Do you ever wonder what to do with leftover pickle juice? I’ve used it in potato salad and coleslaw, as a brine for chicken thighs, as seasoning in a vegetarian casserole, and in chicken salad. But the brine leftover from the pickled red onions I made a few weeks back was unique, and I wanted to use it in a bit of a different way. I thought about it for awhile, because it contained strong flavors that wouldn’t work with just anything.
And then I remembered the silken tofu in aromatic broth I made awhile back. I remembered how the clean flavors of the tofu amplified those of the broth without competing with any other element in the dish. And I thought – perfect! By pairing the punchy flavors of coriander, pepper, mustard seed, black pepper, bay leaf, crushed red pepper flakes and garlic with the relatively blank canvas of silken tofu, I would ensure that the dish wasn’t too fatiguing on the palate. The plan paid off, and this dish was an extremely flavorful, healthy, and delicious entrée. It’s also quite pretty, as the red of the radishes and pinkish hue of the broth and onions contrasts nicely with the white tofu and mushrooms. Substitute the homemade chicken stock for homemade vegetable stock if you want a vegetarian dish.
Steamed Silken Tofu and Soft Boiled Egg in Mustard Seed and Coriander Broth
Adapted from TheAge.com, Elizabeth Chong
1 lb. package silken tofu, drained
3/4 lb. enoki mushrooms, cleaned (any mushroom would do)
1/4 cup pickled red onions
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup brine from pickled red onions
1 cup homemade chicken stock
A few turns of freshly cracked black pepper
Bring brine and chicken stock to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Cut tofu into 2 even-sized squares. Transfer each piece to a bowl for steaming. Place an even amount of mushrooms on the bottom of each dish. Pour about 1/2 cup of simmering brine/broth combination over each piece of tofu. Top each piece of tofu with some radishes and a few red onions.
Add about 1/2″ – 1″ of water to a vessel large enough to fit the dishes and appropriate for steaming, such as a wok, stock pot, or sauce pan, and bring to a boil.
Add the bowls to the pot directly into the water and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam about 13-15 minutes until heated through.
Season each piece of tofu with a turn or two of freshly cracked black pepper.