Recipe: Kani Tofu with Century Egg Choya Sauce

Call it affinity or something, but when I encounter instances of the same dish twice and walk away thinking what goes into it, I definitely must have a go at recreating the experience. First it was at Sushi Tei, then subsequently it was at Fukuichi Japanese Restaurant, and although both restaurants serve up their portions of Century Egg Crab Tofu slightly differently, I was quite satisfied by the myriad of unique flavours erupting from the simple fusion.

A remarkably easy enough dish to whip up at home and served in petite portions. Want to know the recipe? Read on!



I dropped by Sheng Siong to purchase some live crabs, as both creations used crab meat in their dishes. Although I really think that crab meat is more of a luxurious ingredient rather than a necessity as the strongest notes come from the earthy century eggs and the clear tofu. Still, these are Mud Crabs, alive, kicking and placed in a fashion almost like in battle.

A few days ago, I came across this nifty all in one mini electrical cookers from SOTA Innovation at Sun Plaza’s food roadshow. You can just swap the bases to fry/grill/make soups or add on steamer racks for a spread of multi purpose cooking. The product really comes out tops just because of its small size, and something that is good for small cooking. I managed to cook rice without any scraps to the bottom within 10 minutes. Nice =D Purchased at $80 with a free steamer rack, grilling pan and tea strainer.



First Rack – The crabs all steamed up!

Second Rack – Japanese Sweet Potato and Yam

Corn Soup with Longan

Ah but the main focus here is not the cooking contraption. Rather it is the Century Egg Tofu. Based on some hints from Chef John Phua from Fukuichi, some sake and mirin were used with the century eggs to create that tasty looking sauce. As I didn’t have either sake or mirin at home, I substituted it with some Choya and later on some sugar.

For the tofu, I used Fortune’s Silken Tofu. I am perhaps most used to this brand for a long time as it is really smooth with a clear crisp taste without any rough textures on the inside.

Perhaps the most challenging part is extracting the crab meat from the shells. For two whole mud crabs of medium size, about 3 heapfuls of crab meat could be used.

Cocktail Kani Tofu with Century Egg Choya Sauce

I tried two ways to create the dish. The first is the open display (Seen from the picture at the beginning of this article), the other is the Cocktail style where layers of ingredients were stacked on each other. Personally, I prefer the cocktail version as the varied textures showed more clearly while contrasting between themselves in flavours. The result? A slightly sweet uniquely flavoured tofu cocktail that breaks into savoury meatiness and then a smooth flavour of the earth. Hmmm, perhaps the next time I could buy some Tobiko or Caviar to provide that sea saltiness to cut through the flavours, refreshing the palate. Perhaps next time.

Kani Tofu with Century Egg Choya Sauce

Serves 6-8

  • 2 century eggs, eggs separated from yolk
  • 2 mud crabs, steamed, extract the meat. / 150grams of canned crab meat.
  • 2x 300g silken tofu
  • 5 tablespoons of choya
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, varied to taste.
  • 100ml warm water
  • 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sauce

  1. Blend 2 century egg yolks, 1.5 century egg ‘whites’, choya, sugar, oil and water till smooth.
  2. Set aside to cool.

Traditional Plating

  1. Dice the remaining century egg ‘whites’ into small pieces.
  2. Cut Silken Tofu into 4 blocks each. Set on individual platters.
  3. Take 2 tablespoons of the century egg sauce and ladle them gently onto the tofu.
  4. Top the tofu with 2-3 teaspoons full of crab meat.
  5. Garnish the crab meat with the pieces of century egg ‘whites’.

Cocktail Layering

  1. Dice the remaining century egg ‘whites’ into small pieces.
  2. Take 2-3 tablespoons of tofu, placing it in a clear glass cup.
  3. Ladle 1 tablespoon of sauce onto the tofu.
  4. Take another 2-3 tablespoons of tofu, carefully layering it on the top of the sauce.
  5. Layer another tablespoon of sauce.
  6. Top with 2-3 teaspoons of crab meat.
  7. Garnish with pieces of century egg ‘whites’