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Apr 23, 2014

Down Memory Lane : Leek and Tofu Stir Fry

There are comfort foods and then there are comfort foods that remind you of your childhood. 
There are so many of them from the good young days, I can’t remember them all. Then you see a particular ingredient at the market stalls and it triggers that inner childhood tummy pangs. Some of which I used to hate eating before but all of a sudden develop a hunger and craving for it …. strange. No …. no durians yet. That would take some serious doing.

This was one of the dishes my Chinaman uncle used to love as a condiment to his porridge. Porridge as in Chinaman rice porridge, not the oat porridge westerners eat every morning. 
I also used to dislike rice porridge. It was bland, boring, colourless, textureless … but I guess that’s why the condiments that go with it. But you’ll be amazed at the way a typical Chinaman eats porridge and how much of it is shoved into the mouth with their chopsticks while accompanied by the minutest sliver of condiment and then followed by another five to six shovels of porridge.
I eat (if I had to and it’s usually when I’m sick) a spoonful (yes, I use a spoon. I would have porridge all over my face and lap if I tried using a chopstick) of that bland, boring white mush with a gazillion condiments. That’s sick food. Yes. 
Oh forgive me my ancestors … sigh.
I’d forgo the porridge and have all them condiments with white fluffy rice. So much better. 

I’ve always loved tofu. Leeks only in leek and potato soup. Then one day…….a bunch of leeks called out to me from a grocer’s shelf …. and the rest, as they say, is … in my tummy! Yum!

Of course I had this with rice … not porridge. I’m not sick, you know.


Bunch of leeks, whites and greens, sliced whichever way you like
Firm tofu squares
Oyster sauce
Sesame oil
Oil for sautéing


Thinly sliced / minced pork or chicken


Heat oil.
Brown tofu squares on each side. Remove from pan.
Slice into thick slivers.
Set aside.
Brown meat in the same pan. Add a little more oil if need to. 
Stir in leeks until slightly softened. Longer if you prefer it softer.
Add oyster sauce to taste.
Stir in sliced tofu.
Turn heat off.
Add a dash of sesame oil. Stir to mix. 
Dish out and serve.

To make it a little more fancy, sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds.

Enjoy! And welcome to the Chinaman’s world.  


  1. Hi Ping! This is a nice simple dish. Great with plain rice and cut chillies. I used to hate plain porridge too. Ugh! The worst thing is my mum and grandma cook it very thick. It was all gloopy and gluey and it was a torture of epic proportions! It was only when I came to KL and ate the porridge here that I began to appreciate porridge for what it should be - runny with rice grains still fairly intact. Anyway, given a choice I would still go for rice :)

    1. Gloopy!! I knew there was the perfect word somewhere for porridge! I believe the gloopy stuff is a Hong Kong influence. The Penang folks like theirs grainy.

  2. I love this dish. Some doesnt like co when we go toilet ther will be smell

  3. Rice porridge is good sick food - it gives us a reason not to get sick.
    And welcome to the Chinaman’s world. What about Chinawomans world?
    Comment above re smell - perhaps he/she can suggest foods that produce a good smell:)