SEAFOOD LUTE BEAN CURD

From the Feature: 

Chef Chan ah Kin
The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen

Seafood lute bean curd
Chef Chan, using soft tofu, showcases its remarkable dairy-like properties, by using it as the binding agent in an Asian equivalent of French quenelles — poached seafood custards — which are then finished in the frying pan. The ocean flavors of fresh scallops and prawns are balanced with the sweetness of corn and the bright green acidity of celery.
Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 10.5 ounces (300 grams) soft tofu
  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams) fresh scallops
  • 1.5 ounces (50 grams) fresh prawns
  • 1.5 ounces (50 grams) fresh corn kernels
  • 0.5 ounces (10 grams) celery
  • salt and pepper
  • chicken powder
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • vegetable oil
  • chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Cooking Instructions
Place the bean curd in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside. Finely chop the scallops, prawns and celery. Place in a bowl. Add the corn kernels, reserved tofu, salt, pepper, chicken powder, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, sugar and sesame oil and mix well. To form the mixture into a lute shape, dip Chinese spoons into vegetable oil. Fill the spoon with the tofu mixture. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. Place spoons in a bamboo steamer over high heat and steam until mixture is firm, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from steamer and carefully remove mixture from spoon. Heat some vegetable oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Lightly dust the “lutes” with cornstarch, add to the pan and cook until lightly browned on one side, then flip and cook until second side is lightly browned. Meanwhile, reduce chicken stock over medium high heat. Season with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil. After a few minutes, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to 1 tablespoon water and stir into chicken stock. Simmer until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. To serve, place the tofu on a plate and dress lightly with the sauce.