Spinach, Tofu & Sesame Timbale 马兰头拌香干
Updated: Jan 18
This classic Shanghainese cold dish uses Ma Lan Tou - a fragrant, leafy green local to the region whose flavour is similar to chrysanthemum leaves, but slightly milder. We've found that the recipe works as deliciously with those, as well as the much easier to find spinach.
225g or so spinach, thoroughly washed
80g firm, dried tofu, or beancurd sheets
2 tsp roasted esame oil
1/2 tsp Sugar
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and plunge the spinach in. Cook for about 30 seconds, just until the colour turns bright. Lift out and place in an ice bath (or just a bowl of cold water). Once cool, use your hands to wring out as much water as possible.
Loosely separate the wrung out leaves and finely chop.
Dice the dried tofu and stir together with the spinach.
Stir through the sesame oil, salt and sugar. Allow the seasoning to be soaked up for 10 minutes, taste, then adjust if necessary
To plate in the classic way, pack a small tumbler or rice bowl full of the mixture, then turn out onto a serving plate.