My tofu and mushroom mince is perfect for people transitioning to a vegan diet. This is because it was developed to look and taste like a typical Asian pork mince dish I usually have at home with with rice. The flavours that shine in this dish are the umami enriched shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce. The wood ear mushrooms adds a fantastic texture that is needed to counter the softness of the tofu which provides much of the bulk. A very simple, quick and delicious recipe for vegans and lovers of tofu.
Steph and I went to see Nigella Lawson last week! My sister bought me tickets for Christmas and I must say it was an absolutely amazing and entertaining night. Nigella talked a lot about her life and her food philosophy which we both found very inspiring. She also said she reads thousands of cook books as well as food blogs! As lame as this is going to sound, for a fleeting moment I actually imagined her reading this blog and laughing at my terrible jokes. This is how far I have fallen…
In the middle of the event a massive thunderstorm hit the city which could be heard throughout the theater. After the show, many people who braved the storm to get to their cars found the parking lot had been inundated with water. Some parts were flooded to the point where the cars looked like they were floating. Luckily for us, I arrived fashionably late as usual and parked on the outskirts where the drainage could be described as…. EXCELLENT!
Onto another, slightly less exciting story… here’s my tofu and mushroom mince! I’ve been experimenting with a vegan alternative to pork mince for a while and I am finally happy with the results. The tofu has been broken up to the same size and shape as cooked pork mince then browned with soy sauce to get a similar colour. The shiitake mushrooms adds a huge flavour kick which somewhat counters the tofu taste. I believe this is important since the tofu flavour can be quite strong and off putting for some people. Lastly, I added the wood ear mushrooms (black fungus) for bite and its earthy colour to keep the dish interesting.
My Tips for Success
- To make the tofu look more brown, add a little bit of dark soy sauce into the light (common) soy sauce. This will give a much richer colour to the tofu.
- The black fungus or wood ear mushroom is a crucial element in this recipe since it provides the texture. If you can’t find this ingredient, I suggest putting something that is neutral in taste and has crunch.
- Be careful of non-gluten free soy sauces, if this matters to you. I suggest using Kikkoman Gluten Free Soy Sauce.
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Tofu and Mushroom Mince
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
- 5 gm black fungus / wood ear mushroom roughly chopped (available at Asian groceries)
- 250 gm hard tofu, mashed
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 small brown onion, finely chopped
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce (check for gluten free)
- 1/4 tsp white sugar
- coriander, roughly chopped
In separate bowls, cut the shiitake mushrooms in half with a pair of scissors and soak in boiling water for 30 minutes. Do the same with the black fungus / wood ear mushroom except leave them whole.
In a large bowl, break up the tofu into smaller pieces with your hands.
After 30 minutes, take out the shiitake mushrooms and black fungus. Wash them under a tap and chop them up.
In a fry pan on medium heat, add the oil, onion and garlic. Cook them until they begin to go brown and translucent.
Add the tofu, shiitake and black fungus. Continue to stir and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the soy sauce, pepper and sugar. Stir the tofu around for a further 5 minutes.
Taste the tofu and add more soy if not seasoned enough.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with rice.