As I’ve mentioned about a 100 times now, Lucky Peach was my favorite magazine. I’m only missing three issues and have all the related cookbooks. Power Vegetables comes in particularly handy during Veganuary, though a lot of the recipes are actually vegetarian.
One of my other favorite ingredients is Sichuan pepper. It’s just a floral spicy bundle of joy. I’d been making a vegan version of mapo tofu with fake minced meat but it wasn’t really cutting it, when I stumbled upon this mushroom version, which brings a lot of ooooooh-mami to the table and is sheer perfection if you’re into funky spicy food.
Be sure to check the ingredients of the doubanjiang, black bean and chili crisp sauce you buy to ensure you are making this vegan (or vegetarian if that makes it easier for you and you are okay with that).
- 250 gr fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 125 gr dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked for 30 mins+soaking liquid
- 1 block of silken tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 leek, sliced into thick strips
- 2 tbsp Sichuan pepper
- 4 tbsp doubanjiang (chili bean sauce)
- 2 tbsp black bean sauce
- 1 tbsp chili crisp sauce
- 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
- 2 tsp corn starch, mixed with 1/4 lukewarm water to make a slush
To start, drain the dried shiitake mushrooms, and set the liquid aside. Now use a food processor to chop the dried and fresh shiitake mushrooms to a fine pulp.
Next, bring water to a boil in a large pot and poach the silken tofu for 3 minutes or so. Strain, salt lightly and set aside. Get everything you need together so you have your mis-en-place ready and are good to go.
Heat the neutral oil in a large frying pan or a wok. Add the shiitake mushroom mixture and spread out in an even layer, folding it every few minutes or so until any remaining liquids have evaporated and the shiitake starts to brown. About 5 minutes or so on a medium heat.
Now add the leek, garlic and ginger and mix this in with the mushrooms for another 2 minutes. Remove the mushroom and leek mixture from the pan and wipe it clean before returning it to the heat.
Add the doubjiang, Sichuan pepper, gochugaru, black bean and chili crisp sauce to the pan and stir until the oils start to separate from the sauce, before adding the mushroom mixture back in. This should take 2 minutes or so. Now gently stir in the soft tofu and finally add the corn starch slush to create that mapo tofu glaze.
Serve immediately with white rice and some stir fried baby bok choy or other greens.
This post is part of Veganuary 2019. Check out vegan recipes I’ve posted previously re, follow my adventures in Veganuary on instagram, or check out my Vegan and Vegetarian board on Pinterest for inspiration.