I like mushrooms. A Lot.
I do know some people that hate mushrooms, I guess because of texture reasons. Some are legitimately allergic to them. But those of us that truly love mushrooms — that could eat obscene amounts of them in a single session — we’re a unique and proud bunch.
Mushrooms, those weird and wonderful fungi are not without their health benefits either. They’re very low in calories (as they are about 80 or 90 percent water) and high in fiber. They are naturally high in potassium as well as riboflavin and niacin, and especially high in selenium, a powerful antioxidant that is sort of a sidekick to Vitamin E that protects your body’s cells against free radicals which can cause cancer. Additionally, white button mushrooms, criminis and portabellas contain substances called aromatase inhibitors which prevent both prostate and breast cancer. Shiitakes contain Lentinan, which appears to stimulate the immune system and protects against flu and other infectious diseases, as well as suppress tumoral activity. Those of you that hate the ‘Shroom should take all of that under consideration.
In any case, health benefits aside, Rachel and I just love ‘Shrooms. So we were happy to find a dish out of the Reversing Diabetes Cookbook called Mushroom Madness that used a lot of them. We decided to improve this recipe a bit by amping up the Asian condiments and the garlic and ginger, and using even MORE mushrooms.
2 Tbs. Soy Sauce, divided
1 tsp. of prepared Chinese Chili Paste
1 tsp. sesame oil
8 oz. of Pressed Tofu or “Soy Chicken” (or any Vegan meat substitute, such as Wheat Gluten), sliced
4 Cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 large thumb of Fresh Ginger, grated
1 bunch of green onions, whites and greens separated, chopped.
1 cup Bean Sprouts
1 can of water-packed Bamboo Shoot Tips, drained. If you can get fresh hearts of bamboo (like you can during the wintertime) even better.
6 Tbs. Broth (Chicken, Vegetable)
1 Tbs. Dry Sherry
1/2 Tbs. Oyster Sauce or Mushroom Oyster (Vegetarian) Sauce
1/2 Tbs. Hoisin Sauce
1/2 Tbs. Black Bean Sauce or Chinese Fermented Black Beans
1 tsp. Cornstarch
1 Tbs. Cold Water
Combine sesame oil, 1 tbs of Soy Sauce and chili paste in a container with a tight fitting lid. Add pressed tofu, shake evenly to coat. Marinate while preparing other ingredients (at least 10 minutes), shaking and inverting container 2 or 3 times. Remove tofu from marinade and drain.
Mix broth, sherry, 1 T of Soy Sauce, hoisin, oyster sauce and black bean paste in a small bowl and set aside. Mix cornstarch and water together in a small bowl.
Brush about 1 tsp sesame oil in hot wok (use a silicone basting brush, or use spray oil). Add scallion whites, cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger. Add tofu, stir fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from wok.
Brush a little more oil on wok. Add mushrooms and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Pour in sherry/broth/condiment mixture, simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bean sprouts, bamboo shoots (unless they are the fresh ones, in which case, you should stir fry them with the ‘shrooms), cooked tofu, and most of the scallion greens, reserving some for garnish.
Pour cornstarch mixture into wok, stirring constantly until sauce has thickened.
Serve over brown rice and garnish with scallion greens, with steamed Chinese green vegetables on the side (Gai Lan, Choy Sum Chinese Bokchoy, Mustard Greens, etc) with a drizzle of Oyster Sauce.