Soy delicious

By on February 4, 2008

Nutritious, easy-to-make tofu steaks with shiitake mushroom sauce

Tofu is a wonderfully versatile, low-fat food and a staple of Japanese cuisine. But many of us are reluctant to serve it to our kids, believing it to be bland and – dare we say it – boring? Here’s an easy recipe that will definitely change your mind. Chances are, after trying tofu steaks, your family will be converted.

There are two basic types of fresh tofu: soft (絹きぬ)and firm (momenもめん). Choose the firm kind for this recipe. The sauce calls for dried shiitake mushrooms (hoshi shiitake ほししいたけ), which are sold by the bag and can be purchased from any supermarket.

Ingredients

2/3 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1 block firm tofu
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp. mirin (sweetened cooking wine, みりん)
1/8 tsp. black pepper
4 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 bundle of scallions, finely chopped for garnish

Method

Soak the dried shiitake in two cups of hot water for about 30 minutes to reconstitute.

Drain in the tofu and cut it horizontally and vertically into four equal sized “steak” cuts. Place the tofu on paper towels in a single layer. Let it drain for 30 minutes, changing towels when wet.

Drain the shiitake, reserving the liquid. Combine the shiitake liquid, cornstarch, soy sauce, mirin and pepper. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves.

Heat up a large, preferably non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add two teaspoons of oil, coating the bottom of the pan. Add the tofu steaks in a single layer. Cook two to three minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and keep warm. Heat the remaining two teaspoons of oil in the same pan. Add the shiitake and shiitake liquid-cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir one to two minutes, or until mixture boils and thickens. For each serving, place a tofu steak on a plate. Spoon 1/4 of the shiitake sauce over each piece of tofu and garnish with the scallions. Serve immediately with rice. Makes four servings.

About Louise George Kittaka