This is a variation on a classic Chinese dish that incorporates century egg, silken tofu and pork floss. When we were creating this dish, we needed something to stand up to the strong flavour of the preserved egg and dressing. My sous chef at the time, Nigel Stanley, suggested we use smoked eel, which works really well with those flavours and ups the umami factor.
Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl together with 1¾ tablespoons water. Set aside.
Put the mushrooms in a container and cover with the pickling liquid. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours.
Fill a small saucepan with cold water and heat over a high heat. Add the century eggs to the saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 6 minutes. Drain the eggs and run them under cold water until completely cool. Cut each egg into 6 pieces lengthways (like little wedges).
Divide 9 slices of tofu among three plates and top each slice with a piece of smoked eel. Whisk the vinaigrette and spoon about two tablespoons over each plate. Top with a few pickled mushrooms, some wedges of century egg, spring onions and fried shallots.
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