Although I have been living away from Sydney for over 3 years, I try to stay connected with what is happening in my home town. I feel like I have been away for so long and I have this fear that I will be left behind. The day that I do return to Sydney, I'm afraid I will no longer be in "the loop". Friends will talk about unfamiliar places making me feel like the new kid on the block. It is inevitable and I should just accept that I will be a temporary tourist, almost a stranger to the city I once called home. On the one hand I know Sydney so well, but on the other hand I am like a faraway foreigner to her. This is why I try to desperately stay in touch, to stay updated.
On that note, one bit of news I recently heard was that Billy Kwong had closed it's Crown Street doors after 14 years in this location. Any foodie in Sydney would know what an institution Billy Kwong is. On a highlight, Billy Kwong will be moving to a new location in Potts Point, which I look forward to hearing about and dining at in the near future.
Unless you have been living in complete isolation in Australia, you would also know who Kylie Kwong is. She not only owns Billy Kwong, she's quite a well known chef who specialises in contemporary Chinese food. Actually, a very well known chef in Australia who is also a restaurateur, author and television presenter.
Today I've been inspired to cook one of Kylie Kwong's dishes. I give you a comforting braised tofu with tomatoes, which I have adapted from the original recipe.
300g packet of firm tofu
150g cherry tomatoes
1 thai chilli finely diced (or more if you have a spicy palate)
2 tbsp peanut oil
5cm piece ginger finely sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp shao hsing wine
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 spring onions cut into 5cm lengths
1 pinch of ground white pepper
1. Cut tofu into 5cm x 2.5cm pieces.
2. Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
3. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok on a medium to high heat.
4. Carefully add the tofu and sear each side for 5 minutes or until golden.
5. Take the tofu out of the wok and put aside.
6. Add the cherry tomatoes and ginger to the wok and stir fry for 2 minutes.
7. Add the sugar and fry for 1 minute until caramalised.
8. Add the shao hsing wine and fry for 1 minute.
9. Stir through the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, spring onions and chilli.
10. Add the tofu and gently stir-fry to coat the tofu in the sauce.
11. Serve with rice and white pepper.
Serves 2 people