Soy-simmered vegetables with tofu

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Sometimes in winter you need a recipe that ticks both the healthy and comforting boxes. This bowl full of simmered vegetables is not only warming and invigorating, but tastes incredibly healthy. I think it has something to do with the soy and ginger broth, which to me always feels a bit medicinal, but in a good way.

If you can’t find fresh shiitake mushrooms, use dried–they just need to be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to soften them. Add the soaking liquid to the broth for an extra flavour kick.

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10½ oz) silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) shaoxing rice wine
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) mirin
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, halved
  • 250 g (9 oz) daikon (white radish), peeled and sliced
  • 250 g (9 oz) pumpkin (winter squash), peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ red capsicum (pepper), cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) squares
  • ½ yellow capsicum (pepper), cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) squares
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) lengths
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fried shallots

Method

Drain the water from the tofu, then sit the tofu block on a few pieces of paper towel to absorb any extra liquid.

Meanwhile, put the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, mirin, star anise, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan. Add the mushrooms, daikon and pumpkin, then pour in 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Add the red and yellow capsicum and the spring onion and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Cut the tofu into 2 cm (¾ inch) cubes and divide between two large bowls. Spoon the vegetables and broth over the top and garnish with the fried shallots.