Braised mixed mushroom and tofu stew

Braised mixed mushroom and tofu stew

Chinese Unchopped
20 mins
Cooking time
45 mins
Martin Poole

There are many different types of tofu available and, though generally similar in flavour, each offers a slightly different texture. By knowing which type best matches which style of cooking, you will be able to keep its unique texture while allowing it to absorb as much flavour as possible. Japanese egg tofu, for example, forms a fantastic golden-brown coating when fried due to its egg content, while rolled bean-curd skin or deep-fried tofu squares (known as tofu pok) are so absorbent they will suck up the flavour of any sauce you cook them in within five or ten minutes.


Quantity Ingredient
a thumb-size piece ginger
1 spring onion
300g fresh straw or oyster mushrooms
10 deep-fried tofu squares, (or 1 small pack of rolled bean-curd skin)
300g japanese egg tofu
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 star anise
12 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and drained, retaining 300ml of the mushroom soaking water, (see note)
2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine
a dash dark soy sauce


  1. Slice the ginger and finely slice the spring onion into rings. Roughly tear apart the straw or oyster mushrooms.
  2. Cut the deep-fried tofu squares in half or, if using bean-curd skin, cut into 3cm chunks.
  3. Slice the Japanese egg tofu into 2cm cylinders. Warm 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a pan over a medium-high heat, add the egg tofu pieces and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on clean kitchen towel.
  4. BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place your ginger at 12 o’clock, then arrange the star anise, shiitake mushrooms, oyster sauce, rice wine, mushroom soaking water, dark soy sauce, tofu pieces, fresh oyster or straw mushrooms and spring onion clockwise around your plate.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan or clay pot over a medium heat, add the ginger and star anise and fry for 30 seconds until slightly fragrant.
  6. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook for 2–3 minutes, then add the oyster sauce and cook, stirring, for a further 2–3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and caramelised. Pour over the rice wine, soy sauce and mushroom soaking water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  7. Add the tofu pieces and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fresh mushrooms and simmer for a further 5–10 minutes until the stew has thickened and reduced, the mushrooms have softened and the tofu has soaked up all the stew’s flavours. Remove from the heat, garnish with the spring onion and serve with steamed rice.


  • To rehydrate dried mushrooms, cover them in 300ml hot water and leave to soak for at least 1 hour (preferably overnight). Drain them before using, reserving the soaking water for use in your recipe, if necessary.


  • If the stew is still quite thin and watery after the allotted cooking time, mix together 2 teaspoons of cornflour with 1 tablespoon of cold water to make a paste and stir it into your sauce while on the rolling boil. Leave it to thicken to the desired consistency, then remove from the heat.
School of Wok
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