Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recipe: Tofu Hekka

This is my vegan take on a Hawaiian island favorite, known as Chicken Hekka. “Hekka” is a sukiyaki-type dish, made originally by the Okinawans. When brought from Japan to multi-cultural Hawai’i, the Chinese bean threads (or more commonly known as “long rice” in the islands) were added to the dish.
Traditionally, the mushrooms used are Shiitake mushrooms, but my dad always found them to be a bit too slimy for his liking, so we used regular mushrooms. The original sauce ingredients also include a bit of Sake (rice wine), but because I abstain from alcohol, I chose to omit this ingredient.
Other variations I’ve made are the way the celery is cut (most recipes call for julienned celery, but I prefer the diagonal cut). My children also really love baby corn, so I’ve added this to the recipe as well.
In Hawai’i, the watercress can be purchased in one large bunch. However, on the East Coast I have only found them in small bunches, so I use two. The watercress on the East Coast looks slightly different than the variety found in Hawai’i, but I have found it to have the same delicious flavor.
Tofu Hekka

1 block firm of extra-firm tofu, cut into smaller blocks
1 pkg. Saifun bean threads
1 onion, cut into half-moon slices
½ c. carrots, julienned
4 stalks celery, cut diagonal
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, chopped
1 8 oz. can bamboo shoots
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 bunches of watercress
1 15 oz. can baby corn (optional)
Sauce Ingredients:
½ c. sugar
¾ c. soy sauce (I prefer Kikkoman)
¾ c. vegetable broth

Combine ingredients for sauce in medium sized bowl. Add tofu to the sauce to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
Soak bean threads in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain and cut into 3-inch lengths.
Heat oil in large wok and cook onion until translucent.
Add carrot and celery and fry for 2 minutes.
Add garlic and ginger.
Add sauce (but not the tofu), bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and baby corn.
Add bean threads and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add watercress and cook for 5 minutes.
Add tofu and cook until tofu is heated through.

Nutrition Information
Serving Size: About 1.5 cups; Servings per recipe: Approx. 8
Calories: 304; Total Fat: 1.9g; Sat. Fat: 0g; Cholest.: 0mg;
Sodium: 1713.4mg; Carb.: 62.2g; Fiber: 6g; Sugars: 15.4g; Protein: 10.7g

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