This is a fun and very textural vegetarian dish. Bamboo fungus is a type of mushroom that is grown in the bamboo forests of China. It is sold dried and is available at good Chinese grocery stores. The mushroom is hollow and a perfect vehicle for stuffing — I fill the mushroom with tofu and black sesame seeds but you could use different combinations. This dish is served with wonderful small kamo eggplants, which have very few seeds and a lovely flavour. I like to steam the eggplants before roasting them, which helps maintain a white soft flesh. The dish is accompanied by sesame-coated enoki mushrooms, palm heart, radish pods, garlic cream and seaweed floss.
Put the eggplants into a vacuum bag with the wakame seaweed and sesame oil. Seal the bag in a vacuum sealer and steam in a temperature-conrolled combi oven at 90°C (195°F) for 20 minutes. Alternatively, use a zip-lock bag and steam in a steamer. Allow the eggplant to cool in the bag.
Soak the dried bamboo fungi in cold water for 5 minutes, changing the water three times. Remove the fungi and squeeze out the excess water with your hands, then dry well. Chop the silken tofu into
To make the seaweed floss, heat
Slice the palm heart on an angle into thin slices and put aside. Finely chop the white sesame seeds and put aside. Trim the enoki mushrooms, leaving
Place a small pan of water on to boil and blanch the radish pods for 30 seconds, then drain. Cut the eggplant into quarters and pan-fry, in batches, in a large non-stick frying pan in
On each serving plate, place two quarters of the eggplant. Slice each bamboo fungus in half with a bread knife to expose the tofu, and place on the plate. Add a spoonful of garlic cream, place the sesame-coated enoki mushrooms on top and add the palm heart. Garnish with the fried seaweed floss, garlic chive flowers and radish pods. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the white tea and seaweed broth and serve immediately.
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