Recipe: Braised bean curd skin with mushrooms

This is a great vegetarian store cupboard supper. It might be surprising that all the main ingredients are dried - typical of many Chinese dishes. The highlight is bean curd - or beancurd or tofu - 'skin', which takes on the flavour of the braising liquid and has an intriguing almost omelette-like chewiness. Dried bean curd skin in the form of sticks are often considered a substitute to meat, however it is great used alongside beef or lamb in other slow-cooked dishes for a contrasting texture. 

The recipe takes around 45 minutes, of which much of the time is spent just leaving the  ingredients to rehydrate, or simmer. Serve with a side of steamed rice, and perhaps some quick pan fried green beans with garlic.


Ingredients


Method

  1. First rehydrate the dried bean curd skin sticks and mushrooms. In a large shallow dish, pour boiling water over the dried bean curd and leave to soak for 15 minutes until soft.
  2. Place the shiitake mushrooms, and black fungus together in a saucepan. Cover with boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes until soft. Drain, and reserve the soaking liquid.
  3. Drain the bean curd skin. Drain the mushrooms, but reserve the mushroom soaking liquid. Set aside. Cut the bean curd into 1 inch pieces, and discard any pieces that have not softened, perhaps because they weren't full covered in water. Slice the mushrooms and fungus, cutting away any hard pieces.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok, and add the garlic, ginger and chillies. Fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Toss in the softened sliced bean curd skin sticks and mushrooms. Stir in the shaoxing rice wine, dark soy, light soy, sugar and salt. 
  5. Measure the mushroom soaking liquid, and make up to 250ml with hot water. Pour into the wok. Leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  6. Mix the potato flour with a little cold water, and stir into the tofu-mushroom mixture. Stir gently until thickened. Add the sesame oil, and more salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Garnish with sliced spring onion, and serve with plain steamed rice.

6 comments

  • We haven’t tried – it was all gobbled up! There is nothing in the dish that shouldn’t freeze well – the only thing would be the spring onion garnish, but you can always add more fresh when you defrost :-)

    nicola on

  • Hi there,

    I was wondering if you have tried freezing leftovers? Do they reheat well?

    With thanks,
    freezerfan

    freezerfan on

  • Just a hint, my Chinese mother-in-law says to rehydrate with room temp water, to avoid taking out flavour from the mushrooms.

    Nean on

  • Sounds like a great idea! So glad you like it.

    nicola on

  • Hi! I have been wondering what to do with those long strands of dried bean curd tucked away in my pantry. This recipe is really tasty! I didn’t have any spring onions so I used chopped coriander instead. I will now try using chopped bean curd as a substitute for chicken strips in Asian recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Vivienne on

  • Very satisfying and delicious. Vegan food that even I would crave.

    John Kern on

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