I Tried Political Engagement But Ended Up Cooking Again (Or: Tofu with Mushrooms and Noodles)

After the presidential election here in the US, I experienced an uncharacteristic (for me) need to know what was going on in the world. People who know me know that I have rarely been bothered to follow the news. But I realized how little actual news I was getting from my facebook feed, and how that contributed to my feeling that it was odd that Donald Trump got elected when everyone had voted for Hillary. I shared these feelings with Paulus and he told me he’d been thinking about getting a subscription to a newspaper (do we even call them that anymore?). So that’s what we did. Currently, we’re trying out the New York Times. And it’s great, I get all kinds of news in my various inboxes everyday now. But (and I don’t know how I didn’t see this coming), the New York Times also features a lot of cooking and recipes. And sure enough, there were a couple of the recipes that caught my eye. Therefore, rather than some insightful political analysis, you guys are just getting another post about food from me. Thanks a lot, New York Times.

I’ll continue to read the news, I promise. But this recipe has mushrooms, and that is exciting, too.

You can find the Times’ recipe here. It’s called ‘Baked Miso-Glazed Tofu With Wild Mushrooms’. That’s actually not really what I made, because I, (yeah you guessed it) winged it. I don’t treat their articles about international politics like that, I promise.

I just made baked tofu with regular mushrooms. Mostly because I didn’t have miso paste or sake. I’ll provide my version in the recipe below.

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Despite my substitutions, the mushrooms were just delicious. The tofu should have been browned a bit more for my taste, so I’ve adjusted the recipe below to reflect this. But if you’re looking for another way to eat tofu, you should give some version of this dish a try.

Oh, yeah, and I also recommend reading the news.

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Baked Tofu with Mushrooms and Noodles

Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 dl mirin
  • 1/2 dl cooking sherry
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp korean bean paste (doenjang)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil (1 for the mushrooms and 1 for the tofu)
  • 3/4 dl white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 big handful of mushrooms
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 400 grams tofu (firm)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • noodles
  • 1 green onion

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 200 degrees celsius/395 fahrenheit. 

  2. Clean the mushrooms and but them in halves or quarters, depending on size. Mince the garlic.

  3. Make the glaze by combining mirin and sherry and bringing the mixture to a boil in a small saucepan. Let it boil for 20 seconds, then reduce the heat to low and add sugar and bean paste. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 tsp of sesame oil.

  4. Put a wok on the stove, over high heat. When it's hot, add a tsp of vegetable oil and then add the mushrooms. Let them fry for 30 seconds before you starts stirring. Keep them in the wok for another 1 to 2 minutes. When they begin to give off liquid, reduce the heat to medium and add the minced garlic and the salt. Fry for 3-4 minutes, then add the wine and let it cook while stirring until the wine has cooked off. Then spoon 3 tbsp of the glaze into the wok, combine everything and then set the mushrooms aside. 

  5. Check that the oven is preheated. To the remaining glaze, add the last tsp of sesame oil and the soy sauce.  Cut the tofu into 1-1.5 cm slices and dry them carefully with paper towels. Then dip each slice into the glaze, coating both sides. Put the slices on baking sheet with parchment paper and then bake them in the oven until edges are just beginning to brown, around 15-20 minutes.

  6. If you're serving the dish with noodles, cook the noodles now, according to their instructions. Once cooked, you can dress them in a little oil and soy sauce, or in any remaining glaze if you like.

  7. Reheat the mushrooms over low heat. Finally, slice the green onion thinly. Arrange the plate with noodles, then tofu, then mushrooms, and finally garnish with the green onion slices.

 

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