Braised Pork, Tofu and Shiitakes

December 20, 2007 | Chuck
Braised Pork, Tofu and Shiitakes

I'd been asking Hungry Bear to make her braised tofu, pork and shiitakes the last several weeks. First off, it's one of my favorite dishes and I had a hankering for it. Secondly, I wanted to take better pictures of it, because the first set of pictures doesn't convey the deliciousness of the dish. It was only our second post on SND, and we were complete newbies at food photography.

Whenever we need Asian ingredients, we walk a couple of blocks to the Richmond New May Wah Supermarket. It's one of the best Asian markets in San Francisco. The prices are super cheap, or as the bay area kids like to say... HELLA cheap! For only $10.52, we picked up the ground pork, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, cilantro and a very large bag of pea shoots at New May Wah. What a deal!

The downside of the market can be the long checkout lines and the crazy Chinese grandmothers, who will box you out while reaching for produce. Hungry Bear has no issues sticking her elbows out to protect her space, whereas, I'm afraid of these aggressive, elderly women. I try to avoid the craziness by going during non-peak times, which means weekday mornings.

Back to the braised pork and tofu, I made Hungry Bear measure out all the ingredients while she was cooking, so we could document the recipe. I threw off her timing a bit, because she's used to just dumping in the ingredients by taste and feel. Still, the dish turned out fantastic as usual.

It's a simple dish with great flavors from the shiitakes, pork, soy and oyster sauce. We always have it over rice with a side of stir-fried vegetables. This time around, we had pea shoots with garlic.

Over time, the amount of pork has increased from 1 pound to 1.5 pounds. What can I say, I'm a meat eater. I love my veggies too, but I won't skimp out on the meat. No matter how much pork is used, it's a great dish and has become comfort food for me!

Browned Tofu

Braised Pork, Tofu and Shiitakes Recipe

Ingredients:
2 packages (28 ounces) of firm tofu
1 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon for slurry
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4-5 cloves minced garlic
16 ounces shiitake mushrooms (30 mushrooms), stems removed, cleaned and sliced
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:
1) Drain tofu and blot dry with paper towel. Cut tofu into 3/4 inch square cubes and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. In a separate bowl, make a slurry by mixing 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water.

3) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the tofu cubes 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly brown. Transfer to plate.

4) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the garlic and pork mixture, breaking it up with a metal spatula. Stir-fry until pork is no longer pink. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry 1-2 minutes. Add the tofu and stir-fry for 1 minute. Mix in oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and chicken stock. Re-whisk and add cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil, stir until the sauce is slightly thickened. Adjust seasonings to taste. Stir in cilantro and serve over jasmine rice.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

[tags]pork, tofu, braised, shiitake, mushrooms, chinese, pea shoots, stir fry[/tags]

5 Comments on “Braised Pork, Tofu and Shiitakes”

  1. Judy said:

    Sometimes I crave food like this too, Chuck. It’s very simple yet satisfying, and it’s the perfect contrast to rich holiday food that is so abundant this time of year.

    I had to smile at your comment on the crazy Chinese grandmothers. I’m afraid of them too!

  2. mrmmm! This sounds delish. I wonder though–if one could substitute beef for the pork? We don’t eat pork at our house, but this sounds so good!

  3. Chuck said:

    Judy, I’m glad I’m not the only one afraid of them… LOL!

    C(h)ristine, using ground beef would be equally as good. You could use dark meat ground chicken or turkey too.

  4. Jeanine said:

    I tried this for dinner tonight and it was widely enjoyed. I didn’t have garlic chili sauce, however (we are spice wimps) so I used black bean sauce instead which doubtless altered the taste…but I like black beans.

    While I no longer live in SF, I do recall the crazy little old Chinese women. I had to go do laundry at around 1am in order to avoid fighting with them for a dryer at the free dryer place.

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