Tofu with 'oyster' sauce
- 6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 450g/1lb firm tofu, cut into 1cm/½in thick slices
- oil, for deep-frying
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
- 120g/4½oz peas (defrosted if frozen)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 spring onions, finely chopped, to serve
For the sauce
Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl, add warm water to cover and leave to soak for 30 minutes or until soft.
Pat the tofu dry with kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fat fryer over a medium-high heat; it should be about 5cm/2in deep in the centre of the wok if you are using one. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Don't leave unattended). When the oil begins to shimmer, add the tofu pieces and fry until golden-brown on both sides – this should take about 5-7 minutes. Remove the tofu with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Remove the mushrooms from the water and cut off the hard stems. Discard the stems and return the caps to the soaking liquid until needed.
To make the sauce, mix the cornflour with the one tablespoon of vegetable stock in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the light and dark soy sauces, sugar, 'oyster' or mushroom sauce and remaining vegetable stock.
Place the wok or large frying pan back on the hob, set over a high heat. Add a little oil and when hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Drain the mushrooms, squeeze out any excess liquid and ftir-fry for 30 seconds. Stir in the tofu and pour over the sauce mixture. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer very gently for 7-8 minutes. Add the peas. Simmer, covered, for a further two minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir the cornflour mixture into the wok. Return to the heat, stir gently and cook, covered, on a low heat until the sauce has thickened. Add the sesame oil and serve with the rice.