Recently, I’ve been thinking of ways to cook tofu. I’m not exactly a fan of tofu in its purest form – soft and silky with not much of a texture at all. Don’t get me wrong. I do eat steamed tofu or tofu in soup, and absolutely enjoy my agedashi tofu, but if given a choice, I’d much rather eat stuff with contrasting textures than say, chawanmushi.
Hotplate tofu is my must-order dish when I eat at Zi Char stalls. “Zi Char” is a dialect term which literally means “Cook” (zi) and “Fry” (char). Dishes are almost always eaten with rice and often prepared on high heat in a Chinese wok. My favourite hotplate tofu is from a zi char stall at Blk 279 Bukit Batok East Ave 3. The signboard reads “Mei Chin Seafood” (maybe from eons ago) but the packaging and receipt all read “大食家”。The dish is just a little spicy, with onions, shallots, a bit of chilli bean paste, tofu, prawns, minced meat, vegetables and beaten egg served in a hot plate.