Red-Cooked Tofu with Mushrooms
“Red-cooking” is a traditional Chinese braising technique, using soy sauce, that turns the food a gorgeous reddish brown color. A quick version of the technique is used here to transform mushrooms and tofu into a rich, earthy, saucy dish. Serve over steamed brown rice or as a soup. To make this stir-fry vegetarian, see Vegetarian Variation below.
From EatingWell: EatingWell Fast & Flavorful Meatless Meals (2011)
Yield: 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 45
Total Time: 60
- 1 14-ounce package firm water-packed tofu, cut into 1-inch-thick slabs
- 6 dried shiitake or Chinese black mushrooms
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry (see Notes)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 medium leek, white part only, halved lengthwise, rinsed well and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and halved
- 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and halved
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
- Fold a clean kitchen towel and place it on a cutting board or large plate. Set tofu on the towel. Put another folded clean towel over the tofu and place a flat, heavy weight (such as a skillet) on top; drain for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place dried shiitakes (or black mushrooms) in a measuring cup, cover with hot water and set aside for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Discard the mushroom stems and cut the caps in half. Set aside.
- Stir the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid, broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine (or sherry) and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cut the pressed tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the reserved mushrooms, leek and garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. Add the broth mixture and bring to a boil. Add the tofu, white mushrooms and fresh shiitakes and return to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Stir cornstarch and water mixture. Add to the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute.
Tips & Notes
- Notes: Shao Hsing (or Shaoxing) is a seasoned rice wine available in most Asian specialty markets and the Asian sections of some larger supermarkets.
- Sherry is a type of fortified wine originally from southern Spain. Don’t use the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets—it can be surprisingly high in sodium. Instead, get dry sherry that’s sold with other fortified wines at your wine or liquor store.
- Vegetarian Variation: To make this stir-fry vegetarian, use “no-chicken” broth, mushroom broth or vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth and vegetarian “oyster” sauce instead of regular oyster sauce. Vegetarian “oyster” sauce is made from mushroom extract and is great for adding depth of flavor to vegetarian stir-fries. Vegetarian “stir-fry sauce,” also made from mushrooms, can be used as a substitute as well.
Nutrition Per Serving: 161 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 3 g fiber; 753 mg sodium; 634 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (23% daily value), Potassium (18% dv), Magnesium and Iron (16% dv).
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 medium-fat meat