Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐) 34
Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

INTRODUCTION

As per Wikipedia,

“The pipa (Chinese: 琵琶; pinyin: pípa, [pʰǐpʰǎ]) is a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, belonging to the plucked category of instruments. Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26. Another Chinese four-string plucked lute is the liuqin, which looks like a smaller version of the pipa. The pipa is one of the most popular Chinese instruments and has been played for almost two thousand years in China. Several related instruments in East and Southeast Asia are derived from the pipa; these include the Japanese biwa, the Vietnamese đàn tỳ bà, and the Korean bipa. The Korean instrument is the only one of the three that is no longer widely used; examples survive in museums, but recent attempts to revive the Korean instrument have been partially successful in recent years. “(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipa)

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

Therefore, pipa tofu is a Chinese tofu dish that shape like the Chinese traditional string instruments , pipa.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

I actually do not have much to share with all except the recipe. This is a rather common dish that can be found in most Chinese restaurants. Apparently, it seems that the dish has gradually been forgotten as these are becoming less common nowadays.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

The main ingredient of the dish is actually tofu. Minced pork and prawns are added to enhance the taste. Other side ingredients seems to have lots of variations. Some has used dried scallops, dried shrimps and also ham.. But some totally omitted these ingredients. After digesting many recipes, my humble conclusion is beside the above 3 main ingredients that are compulsory, you can add in side ingredients of the choice to enhance the taste . As long as you shape in an oval shape like a Chinese soup spoon, it can be called as pipa tofu.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

There are two methods of preparation, one method is to deep fry the batter directly. However, what I am sharing is shallow pan frying the minced tofu until the exterior is crispy but soft in the centre. Though a bit more work that the deep frying method, it is not a bad choice from the health perspective as there is much less oil being absorbed in the tofu patties.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

Personally, I would think that this is a presentable tofu dish when you are entertaining guests or other bigger occasions such as Chinese New Year reunion dinner. The tofu can be prepared in advance and what the house chef required is to fry the patties before serving.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 15-20 pipa tofu depend of size of Chinese soup spoons (duck spoons)

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

For Tofu Patties

  • 250 grams of firm tofu
  • 100 grams of minced pork
  • 100 grams of prawns, shelled
  • 3 shitake mushroom, soaked
  • 1 sprig of spring onion or coriander, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of shredded carrot
  • 1 tablespoon of corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of white sugar
  • Pinches of salt
  • Dashes of white pepper

For pan frying

  • 2 tablespoons of rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons of corn flour
  • 1 egg

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

For garnishing and sauce

  • Vegetable of your choice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of scallop sauce or any other sauces prefer (oyster sauce or hoisin sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons of plain water
  • 1 teaspoon of corn flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white sugar

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)


STEPS OF PREPARATION

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

  • Put all the patty ingredients in a food processor and blend until fine. If the batter are too watery, you can put additional corn flour until it becomes a sticky pliable dough. The order of putting in the food processor will depend on your ingredients. If your mushrooms are hard in texture, you may want to to pause blend a few times before adding other ingredients. If you do not have a food processor, it is very easy just to mince all the ingredients in a chopping board.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

  • Lightly grease the duck spoons that you will be using. Put some batter on top of the spoon, press firm and follow the shape of the spoon. Steam the batter over high heat for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, take out the patties and let it cool before proceeding to the next step. If you do not have adequate duck spoons, you will have to steam a few times.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

  • Crack the egg and lightly beat the egg. In another bowl, put the corn flour and rice flour together. Take one cooked tofu patties, coat it with the beaten eggs and roll it in the other bowl for flour coating. Shallow pan fry the coated tofu patties under medium heat until the patties are golden brown.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

  • Blanch the vegetables with a few drops of oil. Drain and set aside.
  • Put all the gravy ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Once done, transfer the gravy ingredients to a pan and stir fry until the gravy thickens.
  • Put the pipa tofu in your desired plate, garnish with the blanch vegetable and pour the sauce on top the tofu. Best served hot as a dish in a typical Chinese dinner.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)


CONCLUSION

Preparation of this dish is not very difficult and you can prepare earlier if you are entertaining your guests. For this recipe, I believed that you can also use air fryer to do the job.

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

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Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)


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Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

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Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

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Chinese Fried Tofu Shrimp Balls–Pipa Tofu (琵琶豆腐)

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