Let’s go Chinese and enjoy simple but tasteful dishes that can be prepared with minimum of fuss and devoured with maximum of enjoyment
Today it shall be the 5 Spice Tofu & Bean Sprouts Rice.
The Chinese 5 Spice is made from star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, fennel, cinnamon and cloves. It is a dish that gets its flavor from this 5 spice masala and with Tofu, Bean sprouts and spring onions, it is delectable fare for a sumptuous meal.
Let’s get down to the business of preparation.
This is what we need:
Chinese masala – 5 spice powder
Firm Tofu ( bean curd / soy paneer) – ½ cup
Bean sprouts – ½ cup
Cooked Chinese rice – 3 cups
Oil – 2 tbsp
Sliced spring onion whites – ½ cup
Salt – to taste
Finely chopped spring onion greens – 2 tbsp for the garnish
How it is done:
- Heat the oil in a broad non-stick pan. Add the spring onions. Saute on high flame for a minute.
- Add the bean sprouts and the 5 spice powder, mix and sauté on high flame for a minute.
- Add the rice, salt and a little sugar, mix well, sauté for 1 minute again on high flame. Stir now and then so that the rice does not stick at the bottom of the vessel.
- Now add the tofu, mix it gently and while stirring keep it on high flame for a minute.
- Garnish with spring onion greens. Serve hot.
But the actual time would be much more considering that the rice is to be cooked beforehand and the 5 spice powder is kept ready in advance.
Let us briefly look into that also.
Chinese 5 spice powder
schezuan peppercorns (triphal) – 4 tsp
star anise (chakri phool) – 16 whole ones
cloves (laung/ lavang) – 12
cinnamon sticks (dalchini) – 10 Nos.
fennel seeds – (saunf) – 2 tbsp
- In a dry pan, roast the schezuan peppercorns till you get the aroma. keep aside.
- In another pan put together the rest of the ingredients. Roast on low flame for about three minutes. Aroma should be released by then.
- Take all five ingredients together. grind them.
- Sieve them using a fine sieve for the purpose.
- Take the coarse granules left behind on the sieve and grind again.
- Repeat till very little or none of the granules are left behind.
- Store in air-tight bottle.
let us see how the Chinese prepare their rice.
Basmati Rice (long grained rice) – 1 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
- Wash the rice thoroughly. Soak in three cups of water for half an hour. Drain away the water and keep aside.
- Take 6 to 8 cups of water in a vessel. Add salt and 1 tbsp oil to it. Boil.
- When it reaches boiling temperature, add the rice.
- Cook the rice till it is 85 % cooked.
- Put this in a colander. The water will drain out. Pour some cold water on it to prevent further cooking.
- When all the water has drained out and it is fairly dry, add the remaining tbsp oil in a pan and put the rice in it.
- Spread the cooked rice on a flat surface till it cools.
- Your rice is ready to be served.
Enjoy to your heart’s content and let others who join, sing your praises.
Courtesy – www.tarladalal.com