I had a massive tapas lunch today, and so was feeling quite unmotivated as to what to cook tonight. I wanted to try a new type of beancurd, like perhaps beancurd skin but most of the recipes I found involved some deep-frying. Fine, but two deep fryings in one week is a touch excessive. Peng's Home-Style Beancurd really caught my eye, but as I had eaten an ungodly amount of pork for lunch, this will have to wait until next week. Something light and meat-free was the only way forward.
Braised Tofu & Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce
6 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in boiling water
1/2 a block of fresh tofu, cubed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
1" ginger, chopped finely
1 spring onion, sliced on the diagonal
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1/2 tsp five spice
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
Large pinch of sugar
1 tbsp cornflour, slaked
Heat your wok up until smoking and then add about 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Fry the tofu cubes until lightly browned, which will take about 10 minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant, then add the carrots. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the wine. Once it comes to a simmer, then add the mushrooms, slicing off any hard stems. Add the five spice, oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar and stir it to coat. Remove to a saucepan with a lid, and then add enough boiling water to make some gravy (about 150mls). Put the lid on and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tofu and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add the cornflour and stir carefully. Simmer until thickened, and take off the heat. Garnish with the spring onion, and serve with white rice and some steamed greens.
This did just the trick. Despite the braising, it's still light and quite refreshing. The mushrooms are juicy and unctious while the carrots provide a sweetness to balance the intensely savoury oyster sauce. The tofu soaks up the five spice flavour of the gravy nicely. If I had any broccoli, this would work well braised with the mushrooms. Substitute the oyster sauce with mushroom sauce for a veggie-friendly dish.