Chinese Deep Fried Tofu with Mushrooms in dark sauce Recipe
1 package firm tofu
1/2 white or yellow onion, thickly sliced
1 pkg. crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (from bullion or from scratch)
pickled red ginger strips
lg. quantity peanut oil or canola oil for deep frying
Slice tofu and cut into rectangles or cubes (to taste). Press between kitchen towels for 30 minutes. Dust with cornstarch. Heat 2-3 inches of peanut oil in deep fryer or small/medium pot (preferably one with tall sides) and deep fry tofu in small batches in the pot, turning occasionally with a all metal slotted spoon or tongs. When tofu is evenly golden brown remove it to a wire rack and let cool, continuing to deep fry remaining tofu.
Heat a wok or cast iron pan to medium or medium high and add a small amount of peanut or canola oil, swirling it around the pan. When it is hot, add a single layer of sliced mushrooms. Add salt and pepper and let mushrooms brown nicely on one side and then turn them. Do NOT move them around on the pan. After all mushrooms have been cooked (probably in multiple batches) remove them to a bowl and add a little more peanut or canola oil to the pan. Toss on your onion slices and let them brown slowly and start to caramelize. You may want to lower the heat slightly.
Meanwhile, combine your veg stock, sake, chili garlic sauce, tamari, sesame oil and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk and then whisk in cornstarch.
When onions seem to have softened and caramelized slightly, toss in the mushrooms and let them cook a few more minutes. Add your drained deep fried tofu to the pan. Whisk your sauce one more time and pour into the pan over the tofu, reserving a little sauce. Raise the heat slightly and let it start to bubble. If it hasn’t thickened enough, add a little more cornstarch to your reserved sauce, whisk it in and then add to your pan. Let the mixture bubble and thicken to your taste and then serve.
I served mine on short grain white rice (but brown would be good too) and sprinkled it with sesame seeds and pickled ginger strips.
It was soooo good. Just what I wanted.