Posts Tagged 'shiitake'

Tofu Shiitake Stir Fry

This is not a ground-breaking dinner, but it’s always good to have a few stir-fry options around because they’re so quick and can be decently healthy. I’ve actually made this a few times before, and I love it!

You know what else I love? My new lightbulbs! If you’re a fan of this blog on facebook, you’ve already seen this picture… but just for kicks, here it is again. Incandescent light = yellow and gross. My new fluorescent light = almost like daylight! I’ve had such a string of depressingly bad photos lately, this purchase was REALLY exciting!

40 watt daylight compact fluorescent bulbs… they are magical.

I also love Christmas cards.  In particular, these Christmas cards.  We bought them in Ireland THREE YEARS ago and never got around to sending them out but this is the year!

Aaaaand then there’s running.  Obviously I’m more than a little obsessed with it, but with this right knee issue I’m having serious withdrawals.  I ran 2 miles on the treadmill this morning and felt it a little, but it wasn’t as bad as it has been the past few days, so I’m very slightly more optimistic about this ultra I have in 9 days.  I will probably have to drop out 5 kilometers in, but I’m going to that starting line, no matter what.

So the stir fry.  I like tofu a lot better when it’s browned first.  I just put a little oil in a large skillet, toss in the tofu cubes, and cook them over medium-high until they get a little brown.  Then I set them aside until the vegetables are cooked.

The vegetables in this are some of my all-time favorites: red bell pepper, baby bok choy (SO much better than regular-sized bok choy), and shiitake mushrooms.

Loving the new illumination!

As a departure from the standard stir-fry and rice combination, I served this over quinoa.  I am completely hooked on quinoa – it cooks fast and it is FULL of protein.  Win-win.

Recipe:
(adapted from Fresh 365)

sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek (this makes it pretty spicy! You can definitely use less)
1 tsp corn starch

stir fry
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb extra firm nigari tofu, cut in small cubes
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 cups sliced baby bok choy
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
about 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tbsp chopped cashews
3 green onions (green part only), thinly sliced

Stir the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the tofu. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tofu is golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a separate bowl, but leave the heat on.

Add the garlic and ginger to the pan (adding more oil if it’s really dry) and let them begin to brown. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for about 4 minutes, or until tender. Add the tofu cubes and sauce, and cook for another minute or two, until everything is well-mixed and heated through.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cashews and green onions. Serve over rice or quinoa.

Quick Japchae

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Korean cuisine can be difficult for vegetarians. With slabs of meat being grilled up on practically every corner, a vegetarian can feel a little left out. But there is a whole lot more to Korean food than barbecue. There are some fantastic vegetarian rice and noodle dishes, and here’s an example I recommend you try as soon as possible!

Japchae is one of my favorite Korean dishes, but the first version I made was extremely time consuming. I wanted to try making something similar, but that didn’t take two hours and require millions of pots and pans. I’m pretty happy with what I came up with.

Korean red pepper paste might be available in your local Asian grocery store, but if it isn’t, you can use a few dashes of Siracha. The flavor won’t be the same, but it will still add a nice kick.

Sweet potato vermicelli comes in a package that looks like this:
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This package was 300 g and I used half of it. If you can’t find these, any noodles would be nice with the vegetables and sauce.

I’ve been using a lot of tofu lately, because I can get very cheap freshly made tofu at my local grocery store. If you’d prefer meat, you can easily just dice up a little beef or chicken and use it instead. Just cook it with the garlic first, and once it’s fully cooked, continue with the recipe as written.

The great thing about this dish is the flexibility when it comes to the vegetables you include. Spinach, napa cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, and bell peppers all work well. The shiitake mushrooms add a really nice earthy flavor, but you could use regular mushrooms instead.

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Recipe:
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Korean red pepper paste
2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
150 grams sweet potato vermicelli
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
about 1/2 pound Protein of your choice (chicken/tofu/beef), diced
1 carrot, julienned
about 10 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, julienned
1 large sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
1 medium bunch spinach, leaves only (about 10 ounces)
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Whisk together soy sauce, sugar, Korean red pepper paste, and 1 tbsp sesame oil, and set aside.
Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water for 6 minutes or until soft, then drain and rinse with cold water.
Heat the vegetable oil and remaining sesame oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for a minute or two, then add your protein. Cook until tofu is browned on all sides or chicken or beef is cooked through.
Add the carrot, onion, and mushrooms and cook until soft.
Add the soy sauce mixture and spinach, and stir until spinach is wilted.
Add the noodles and toss well, and once the noodles are heated through, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Mu Shu Tofu

Mu Shu Tofu
Every time I see a recipe now, I have to stop and think for a second about whether or not I can get all the necessary ingredients at my local grocery store, and whether they will be reasonably priced. I just can’t stomach the thought of paying over five dollars for one stick of butter!

I also have to consider whether I have the necessary equipment, because my kitchen currently consists of 1 medium saucepan, 1 large nonstick frying pan, a big knife, a small knife, a large spoon, and a large spatula. THAT’S IT! No mixer, no food processor, no baking pans…

It’s good for me though. I like a challenge.

I knew I definitely wouldn’t be able to find mu shu wrappers at my grocery store, and toyed with the idea of making my own, but in the end, just decided to serve this on its own. It’s still fantastic! If you can find hoisin sauce and mu shu wrappers, I think you’ll absolutely love this. But even if you can’t…it’s worth making anyway.

(adapted from The Way The Cookie Crumbles. originally from Use Real Butter)

3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp corn starch
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
12 ounces tofu
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
1 small head of napa cabbage, julienned (about 2 cups)
10 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into thin strips

Whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, and corn starch and set aside.
Cut the block of tofu in half horizontally. Press between clean towels to remove excess moisture. Cut into thin 1″ strips.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan. Add the tofu and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until tofu is golden brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Whisk the two eggs together, and heat another tablespoon of oil. When it’s hot, add the eggs and swirl the pan to make a thin sheet. When just set, flip to cook the other side. Remove to cool, then cut into thin strips.
Heat the last tablespoon of oil, and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for about a minute, then add the garlic. Cook another minute or two, then add the bean sprouts, cabbage, and sauce. Stir well, then gently stir in the tofu and egg. Cook for about a minute, then remove from heat and serve.