Friday, 30 May 2008

Beautiful Bones: Family-style Bean Curd

I am massively supporting Susan's (of Food Blogga) blogging event called "Beautiful Bones" to highlight osteoporosis. This is one event that I really feel close to my heart. I do feel strongly mainly because my mother's side of the family have been blighted by osteoporosis and other bone diseases. And if me and my siblings are not careful we would be victims as well later on.

My dear old grandma, Lola Ebia, is in her 95th year. Her spine is bent forward making it difficult for her to move around. Worse off was her late older sister, Lola Ine, who was not only bent almost 90 degrees from the waist up but whose spine was shaped like a big letter S on her back. It did not seem give her that much health problems (or maybe I just didn't hear much about it) but it did present a great difficulty for her physically moving about. Me and my cousins were joking then at what shape her coffin would be when she died.

It did not end in my grandma's generation. My mother and her siblings are now beginning to feel various forms of bone diseases. And it's not confined to the women even our uncle who is very fit and follows a healthy lifestyle succumbed to some problems with his hipbone and had to be operated on when he was only 65. So me and my cousins better beware and heed the signs to take better care of ourselves or we will suffer in later years.

As what Susan mentioned in her blog, there are lots of food sources of calcium ranging from the usual dairy products to vegetables to nuts and lots of others. Bear in mind to temper the consumption of these with fibre since too much fibre restricts the absorbtion of calcium by the body. To strike a balance between consumption of calcium and fibre-rich food would be the optimum goal. As usual moderation is the key.

I have chosen to cook this dish rather than the usual dairy product sources since the soya bean in the bean curd and the green bokchoy are rich in calcium and would do well in balancing our intake of healthier food. Sorry for the limp overcooked bokchoy. Distractions while cooking can be hazardous to the final cooked products.


Family-style Bean Curd

1 pkg bean curd (4 squares)
2 green onions - sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
6 slices ginger root
5 pieces dried Chinese black mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced bamboo shoots
3 pieces bok choy - cut into quarters lengthwise
1/2 tsp hot chilli paste
1 cup stock
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water
oil for frying
  1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for about 20 minutes or until soft. Squeeze out water then slice into 1/2-inch pieces lengthwise.
  2. Combine stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar in a container. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  3. Mix cornstarch and water in another bowl, stir and set aside.
  4. Cut the bean curd into thin triangles. Deep fry or pan fry until golden brown. Set aside.
  5. Heat a wok and add 2 Tbsp oil. Stir fry the green onion and ginger until aromatic.
  6. Add the Chinese mushrooms, chilli paste and bamboo shoots, stir to mix.
  7. Then add the bok choy and stir fry in high heat for a few seconds.
  8. Add the oyster sauce mixture and fried bean curd.
  9. Bring to boil and cook for 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to half.
  10. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to boil to thicken.
  11. Dish up and serve immediately.

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