Monday, March 16, 2009

Tofu Steak with Mixed Mushroom Sauce

I make this dish sometimes. My tofu steak is very easy, healthy, and tasty. This is a Shojin-style dish (Buddhist-style vegetarian). To make it strictly a vegan style, the dashi made from dashi konbu (dried kelp) and/or dried shiitake mushrooms should be used for the sauce. Or, if you want to make it a “guilt” style, you can use the butter instead of sesame oil to sauté the mushrooms. It’s really good.

Ingredients (2 servings)
1 package firm tofu
katakriko (potato starch)

2 tbsps. sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ea. 1”-length ginger, peeled and minced
about 3/4 lb. mixed mushrooms - enoki, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, cut or sliced into small pieces
1 cup dashi stock
2 tbsps sake
1/2 tsp sugar
1.5 tbsps soy sauce
1/2 t bsp oyster sauce
1 tsp potato starch
1 tsp water
Garnish – thinly sliced carrot, thinly sliced scallion, and katsuo-bushi (bonito flakes)

1 hour before cooking, place the tofu in a shallow plate, top it with a flat plate (or a small cutting board). Put more weight (such as food cans) over it to drain the excess water from the tofu. Slice the tofu into desired thickness.

Pat-dry the sliced tofu and sprinkle some potato starch on both sides of each slice.

In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil over medium-heat. Cook both sides of the tofu slices until golden-brown (about 3 minutes each side).
Meanwhile, in another pan, heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil over medium-heat and sauté garlic and ginger until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the shiitake and oyster mushrooms and sauté until cooked through (about 3 minutes). Deglaze with the sake and add the dashi stock. Add the sugar, soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir.
Add the enoki mushrooms and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the mixture of 1 tsp of potato starch and 1tsp of water in the pan. Stir another 30-60- seconds.

Divide the sauce into two plates, and top each plate with the tofu steaks. Garnish with the thinly sliced carrot, scallion and katsuo-bushi (dry bonito flakes).