Have you ever made a sauce that was so good it would make an old work boot taste good? Well a few years back I did a collaboration with Diana of Sweet y Salado for Colombian style hot dogs. One of the things in the recipe was a cilantro sauce. This stuff was so good that it was life changing.Recently I decided to try and make it vegan. I think it is really good but would love to hear what you think about it. …
Todays Baked Tofu, Broccoli and Shiitake Mushroom recipe is one that most of the time consuming steps can be done ahead of time. Baking the tofu, soaking the mushrooms, blanching the green veggies and making the sauce. Then when your busy schedule allows you can whip up a tasty and healthy meal in just minutes.
One of the first thing in creating a recipe is to admit when an ingredient is not “perfect”. As someone who suffers from gout I have to severely limit my meat consumption. But I still want food with good taste and textures. Which brings us to today main ingredient Tofu. In its natural state it is bland and has a very soft texture. In some recipes the texture is exactly what we want. But for today’s recipe I want more texture along with more flavor.
What I want for today’s recipe is tofu with a firm dry exterior and a chewy center. To achieve this we will bake the tofu. This will give us the texture we want and give the tofu a dry surface. The dry surface will soak up sauce and give the tofu more flavor.
Of course to give the tofu more flavor we will need a flavorful sauce. In the past I liked using oyster sauce and chicken stock but now those are a on the bad list. Gout sufferers should restrict shellfish and anything with bone and chicken stock is made with bone.
So we will use dried shiitake mushrooms to create our broth and flavor with hoisin.
To create our broth soak 4 (or more) dried shiitake mushrooms in three quarters cup water for at least 2 hours. I usually do them overnight in the fridge. This will hydrate the mushrooms and create mushroom broth. Do not worry the mushrooms will also go into the dish.
Today we are using broccoli but and green veggie would work. Boc choi, green beans, brussels sprouts
All that said lets get to cooking. We need 8oz of super firm tofu, since the oven will be on lets cook the entire one pound package. We can save the left over for latter. To bake we need to cut the tofu into roughly 3/4 inch cubes. Use a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Place the tofu on the baking sheet with space between the cubes. This will allow air flow around the tofu and help the edges dry out. Bake them at 400F for 40 minutes, turning about half the way thru. If you forget to turn them do not worry they will be fine.
Note: If you can not find super firm tofu buy what you can find and press it to squeeze out more water. To press it put something flat on top of the tofu and add weight for an hour or so. This will squeeze out more water.
The sauce gets most of its flavor from dried shiitake mushrooms. To start we need to soak some dried mushrooms for a few hours (over night is better). When your ready squeeze most of the water out of the mushrooms and slice them up. Discarding the hard stems.
For the sauce: Use 1/2 cup of liquid from soaking the mushrooms, 1 Tablespoon Hoisin sauce, 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon Black Vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon corn starch (more if you want a thicker sauce). Mix all of this up and set it aside.
To keep the green veggies (in this case broccoli) nice and bright we will blanch them. This step is completely optional but makes the dish look so much nicer. Bring a big pot of water to boil when the water is at a rapid boil add the veggies. Sixty seconds after the water comes back to a boil remove the veggies and add to a bowl of ice water. When they are cool place into a colander to drain.
Chop up one teaspoon garlic, one teaspoon ginger and one green onion.
Now everything is ready to stir-fry. Place your pan or wok on the burner and turn it up to high, add one tablespoon oil. While the oil is coming up to tempature add your garlic and ginger. This will flavor the oil. When the oil is hot add the sliced mushrooms and green onion. (in the video I did add them a little early but its ok).
When the mushrooms start to get some color on them add the sauce and bring to a boil. When its at a boil add the broccoli and tofu. Heat everything thru and serve.
Link to the video on YouTube. I did post the video almost one month before posting the recipe here. Work has been super crazy and I just could not find time to write it up. Hopefully in the new year I can keep posting more Gout friendly recipes.
Before I started having gout attacks I regularly ate BBQ. Now that I have to severely limit my consumption of fatty meats traditional BBQ is a very rare treat. If you follow my Instagram account you will see that I recently did have ribs but it is no longer a normal thing. But by using King Oyster Mushrooms I can have something close to a pulled pork sandwich. It is not a substitute it is delicious in it own right. When cooked right the texture is also very satisfying….
For a long time I have loved Ma Po Tofu. But I must admit most of the time I have had the version with meat (usually pork). I even have a video on YouTube how to cook that version. Now that I suffer from Gout that version is mostly off the menu. From what I read the dish started out as cheap vegetarian meal so now we go back to basics.
To me Sichuan Peppercorns make the dish. Something about than numbing effect and the fragrant aroma. But if you use to much its not fun. If you have never cooked with it before use only a little and see if you like it. For this I recommend using one teaspoon but save some for garnish.
Lately I have been craving something cooked in salsa verde. But of course it has to be something gout friendly. So why not squash and mushrooms. The most important part is a flavorful salsa made with tomatillos.