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today's special | Pipa Tofu Even those who claim to hate tofu have a tendency to like this dish, which features oval deep-fried tofu balls in a light soy sauce.  


1 block tofu
8-10 shrimp (about ¼ lb.)
3 stalks scallions
1 small carrot, washed and peeled
1 egg
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt

1 T. soy sauce
3/4 cup stock
1 tbsp. cornstarch paste
salt to taste

2 heads pay choy (or other bok choy-type vegetable)


45-60 minutes

1. Drain the tofu and mash it up in a bowl.
2. Wash and peel the shrimp, then throw it in a food processor. Chop it up until you’ve got a sort of pasty consistency. Add the shrimp to the tofu.
3. Chop 2 of the stalks of scallion and mince the carrot, then add both to the tofu and shrimp. Add egg, salt and cornstarch. Mix the contents of the bowl until well combined.
4. Wash the pak choy well. Chop off the bottoms of each head, then discard. Chop the remainder into 1" sections. Place in a steamer basket along with ½" of water, and cook on high in a covered pot for approx. 8-10 minutes (until tender).
5. Meanwhile, you’ll need about 1.5"-2" of oil in your wok. Turn the heat to high. When the oil is hot, use a spoon to scoop up about a tablespoon of tofu mixture at a time. Shape it into an ovaloid ball, then drop into the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the wok – you’ll probably only be able to cook 3-4 at a time. Turn them gently in the oil, deep-frying until golden all over (be careful, as the tofu is fairly delicate). Remove with a slotted spoon and let them drain on paper towels while you continue shaping and cooking the remainder of the mixture.
6. To make the sauce, heat 1-2 tsps. of oil in the cleaned wok (or in a saucepan) and stir-fry the remaining scallion until fragrant (a minute or two). Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Thicken with the cornstarch paste.
7. Arrange the cooked greens on a plate, with the tofu balls on top. Pour the sauce on top and serve.


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