1 cup firm tofu
1-1/2 tbsp canola oil
2 shallots, finely diced
1 small onion, chopped and fried
1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2cup green lentils
2 tbsp fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, shredded
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tbsp salt
3/4 tbsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 cup dried bean thread noodles
24 betel leaves, stemmed
Drain any liquid from the tofu. Pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the tofu into 1/2-inch thick pieces. In a large pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil; pan-fry the tofu slices until slightly golden. Don't overcook the pieces or they'll start to get hard.Once the tofu is cool,cut the pieces into very thin strips. Set aside. Place the whole package of dried bean thread noodles in a bowl. Soak the noodles in cold water for 30-40 minutes and drain. Chop into 1 inch threads. Set aside.Place the lentils in a small saucepan, barely cover with water and slowly cook for about 30 minutes. It will form a dry paste. Set aside.
Health benefits of canola oil:
In a saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of canola oil. Add the garlic and 1 finely minced shallot. Cook until slightly golden. Transfer to a bowl.Let cool. In a large bowl, combine the shredded carrots, soaked bean thread noodles, lentils, ginger, tofu and cilantro. Mix well. Add the garlic and shallot with oil, raw shallot and onion. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Mix well. Refrigerate the mixture until you're ready to wrap. In a small pan, heat about 1 teaspoon of peanut oil. Add about 1 tablespoon of the tofu mixture. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Taste the filling. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
Place a betel leaf, vein side up, and spoon about 1 tablespoon of the tofu filling at the base of the leaf. Form a log with the filling and roll the wrapper once towards the top corner of the leaf. You want to make sure not to over-fill the leaf; otherwise the excess filling will burst out of the sides while cooking. Using kitchen shears, snip the excess ends of the leaf. Secure a toothpick. Repeat until all the ingredients are used.Brush a grill pan with the remaining oil. Place the tofu stuffed betel leaves on the grill pan. Sear them for about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and discard the toothpicks.Serve hot.
The oil contains valuable amounts of anti-oxidant vitamin E,help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
Health Benefits of Betel Leaves:
The betel leaf has been used as an aromatic stimulant and anti-flatulent. It arrests secretion or bleeding and also serves as an aphrodisiac.
Cough and difficulty in breathing are helped by applying betel leaves, that have been soaked in mustard oil and warmed, to the chest. Crushed betel fruit or berry mixed with honey relieves irritating cough. the betel leaf has anti-diabetic properties and helps in its treatment.