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.
- 85g or 3 dried bean curd skin sticks
- 25g or 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 20g dried fungus
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tsp finely grated ginger
- 1 chilli, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp potato flour
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Measure the mushroom soaking liquid, and make up to 250ml with hot water. Pour into the wok. Leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- 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.
- Garnish with sliced spring onion, and serve with plain steamed rice.