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Categories: Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish, Quick and Easy

'Pile of Gold' tofu stuffed with shrimp

'Pile of Gold' tofu stuffed with shrimp
Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Two hours before the Chinese New Year party they were hosting last year, Leeann and Katie Chin stopped at a red light on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and were reviewing the menu for the evening. To begin with, firecracker shrimp, chicken ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Makes 16 pieces
Note: Use a deep enough pan or wok to deep-fry. Tofu contains a lot of water, and spattering can occur. We recommend frying 1 to 2 pieces at a time to maintain high heat. This dish is referred to as "Pile of Gold" and is often served for Chinese New Year banquets.

Tofu and shrimp

  • 2 (14-ounce) cartons firm tofu, drained
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 small egg white
  • Dash white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 cups oil
  • Gravy
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

Step 1Cut each block of tofu into 8 (1 1/2 x3/4-inch) squares. Scoop tofu from the center of each square so there's a hole in the middle, and reserve the scooped-out tofu. Set the tofu squares upside-down on a cloth to drain the excess water.

Step 2Place the water in a bowl and add 2 teaspoons of the salt; stir to dissolve. Place the shrimp in the salt water and swirl. Leave the shrimp in the salt water for 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water and drain. Pat dry on paper towels to remove the excess water. Using a sharp knife or food processor, mash the shrimp to a paste. Blend with the egg white, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch.

Step 3With a fork, mash half of the scooped-out tofu and add to the shrimp mixture. Put a little less than a teaspoon of the mixture in each square of tofu. Repeat until all the pieces are filled.

Step 4Heat the oil in a deep-sided pan (so the oil doesn't boil over from the excess moisture in the tofu) to 350 degrees. Add 1 piece of tofu at a time to prevent them from sticking together. Do not overcrowd the pan. Deep-fry 1 to 2 pieces at a time. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels when done. Pour the Gravy over the tofu and garnish with the green onion.


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Step 1Mix the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl.

Step 2Bring the chicken broth and oyster sauce to a boil in a small saucepan and add the cornstarch mixture. Stir until thickened, about 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

Each piece:
69 calories; 153 mg sodium; 8 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 2 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.20 gram fiber.
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