Tofu and Mushrooms
1 package extra firm water-packed tofu
6 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and sliced
1 tablespoon prepared vegetarian "oyster" sauce
1/2 cup mushroom soaking liquid
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
dash dark sesame oil
1. Drain the tofu and wrap in paper toweling or cheesecloth. Place on a plate with a deep rim. Invert another plate over it and weigh it down with some cans of food or a heavy cookbook or two. Let stand for at least half an hour. Drain, unwrap and cut the tofu into 1" cubes.
2. While the tofu is being pressed, soak the dried shiitakes in a bowl of hot water for a minimum of 15 minutes. Drain, but set aside 1/2 cup of the soaking water and reserve the rest to use as a soup starter or vegetable broth. It may smell odd but it's really flavorful! You may want to strain it through a coffee filter, however.
3. Cut the tough stems off the mushrooms with a pair of kitchen scissors and slice about 1/2" thick, or leave whole if they are small.
4. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet until hot but not smoking. Add ginger and garlic, stir-frying carefully until fragrant and beginning to brown. Do not allow the garlic to burn -- it will taste bitter!
5. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tofu and stir-fry until slightly browned on edges, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetarian "oyster" sauce or stir-fry sauce and mix well. Add reserved mushroom soaking water a little at a time if mixture seems too thick. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat. Add the sesame oil and toss one last time.
Serve with steamed rice and a salad of Asian greens. Depending on the kind of stir-fry sauce you used, you may want to have soy sauce on had for diners to add at their discretion.
Source of recipe: I have no idea how this came about. I think I was trying for an actual Chinese recipe and instead this is what I got. I liked it, so here it is.