As the days start to cool and leaves fall from the trees, our favourite mushrooms spring out from the ground here in the Seki forests. This is one of our last chances to gather Mother Nature's bounty before the chilly weather hits. Here in the Ozeki household, we love mushrooms—shitake, enoki, shimeji, maitake—the list goes on and on. We often make mushroom sauce, combining the distinct flavors of many types of mushrooms into a flavorful and versatile topping. Today, we will be using mushroom sauce to top off age (deep-fried tofu). You can use any mushrooms available in your home country, so take a trip to your local farmers market and join in!
Deep-fried tofu with mushroom sauce
- 50ml mirin
- 200ml ichiban (1st) dashi stock
- 50ml soy sauce
- 60g shimeji mushroom
- 60g shiitake mushroom
- 60g enoki mushroom
- 2 teaspoons potato starch (or corn four)
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 block tofu
- potato starch as needed
- 1 litre deep frying vegetable oil
- large cheesecloth
- 40g ginger
- 4 asatsuki (or spring onion)
To make mushroom sauce:
- Pour mirin into a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and slightly tilt the saucepan downwards towards the flame, allowing the alcohol in the mirin to evaporate. Be careful not to burn your face or hair!
- Add ichiban dashi, soy sauce, and all mushrooms.
- Cook for about one minute.
- Dissolve the potato starch in the water.
- Bring the mushroom sauce to a boil and slowly pour in the dissolved potato starch while mixing constantly.
- Stir well until sauce is thickened.
- Remove from heat.
To make tofu:
- Cut tofu into 4 equal parts.
- Wrap tofu in the cheesecloth and place on a tray or chopping board. Tilt the tray to drain excess water for about 10 minutes.
- Peel ginger and grate. Chop asatsuki shallots finely.
- In a large saucepan, heat oil to 160°C on medium heat.
- Apply potato starch on all sides of tofu and deep fry for about 3 minutes or until tofu is crisp. Drain oil well.
- Serve with mushroom sauce topped with grated ginger and asatsuki shallots.