium content even further, use a low sodium chicken broth and only one tablespoon of oyster sauce.

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