Very simple recipe today. I am going to do a lot of those I think, because this is the whole point of the blog: simple recipes that anyone can cook, for everyday life. Just to inspire you to cook some new stuff or give you some ideas.
Today’s recipe is vegetarian, it’s a stir-fry of, like the title says, Tofu, with Shiitake mushrooms and bell peppers, cooked in a sweet sauce.
For this, you’ll just need :
- 400g of firm tofu
- 150g of Shiitake mushrooms
- 2 bell peppers of your choice
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp of scallion
- Cashew nuts
- Sesame oil
- Crushed cayenne pepper (optional)
And for the sauce:
- 3 tbsp of dark soy sauce
- 3 tbsp of light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 2 tbsp of vinegar
- 1 tbsp of Nuoc mam
- 1 tsp of ginger
Some notes about the ingredients:
- You can turn this dish into a non-vegetarian one by replacing the tofu with chicken breast for example. I just love tofu a lot, and I like to no eat meat some time.
- You can put any kind of bell peppers you want. I chose red and green because I like the mix of colours and the bitterness of green pepper with this particular sweet and salty sauce. But just choose the ones you like.
- Shiitake mushrooms are one of my favourite. I love fresh ones, but you can also find them dry in Asian supermarkets, I guess that would work, and you can keep those forever so this is a plus.
- There is 2 different kinds of soy sauces, a Chinese dark one and a lighter Japanese one. This is optional, if you just have one go with it. I just think that, even though the dark one has an amazing bold taste, it can get very salty and too strong if not mixed.
- I use maple syrup to sweeten the sauce because I always have some in my fridge, but you can replace with honey or agave syrup. Even regular white sugar, although I would recommend a liquid sweetener as it will mix more easily with the sauce.
That being said, let’s start cooking!
Start with removing the dirt of your Shiitake mushrooms with a damp clothe or paper (usually don’t rince your mushrooms as they will absorb the water) and remove the stems. Then slice them.
Remove the stems from the bell peppers, cut them open and remove the white parts and seeds from them. Slice them as well.
Now prepare the tofu. Cut it into dice first and dry it a bit with a tissue, then put them into a hot skillet with just a bit of regular oil, on high temperature, until it gets a beautiful golden colour. You can skip this part, but I like stir fried tofu, it gets this nice crunchy exterior that I love.
Prepare the sauce into a separate bowl by simply mixing all the ingredients: soy sauces, nuoc mam, ginger, vinegar and maple syrup. You can always adjust according to your taste.
Heat some sesame oil into a skillet on medium temperature, then add the crushed garlic. Add the peppers first, then the mushrooms, then the sauce. Let simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. I like when the peppers remain a bit crunchy, so just taste or poke them to see if it’s cooked enough for you.
Once you’re happy with the consistency of your peppers, add the tofu and the scallions. Let it simmer for 5 minutes more.
Serve it topped with crushed Cashew nuts, and crushed cayenne pepper if you want it spicy. I like to add the nuts because it adds a crunchiness to the dish. Serve with a side rice or noodles, and you’re done!