Family-Style Mushroom Rice with Beancurd

My mother was an expert at preparing economical and nutritious meals – and quickly. With her wok and a supply of beancurd, she had the essentials of such meals. In this recipe, mushrooms add their smoky flavour and unique texture to the beancurd and rice. Such a dish indicates how delicious pure vegetarianism can be. It may also be paired with another vegetable platter to make a fully-rounded dinner.

Ingredients

  • Enough long-grain white rice to fill a measuring jug to 400-ml (14-fl oz) level
  • 600 ml (1 pint) water
  • 50 g (2 oz) Chinese dried mushrooms
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) plus 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 225 g (8 oz) firm fresh beancurd
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh root ginger
  • 225 g (8 oz) fresh button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chilli bean sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Β½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions

Method

Cook the rice according to the Steamed Rice recipe at least 2 hours in advance or the night before. Allow it to cool thoroughly and then put it in the fridge.

Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Then drain them and squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard the stems and finely shred the caps into thin strips. Cut the beancurd into 2.5-cm (1-in) cubes.

Heat the 400 ml (14 fl oz) of oil in a deep-fat fryer or large wok until it almost smokes, then deep-fry the beancurd cubes in batches. When each batch of beancurd cubes is lightly browned, remove and drain well on kitchen paper. Let the cooking oil cool and then discard it.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the button mushrooms and dried mushrooms and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Now add the cool rice and continue stir-frying for 5 minutes. Then add the chilli bean sauce, salt, pepper, beancurd and spring onions. Mix well, turn on to a warm platter and serve at once.

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